Celebrate the season through service

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Senior Living

Published on December 12, 2021 with No Comments

By Bruce Lindner, executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services

As a nonprofit that collaborates with Porter County residents in need, we are honored to serve our community year after year. The holidays can be an especially challenging time for those who may be struggling financially or facing new personal issues, such as a job loss.

It is during this season that we call on our community even more to make an impact. Not only will you be helping some of your own neighbors here in our little corner of the world, but also you will be uplifted by the joy of the season!

We want to highlight some of the opportunities for you to give back – whether it is through time, donations or gifts for now or in the future. Help these nonprofits through a season of service this year and beyond!

The Salvation Army of Porter County: You cannot think of the Salvation Army without seeing their famous red kettles! You can become a bell ringer and choose where and when works best for you. In Valparaiso, bell ringers can be found at Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Strack & Van Til, Town and Country and Walgreens. To sign up, go to www.registertoring.com. Or you can help purchase items for this year’s Angel Tree through the shop that is linked to Wal-Mart. The gifts that you purchase are shipped directly to the team. Visit: https://salarmy.us/ShopPorterCounty.

Housing Opportunities: The nonprofit seeks to impact homelessness in our region. You can volunteer to assist with stocking the food pantry, planning events or being on-hand at the resource center. HO also takes monetary and food pantry donations. Visit http://ow.ly/uZON50GIyhi for the latest items needed for the food pantry through Amazon Wishlist or visit https://hoi.help/ for general information.

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana: As one of our partner organizations, we see the team’s impact first-hand as a fighter of hunger. The nonprofit needs volunteers year-round to help with distribution of food boxes at mobile markets around the region as well to help deliver groceries to seniors. Check out the current opportunities: https://foodbanknwi.org/volunteer/.

Hilltop Neighborhood House: This Valparaiso-based nonprofit also addresses food insecurity with a pantry as well as provides early childhood education and development. The pantry accepts donations between 8:30 am and noon on Thursdays or reach out at 219-477-4222 to schedule a drop-off time. Monetary donations are also accepted: https://hilltophouse.org/Food-Pantry.

Apply for Energy Assistance through no-contact options

Once again, our team is making the Energy Assistance Program application process as safe as possible.

Due to the continued concerns over the pandemic and our offices remaining closed to the public, we have our website ready to go to connect our community members to the process!

The program is for those who need help paying their energy bills and is based on income.

The full application along with a checklist, instructions and additional documents that may be needed can be found on our website’s Energy Assistance page: www.portercountyacs.org/energy-assistance. If you do not have access to a computer, we have printed packets available in the lobby of our offices between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Once the applications are complete, they can be mailed to: Porter County Aging and Community Services, Inc., Energy Assistance Department, 1005 Campbell, Valparaiso, IN 46385. You can also drop them off in the secure drop box set up in our lobby anytime between 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

While our team and volunteers are not available to meet in-person for appointments, we can still answer your questions, call 219-464-9736, Option 1.


Bruce Lindner has worked in the non-profit world for more than 35 years and for the past 15 years has been serving as the executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services. A native of the region, he was raised in Portage, and he graduated from Valparaiso University and Indiana University. For more information, contact him directly at 219-465-7144 or email at bhlindner@portercountyacs.org.

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About Bruce Lindner

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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