We announced that we were giving one Indianapolis-based organization a $100,000 MEGA Grant! Our seven employee resource groups each voted to select one nonprofit organization to be considered for this grant. These nonprofits are all grassroots organizations that don’t rely on government funding, so this MEGA grant will make a MEGA impact.
However, we couldn’t pick one single winner. We ended up investing in all seven nonprofits and gave them a $100,000 grant, plus a new vehicle of their choice to help with transportation needs. On top of that, DREAM Alive received an additional $580,000 of funding. In total, we gave away $1.7 million.
At Wireless Zone®, we are committed to making a positive and sustainable impact in the lives of our customers and employees, and in the communities where our stores are located. We give employee-sponsored Community Grants throughout the year to nonprofits our employees and customers are passionate about. To date, Wireless Zone® has given over $6.6 million in grants. About 90% of our Community Grants are given outside of Indianapolis, so we decided to focus solely on Indianapolis-based organizations for this MEGA Grant. Plus, Indianapolis is home to our Store Support office.
To make sure our employees’ passions were still supported with this grant, we asked our seven employee resource groups to each select one organization to be considered for this grant. These resource groups connect people who share a common interest, quality, background, or goal. They provide a safe and supportive network organized around a shared identity.
100 Black Men of Indianapolis
Selected by B.A.R.R. – The Black Alliance at Round Room, an inclusive environment that contributes diverse education and drives retention of Black employees at Round Room through awareness, engagement, and opportunity.
100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Inc is a youth development organization that was founded in 1984 and serves several hundred Indianapolis youth each year through mentoring-based educational programs. The 100 is comprised of members and volunteers of diverse backgrounds and experiences with a common commitment to help children. Their members exemplify their motto, “What They See is What They’ll Be” by volunteering as role models and mentors for youth involved in the 100’s programs.
The 100 conducts programs for young people in K –12th grade and post-secondary education that focus on mentoring, education, and leadership development. These programs impact students’ personal development and academic achievement. The majority of students involved in their programs display increased self-esteem, personal responsibility, and motivation to succeed in school.
Selected by the Prayer & Encouragement Group, a place for employees to gather, share, support, and encourage one another through faith.
While 91 Place was being developed, a sample of homeless youth transitioning to adulthood were asked, “if you could have one thing right now that would change everything, what would it be?” Without fail, almost every time, they would say, “a family.”
91 Place was launched to address this need. They are a home for homeless youth with community, relationships, and a familial environment at its core. They aim to be a safe place for homeless youth to live, grow, and thrive.
Ben’s Ranch Foundation
Selected by PAUSE, a group that provides a support system for anyone directly or indirectly struggling with mental health, substance abuse, and overall well-being. Through Patience, Acceptance, Understanding, Support, and Empathy, they are able to provide guidance through life experiences to help navigate the road ahead.
Ben’s Ranch Foundation’s mission is to create new options and new hope for young people struggling with mental health challenges, by connecting them to employment opportunities on farms, ranches, stables, and therapeutic riding facilities.
Selected by the Circle of Influence, a group that celebrates, encourages, and supports women in our organization.
Coburn Place offers compassionate support and safe housing choices for survivors of domestic violence and their children. They specialize in fresh starts – letting survivors lead the way in creating their own paths forward. They serve everyone – women and men, transgender and nonbinary – because everyone is welcome, everyone belongs. Coburn Place has transitional housing at their historic building in midtown Indianapolis, as well as in community-based housing program. Breaking the cycle of abuse creates stronger people, stronger families, and ultimately, stronger communities.
Cocktails and Caregivers
Selected by WINS, a group that supports others through Wellness, Impact, Fitness, and Strength. This group helps enhance the quality of life, while spreading optimism that you can be and become exactly who you were meant to be.
Caregiving can be a lonely job. Cocktails & Caregivers is a community of people who “get it.” They support caregivers (anyone who is loving someone who is sick) all over the country and at all stages of the journey. People can nominate a caregiver and they will take it from there. Their foundation focuses on sending care packages, providing financial grants, and building support networks around the country.
Selected by MILE, a group that promotes and facilitates Mentoring, Inspiring, Leading, and Empowering.
DREAM Alive focuses on mentoring youth in 7th-12th grade to become civic-minded leaders. They help break the cycle of poverty by empowering youth to discover career paths and mentoring them from 7th grade until high school graduation. DREAM Alive seeks to end the cycle of poverty by exposing their scholars to different career paths on career field trips.
They showcase companies around Indianapolis to their scholars as a way of starting the conversation. Starting these conversations in 7th and 8th grade allows their scholars to start dreaming about what their futures could look like early in their lives.
Selected by SAGE, the Sexuality and Gender Equality group that aims to create an open and safe space for LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies to meet, share fellowship, and join in the work to create an inclusive culture of acceptance, dignity, and respect.
Trinity Haven provides safe, affirming housing for LGBTQ youth, ages 16 – 21, experiencing housing instability in Indiana. Their goal is to intervene before youth experience chronic homelessness and to help them pursue their educational and employment goals and develop the skills to thrive in the world independently, so they can graduate from their program into safe and stable permanent housing, with the skills to successfully maintain that housing. Trinity Haven is not a shelter or drop-in center; they provide long-term housing for up to 24 months.
Interested in joining our team and making a difference in your local community? We’re hiring!