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August 2017

Helping Hurricane Harvey victims

Rain is expected to continue throughout the week in parts of Texas and Louisiana, meaning the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey are far from over. Although we are many miles away, there are several ways Hoosiers can get involved and help storm victims.

The easiest way to contribute to the cause is to give money. Donating things like clothing or food aren’t always as helpful as monetary donations that guarantee trained organizations like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army can get resources to the victims in need.

Monetary donations can be made safely online or through direct texts to these well-established organizations:

The Red Cross and Salvation Army need volunteers to help with shelters for people that fled the coast. The Red Cross is also expecting blood supplies to be very low as the blood banks and collection centers on the shoreline were forced to close paired with an increased need from injuries. To donate, find a location near you.

Efforts are also being made to rescue animals from the flooding. Donations to help Texas animal control can be made to:

Natural disasters are often unexpected and leave little time for planning or evacuation. Any donation will make a difference to someone in need.

While Indiana is known for lifting up those in need, it is important to be skeptical before giving money to less credible organizations. The Indiana Attorney General is warning all Hoosiers that the aftermath of a natural disaster is a hotbed for scammers. Any Hoosier with plans to donate should also take steps to avoid falling victim to scams targeting those who want to help victims.

 

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Walking to promote heart health

Approximately 2 in 3 adults and 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese.

The solution for achieving better health can be simple. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, help manage stress and quality of sleep, and improve overall health and well-being. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week is an easy way to achieve this goal, but if you can’t make enough time, something is always better than nothing.

To help you meet your fitness goals this fall, the American Heart Association is hosting five Heart Walks in Indiana as part of its Healthy For Good initiative to reduce risks for heart disease and stroke.

Here are the upcoming Indiana Heart Walks:

  • Indianapolis Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Indy Eleven Stadium, 1001 W. New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46202
  • Lake County Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S. Court St., Crown Point, IN 46307
  • Northeast Indiana Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Ivy Tech North Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805
  • Porter County Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Coffee Creek, 2601 Village Point, Chesterton, IN 46304
  • Lafayette Heart Walk on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater, 4449 N. River Rd., West Lafayette, IN 47906

Whether you are working toward better health, honoring a loved one’s experience with cardiovascular disease or supporting the promise of a better future for younger generations, these are great events to participate in. If you can’t make it to a Heart Walk, fall in Indiana is the perfect time to get your family and friends outside before winter temperatures arrive.

To learn more and register for an Indiana Heart Walk, click here.

Season for exploring

Fall is one of the best times of year for Hoosier farmers. After months of hard work, they can finally see the fruits of their labor during harvest time.

This means a wide variety of local farms and orchards will soon be open to explore. From picking out a pumpkin to enjoying some fresh-pressed apple cider, there’s fun for everyone in the family.

To find a local farm offering tours near you, Indiana Tourism and the Indiana Department of Agriculture have teamed up to put together the Indiana Agritourism Guide and the Indiana Brewery & Winery Guide.

More than 80 percent of our state is farmland, forests and woodland, so it is clear that agriculture plays an important role in Indiana’s economic development.

In addition to visiting local farms, you can support Indiana farmers by buying locally grown products in your neighborhood grocery store. Just look for the Indiana Grown label to support local producers while you’re grocery shopping.

Next Level Jobs

Hoosier job seekers now have access to new resources to find better-paying jobs thanks to the recently launched Next Level Jobs initiative.

While Indiana’s unemployment rate is near record low, employers in high-need, high-wage fields are searching for qualified workers. To meet immediate and future workforce demands, the state introduced a new website and two new grant programs.

The website connects job seekers with local training and resources to find jobs in high-demand industries. While a two- or four-year degree isn’t for everyone, Workforce Ready Grants cover the costs of tuition for working adults earning a high-value certificate at Ivy Tech or Vincennes University.

According to the Department of Workforce Development, 1 million job openings are expected by 2025 and, of those, about 400,000 are in high-wage, high-need fields. These industries include advanced manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, health and life sciences, IT and business services, and transportation and logistics.

To help employers in these industries train and retain workers, the new Employer Training Grant will provide up to $2,500 per new employee to qualifying companies.

Over the next two years, these grant programs will provide roughly $20 million to help Hoosier workers and employers meet workforce demands.

Information and applications for both grants can be found online at nextleveljobs.org.

Honoring Hoosier farm families

With the Indiana State Fair comes recognition of one of our state’s best assets. More than 80 farms are being honored with Hoosier Homestead awards.

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program recognizes farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more. Since the program’s inception in 1976, more than 5,000 families have received the Hoosier Homestead Award.

Reaching the milestone of owning a farm for more than a century and contributing to Indiana’s $31 billion agriculture sector deserves recognition. These farms support our local and state economy, and we appreciate the families that are committed to feeding Indiana and the nation.

Two award ceremonies are held each year, in the spring and summer, to commemorate the achievements of farmers across the state. For more information on the Hoosier Homestead Award Program, visit the Indiana State Department of Agriculture website.

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