Supporter Spotlight: Arthur Dean Family Foundation
By: Seth Johnson
The Arthur Dean Family Foundation was founded in 2016 with the intent to support, center and uplift the organizations, leaders and grantee partners making a difference for youth and families in Hamilton, Marion and Whitley Counties. For this reason, they are supporters of the work the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation (IBCF) is doing to invest in children with visual impairments.
Having supported IBCF since late 2021, the Arthur Dean Family Foundation has helped to fund the “Nothing About Us Without Us” campaign, the recent installation of interactive Promethean boards in classrooms at Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI), and staff renewal grants for IBCF’s two full-time staff members.
In reflecting on why the Arthur Dean Family Foundation is passionate about the work IBCF is doing in the community, Arthur Dean executive director Ruthie Purcell-Jones pinpoints the fact that IBCF’s mission is one that’s rooted in equity.
“There are not a lot of organizations in town that are dealing with young people who are, in many ways, oppressed by the system because of something that is completely out of their control,” Purcell-Jones says. “So, for us, it is an equity kind of issue.”
As the Arthur Dean Family Foundation has continued its support of IBCF, Purcell-Jones says she’s been impressed with the leadership of IBCF executive director Laura Alvarado.
“I just have a lot of confidence in her leadership abilities and her determination and ability to make things happen there, as well as her ability to build the relationships that allow those things to happen,” Purcell-Jones says. “A big piece of why we support the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation is because of the tremendous leadership that she provides.”
In reflecting on Alvarado’s many strengths as an executive director, Purcell-Jones praises her ability to galvanize the IBCF board of directors.
“I think Laura has an incredibly good relationship with her board and is working very hard with her board to continue to grow and develop their governing capabilities,” Purcell-Jones says. “I appreciate that about her.”
While astutely steering the foundation, Alvarado also maintains meaningful relationships with the children IBCF is impacting, which Purcell-Jones sees as being vitally important as well.
“Even though, in general, you are a fundraising organization for the School for the Blind, you have deep relationships with some of those Leadership Club kids that you work with, and that’s a very important piece in what we are about,” Purcell-Jones says.