SUCCESS STORY – Easter Seals of Bartholomew County

“The commemorative ornament collection is our major fundraiser, says Dunlap.The income we have received over the years from this series has increased our general operating budget by over 25%.”
Rose Ann Dunlap

Executive Director, Easter Seals of Bartholomew County

The Easter Seals Society offers a durable equipment loan program to help disabled individuals and their families gain greater independence in Bartholomew County. In 2008 the program was expanded to include families who exceed financial guidelines if an item is needed short term for rehab after a surgery or accident. Equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds and shower seats may be leased as long as inventory is available.

In September of 2007 Rose Ann Dunlap was looking for part‐time work, and heard the Executive Director position at Easter Seals of Bartholomew County was becoming available. She applied for the position, and has become almost a one‐woman force of nature ever since.

As a United Way agency, the organization saw a small donation pool and wanted a way to distinguish the organization from the many other charitable organizations in her community. Thus began the annual ornaments collection, established in 1995, which is the major fundraiser for them.

The ornaments depict the various historical buildings throughout Bartholomew County, including one of Zaharakos in 2009, a very popular local ice cream parlor and diner in the area.

Dunlap’s presence is seen and heard throughout the community. She markets the ornament year round through the Visitor’s Center, and sells each year’s piece at Bazaar sales, local Farmer’s Markets and other special events throughout the year. She communicates through local radio stations and acts as a referral agency to other nonprofits through on‐line media and clients.

Her time is not only spent on the ornament program. Her 24‐hour work week is also spent assessing client needs, repairing/delivering/picking up equipment, board recruitment, community awareness, membership drives, referrals to other agencies and more. She is also working with several volunteers to create an inventory system and volunteer pool for the organization.