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Grant helps Elkhart nonprofit stay warm

ELKHART, Ind. -- The effects of frigid temperatures have been felt across Michiana. Now thanks to a community grant, a nonprofit in Elkhart is able to finally heat its building. 

"The clients were like 'wow it's cold in here this year' and it's like I know, I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about it," said Sharlee Morain, the executive director at Shepherd's Cove  in Elkhart. 

The nonprofit's furnace was shut off after it started emitting carbon monoxide. Since then, volunteers had been donning layers of clothing to work in the building. 

Shepherd's Cove is run completely by volunteers. It is a distribution center for clothing, household items and furniture located in a large building on Lusher Ave. 

"This is a brick building and this building is super cold," said Morain. "Which is wonderful in the summertime because we don't have to turn the air on, but in the wintertime it just makes it unbearable."

To fix the furnace would cost $16,000. Money that the nonprofit didn't have. 

So Morain applied for a grant with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. The nonprofit was awarded $8,000 through the foundation's Good Neighbor Grant. An anonymous donor contributed another $5,000.

"We believe that Shepherd's Cove is another excellent example of our mission to improve the quality of live in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity," said Pete McCown, president of the Community Foundation. "We are pleased with what they've presented to us and we expect them to be successful in their efforts. Shepherd's Cove is another vital link in the chain of nonprofit entities that are improving our quality of life in Elkhart County."

The final $3,000 needed for the furnace came from the nonprofit's general funds. 

"I was so excited I could have done cartwheels," Morain said. 

But now with the new purchase, she says the nonprofit is financially struggling. 

"We really need financial help," Morain said. "And I'm always begging for money and I hate it. But until money grows on trees, I have to beg for money."

Shepherd's Cove is currently closed to the public. It will reopen in March. 

However, donations are accepted all year, 24 hours a day, at the back of the building. Morain said they are always in need of children's clothing. 

Financial donations can be made on the nonprofit's website found here

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