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I Love Indy’s Big Heart (#BracketsForGood)

Brackets for Good IndyOne thing I love about Indianapolis is that people here are genuinely nice. We smile at each other, make conversation in the grocery checkout line, and are pretty polite on the roads. Oh sure, you’ll run into a grump here and there, but for the most part, we are happy to lend a hand. I’ve seen it over and over again in small ways, at church and work and in my children’s schools. And I’ve seen it in bigger efforts, too. Brackets for Good (BFG) is a prime example.

BFG is a fundraiser that was born out of the energy and support that the Butler University basketball team enjoyed in their back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Final Four. Two buddies — Matt McIntyre and Matt Duncan — wondered if that same spirit could be harnessed and put to good for community organizations across the city. A third big-hearted guy, Dave Cornelius, offered his web-design talents and Brackets For Good was born as an online fundraiser for 64 local charities.

There are two reasons this effort makes my heart flutter for Indy’s big heart. First, check out the list of organizations — 64 agencies that operate year-round to help people who are in some kind of need.  They include:

  • Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation
  • Paws and Think, Inc.
  • Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County
  • Friends of Holliday Park
  • Joy’s House Adult Day Services

just to name a few. Together, the 64 organizations benefit people of all ages, races and abilities…as well as 4-legged creatures.

So yes, Indy has some terrific organizations doing great work. The second reason Brackets for Good warms my heart is that you can literally see the generosity of Central Indiana residents. If you look at the bracket, you can see how many dollars have been donated to each organization ($1 = 1 point). The brackets opened on February 28 and now, just 5 days later, nearly $25,000 has already been donated. And that’s just the first round of the “tournament.”

BFG Indy check

After Round 1, which closes on March 7, the subsequent rounds include Round 2, the Supported Sixteen, the Engaged Eight, the Philanthropic Four and then the Championship Round between the two organizations that garner the most support throughout the tournament.  Each organization gets to keep whatever money is donated to their cause, regardless of how many rounds they last. The winning charity will also receive a $10,000 contribution from the title sponsor.

Hoosier hospitality. It’s alive and well — and generous — in Central Indiana.