FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne’s retired parking meters are now being used for a new purpose: helping local nonprofits weather COVID-19. Twenty-seven “Meters with a Mission” installed across downtown Fort Wayne will collect donations from the public for 27 nonprofit organizations.
The Meters with a Mission program was initiated by Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling. She enlisted Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the local chamber of commerce, to find businesses—each one adopting a meter and selecting a nonprofit organization to benefit from the donations. Some companies are offering to match the donated funds up to a designated amount.
“This community pulls together time and time again,” said Brenda Gerber Vincent, VP of community and corporate impact at GFW Inc. “Fundraising events are the lifeblood of so many nonprofits, but with the pandemic, large gatherings just aren’t possible. This is a way for local government, the business community, and our residents to come together and provide help to nonprofits when they need it the most.”
“I appreciate GFW Inc. for partnering with us on this project,” Keesling said. “The corporate inclusiveness and the artistic aspects make this project exciting for the community, and that is what is driving it. This is a community project that’s fun and helps nonprofits in this difficult time.”
Nearly all of the 27 meters have been installed. Here are the nonprofits, their sponsors, and meter locations:
|Nonprofit||Sponsoring Organization||Meter Location|
|Allen County SPCA||McMahon’s Best One Tire & Auto Care||Starbucks - 1020 S. Calhoun St.|
|ARCH (Architecture and Community Heritage), Inc.||MKM architecture + design||MKM architecture + design - 119 W. Wayne St.|
|Arts United||Lake City Bank||Lake City Bank - 818 S. Harrison St.|
|Big Brothers Big Sisters||Premier Bank||The Hoppy Gnome - 203 E. Berry St.|
|Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne||City of Fort Wayne||Citizens Square - 200 E. Berry St.|
|The Brandon Foundation||Proximo||Proximo - 898 S. Harrison St.|
|Bring It Push It Own It||Integrated Talent Solutions||The Harrison - 301 W. Jefferson Blvd.|
|Camp Red Cedar||Carson LLP||The Harrison - 301 W. Jefferson Blvd.|
|The Carriage House||JH Specialty||The Harrison - 301 W. Jefferson Blvd.|
|CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children)||Shindigz||Shindigz Place (west entrance) - 919 S. Harrison St.|
|Christ Child Society||Tim Didier Meats||Riegel's Pipe & Tobacco Shop - 624 S. Calhoun St.|
|Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana||Old National||Lincoln Tower - 116 E. Berry St.|
|Fort Wayne UNITED||Ambassador Enterprises||Promenade Park near the Convergence statue – 202 W. Superior St.|
|Fort Wayne Urban League||Barnes & Thornburg||DeBrand Fine Chocolates - 878 S. Harrison St.|
|Friends and Family Fund for Southeast Fort Wayne||The Find||The Find - 133 W. Wayne St.|
|GFW Inc. Employing People with Disabilities Initiative||AWS Foundation||Southwest corner of West Columbia & South Calhoun streets|
|GiGi's Playhouse Fort Wayne||Shambaugh & Son, LP||Coney Island - 133 W. Main St.|
|Girlz Rock, Inc.||PNC||East entrance to the PNC Bank Building - South Calhoun Street between Main & Berry streets|
|The League||Elevatus Architecture||Wells Fargo building - 111 E. Wayne St.|
|Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House||Don Ayres Honda and Acura||STAR Bank - 127 W. Berry|
|NeighborLink||Fortezza Coffee||Fortezza Coffee - 819 S. Calhoun St.|
|NAACP Youth of Fort Wayne||Quinton L. Ellis P.C.||Lincoln Tower - 116 E. Berry St.|
|Out of a Jam Inc.||The Hoppy Gnome||The Hoppy Gnome - 203 E. Berry St.|
|Southeast Area Community Development Corporation / Community Development Corporation of Northeast Indiana||Fort Wayne Ink Spot||Big Apple Pizza - 120 W. Wayne St.|
|Summit Equestrian Center||Strebig Construction, Inc.||The Porch off Calhoun - 816 S. Calhoun St.|
|Super Shot||PHP||The Harrison - 301 W. Jefferson Blvd.|
|Turnstone||Summit City Chevrolet||JK O'Donnell's - 121 W. Wayne St.|
A map with the location of each meter can be found at meters.gfwinc.com.
Each meter has been decorated with eye-catching designs by the sponsoring organization or the nonprofit. Signage inside the dome of each meter indicates the beneficiary and sponsor for that meter.
As donations come in, the City of Fort Wayne’s Parking Enforcement Department will collect the proceeds and forward them to the appropriate nonprofits. The meters are expected to be in place through the end of 2020.
About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs, and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention, and community engagement.