2013 was a great year for the SmallBox team. We accomplished a lot of great things, but perhaps none were as awesome as our inaugural run at Nice Grants. We got nearly 200 submissions, and they were pretty spectacular! That sounds like hyperbole, but it isn't. In all honesty, we were greatly impressed by the ingenuity, creativity and, frankly, humanity, of the submissions... and so was Angie's List, who came to the table with additional funds to make the decision-making process a bit easier.
In the end, we selected ten amazing projects based on their impact, creativity and passion. You can see all of the winners from 2013 below, and learn about their projects and passions.
Nice Grant winner John Anderson had a mission near and dear to my heart. He wanted to build a robot. Robots are great!
Between end-of-year contributions and adopt-a-families, I have a few plans for “nicing” this holiday season, but I wanted to do something a little different for this post.
SmallBox is big on bikes. If we could make the internet work on pedal power alone we would be more than happy to keep the entire thing afloat ourselves. When we saw that Nancy Stimson at Freewheelin' Community Bikes had applied for a Nice Grant we learned a little more about her organization and, sure enough, we were impressed.
"The committee" that determined the 2012 winners was immediately drawn to Jon's plan to do a series of infographics that help people visualize different issues affecting Central Indiana. Maybe it is because we are suckers for data. Maybe it is because we love design.
Have you ever daydreamed about quitting your day job for a side passion?
There was a time when "free" was the name of the game. During my college years, there were whole websites out there dedicated to aggregating the best free deals on everything from promotional t-shirts to pizza, and people would practically fall over themselves to snatch these deals up.
Learn all about Nice Grants winner Barbara Zech and her exciting plan to create an "Earth Art Labyrinth" at the Indianapolis Art Center, including an upcoming workshop where you can help build the labyrinth!
I had the opportunity to stop by the People for Urban Progress (PUP) workspace in the Murphy Building to talk with Amy Crook about their project - creating a bus stop (affectionately called PUP Stops) out of salvaged stadium seating.
I have been lucky - I have been heavily involved in the Nice Grants program, as well as the Daily Nicing initiatives we have been taking to help spread the love around the community, but it is almost over. We want to go out with a bang, and we want to get as many people involved as possible…so check this.
I personally can attest to how much difference a little money can make in a person's life. I have worked low-paying jobs in the past, I have been unemployed, and just like anyone else, I have incurred unexpected expenses. (Unlike anybody else, my car got hit by a train.)