April Community Award Spotlight: City of Muncie

Every day, members of our communities rise to meet unexpected challenges. From children to parents and from caregivers to businesses, we have all been asked to step up and become leaders. We’ve faced and pivoted to adapt and grow through our everchanging world due to unforeseen events that affect our daily lives. No action is too small, and together our impact is large.

Your actions should be recognized and celebrated. Our communities are the foundation of our society, and we stand stronger together. PLTW is proud to celebrate diverse communities and its members who exhibit collaboration, leadership, and entrepreneurship in service across the nation. As a result, we have created the PLTW Community Celebration Awards to recognize communities that have come together to care for each other in times of need. Join us in celebrating the following community this month!

The City of Muncie in East Central Indiana is home to approximately 68,000 residents. Muncie Community Schools and Ball State University are located within the city.

Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour implemented two new programs with funds from the federal CARES-ACT that provided assistance to Muncie residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayor’s Masks for Muncie Project

This project provides free masks to those in the community in need of them. The project is an example of the city's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Mayor Ridenour has consistently reminded citizens to wash their hands, practice social distancing, and wear masks during city updates through Facebook Live.

As of April, approximately 24,000 masks had been distributed to the public through the project.

“We are one Muncie; we are all in this together,” Mayor Ridenour said. “If people need masks, we are going to get them masks.”

The Tenant Assistance Program

Some individuals in Muncie also benefited from the Tenant Assistance Program. This program, established in partnership with Bridges Community Services, administers funds for rent and utility assistance and is funded by Muncie’s HOME Investment Partnership Grant. The grant provides for $121,000 worth of financial assistance to renters facing pandemic-related hardship and needing assistance to pay utilities and rent.

Working with Community Development and partnering with Bridges, approximately 40 households received support through a very difficult time.  

“This won’t fix everything,” Mayor Ridenour said. “But if we can keep people in their homes and give them some peace of mind and security, it’s the right thing to do with the money we have.”