Angela Leimer owes her resume and prolific life experiences to her community. Her eagerness to give back to the people and organizations that supported her has brought Angela to a career in which she is paying her good fortune forward. Through the Crown Point Community Foundation, she is making lives better.
“Many people might say there isn’t much to do in NW Indiana,” says Angela, who is 25. “I feel like there is always something to do, you just might have to dig a little deeper. There are so many hidden gems, so much this region has to offer. You need to get to know your community. The things that excite you connect you to your purpose. You don’t realize, until you stop and look at how you got where you are.”
Angela’s passion is art.
Years ago she discovered Paul Henry Art Gallery, and through it Angela met people with the same interests she had. She is a photographer and enjoys painting, with a strong focus on landscapes. She takes a camera with her when she travels. The gallery gave her the solidarity to grow her talent and become much more involved in it.
“A lot of artists are introverts. A place like Paul Henry’s Art gallery has been a prime example that when you’re together, a community is formed and will only encourage you to grow your talents,” she explained.
Angela’s entire life is about bringing people together and supporting them.
She went to Purdue Calumet for a degree in Visual Communications but decided it was not quite what she wanted to do. The more Angela learned about Hospitality and Tourism Management, the more interested she became in switching majors.
“I liked the culture of the hospitality program, the professors were committed to every student’s success. It is also a business degree, so there are many things you can do with it. And to be hospitable, that is so important in any job,” she said.
Going to school gave Angela the time to research her career options through volunteering.
She heard about Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana through some of her classes, she chose to volunteer with them. She started as a driver delivering meals. The people around Angela encouraged her to pursue a place in the office, where she could be a greater asset.
Angela learned how to be the professional she is now through her time volunteering at the Meals on Wheels office. She was on a few different committees where she had to make important decisions and assist at events for the organization. It taught her responsibility. It gave her mentors that she still looks back on.
As a representative of Meals on Wheels she worked a booth at the Crown Point Community Foundation’s Volunteer Fair at Crown Point High School.
The Volunteer Fair began 8 years ago. Individuals in the community wanted to get involved at nonprofits organizations and the nonprofit organizations were in need of volunteers. The CPCF realized the growing need and filled in the missing link with the Volunteer Fair.
“That’s one of my favorite events,” Angela says. She is now in charge of organizing the fair, but recalls what it was like to be on the other side. “It just feels so good to be a part of that event. It’s a true example of what the community has to offer, and how many people are out there trying to make a difference.”
The CPCF discovered Angela as she was perusing the other booths, looking for more volunteer opportunities. They invited her to a paid internship position, through Lilly Endowment GIFT program. For two years, Angela worked there through college.
When she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Angela took a job with Lake Area United Way. She assisted with their Marketing: event planning, fundraising, donor stories, and any other thing she could do.
Almost a year later the position of Marketing and Program Coordinator opened at CPCF. It was a job her life had been grooming her for. She accepted.
For someone who is always volunteering, whose mind is racing trying to figure out new ways to solve problems or get involved, Crown Point Community Foundation is perfect. The CPCF mission is to enrich the quality of life in South Lake County they do that by connecting donors to local causes. They provide financial assistance to fund a broad range of community needs by accepting gifts from generous donors, creating funds and managing endowment assets.
A donor to the CPCF can make a gift to any fund that matches their interest or create a fund of their own.
Even the smallest gifts matter, and they add up fast.
Being a part of CPCF lets Angela help many organizations in her community instead of just one. She assists organizing events that are designed to unite people to causes they care about.
Through marketing, she is teaching the community how to support each other.
Angela’s art has been there the whole way. At United Way she painted two murals. She continues to create paintings for CPCF that add a creative spark to their events. The talking trees she staged for a Wizard of Oz themed gala sparked conversations between guests. Her passions have led her to her purpose: a career where she is making a difference in her community.
“This is where we live, work, and play,” Angela says. “This is our community. We should be supporting organizations who give so much to us. Whether it’s a donation or your time, whatever you can do, it makes our community a better place.”