I recently joined officials from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Indiana, Fraternal Order of Police and Fort Wayne UNITED to unveil Blue Bucket Brigade, a community awareness program designed to enhance relationships and partnerships among community organizations, law enforcement and youth.

The goal of the Blue Bucket Brigade is to open doors and build bridges to better serve families and at-risk youth with positive activities and mentoring. The first phase of this program will include and build upon programming similar to offerings provided by Fort Wayne UNITED, a mayoral initiative designed to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help ensure the safety of all residents with a focus on black men and boys.

As part of the initiative, law enforcement officials and members of the Boys & Girls Clubs will collect donations through the use of blue buckets in high traffic retail and business locations throughout Allen County from mid-May through Labor Day. They will be present at community events, holding Lunch and Learns at various businesses and participating in numerous engagement programs.

Proceeds from Blue Bucket Brigade will benefit programming and activities developed and implemented by the Boys & Girls Clubs and Fraternal Order of Police.

For more information and to learn about upcoming opportunities to participate, donate and volunteer, visit or call the Boys & Girls Clubs at (260) 744-0998.

A collective effort to bring the community together is another example of Fort Wayne’s commitment to providing opportunities and making a meaningful difference. I continue to be encouraged by the proactive response to meeting challenges in Fort Wayne. It’s a clear demonstration of why we’re seeing positive momentum and investments throughout our City.

I also want to share my concerns about federal budget proposals that could negatively impact essential services in the City of Fort Wayne.

I recently hosted a convening with leaders from more than 20 local organizations to discuss federal budget matters that could affect local service providers.

Examples of possible impacts in Fort Wayne:
*Potential loss of $1.8 million yearly in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $775,000 yearly in HOME Investment Partnerships Program dollars to support residents of low- or moderate-incomes to help provide safe and affordable housing, necessary infrastructure, vital services and public facilities for our residents.

*Cuts to essential services – transportation, schools, public broadcasting, social service agencies and neighborhoods.

By working together, we’ve positioned Fort Wayne as a point of destination for individuals, families and businesses. We’re a community that’s on the move and ready to make a lasting impact. However, recent budget proposals and discussions in Washington are cause for concern. That’s why we’re urging Congress to oppose any reductions to programs and initiatives that help build better and stronger communities.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer