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  • Writer's pictureJohn Girton

“Let me holla’ at you for a minute...”

If you have ever had the pleasure of running into, Fred McDowell, you will surely understand what this title means. It’s his calling card to give.

Give your time. Give your service. Give from your heart.

And, this is a man who knows what it means to give. He and his wife of 37 years, Corrinna McDowell, have given so much to this community that it literally boggles the mind! Their altruistic contributions to everyday people like you and I, have been tremendously successful as if there were a higher power running the programs. If you were to ask Mr. McDowell, he would simply say to you, “God made this happen. It wasn’t me.”

To fully understand what I am talking about, just look at the list of programs that they not only volunteer at, but also lead, recruit and acquire funding from a NO starting budget process.

  • Since 2004, the McDowells started the Riley Hospital for Children dinners on Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas serving over an average 800 families and hospital staff. Recruiting IMPD, Politicians, Groundworks Indy, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Christ Missionary Baptist Church, Citizens Alliance, the NWQOL, Riverside Civic League, local residents and so many others…with a $0.00 starting budget.

  • Since 2011, they were either part of or spearheaded the Global Prep Academy neighborhood clean ups and were able to utilize such organizations as KIB, Marion County Dept. of Public Health, DPW, Global Prep Academy, Eli Lilly, City Hall, IU Health and most of the above mentioned organizations. Again, starting at $0 and building relationships that have lasted over the years.

  • Since 2004, both Fred and Corrinna have been working the polls on election days starting off just as volunteers but then, progressing to Sheriff, judges and now as Inspectors. Recruiting volunteers to become more active in the political process.

  • Since 2014, Fred, a School #44 alumni himself, took the initiative to not only become active in the, now Global Prep Academy, Community Council but also, became the council’s leader and organizer.

  • Since 2015, they have sponsored a, National Night Out within the community to help instill a better relationship with neighbors and police to bring about a safer environment for all.

  • Since 2014, they both helped write and head several programs for the Northwest Quality of Life in housing and Food Access

  • Since 2011, they’ve helped build and advise on multiple community gardens throughout the community

  • Finally, but definitely not the last of their tireless work, since 2012 they’ve ran the bicycle safety shop with IMPD and IFD on Mt. Olive Baptist church grounds as a way to help kids stay safe on the roadways and sidewalks.

All this, while raising 6 children with Fred working as a programming employee for seniors at, Heritage Place on 46th and Illinois and Corrinna attending Ivy Tech for the, Women in Tech, curriculum. Whew! How can you say that you don’t have time when you see all this? How can you deny the power of giving when so much can be accomplished starting with so little?

To both of you, Fred and Corrina, as a resident, a volunteer and a friend, this community says, Thank you!

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