We’re all for switching things up now and then, and since our friends over at SmallBox have launched a month of blog ‘prompts’ for December 2012, (called “Think Kit”– you can search for hash tag #thinkkit on twitter also) that we thought it’d be fun for HI to play along when/ where we can.

Today’s question/ prompt is:

How do you want get involved in your community this year?

Sure, we can rattle off all the exciting things in the HI pipeline…but let’s just summarize it by saying: We’re going to work harder than ever to help you fall in love with parts and bits of Indy you never knew. We want you to be the coolest tour guide EVER when friends visit from out of town. This website should give you a pretty good head start on that since there’s plenty of off-the-beaten path fodder herewith. But enough about that.

Those New Year’s Resolutions are going to be here before you know it, so here’s a little help for you:find a way to give back to something/ anything historic in Indy this year. History is what gives Indianapolis its unique fingerprint, so we challenge you to find a way to honor it.

Here are a few suggestions from the HI camp:

*Take a Cemetery Preservation Workshop through the DNR–We’ve got some small, less loved cemeteries that could use a few hours of elbow grease and if that’s your cup of tea, the workshop will show you how to avoid well-intentioned mistakes that could actually further harm markers and gravesites.

*Volunteer at an historic site- The President Benjamin Harrison Home and other small museums are always on the lookout for volunteers to help lead tours and assist with events. Plus you get the unique behind-the-scenes views the general public are not privy to.

*Visit historic museums– We’re fortunate to have a number of historic museums in Indy: the aforementioned President Harrison Home, Morris-Butler House, James Whitcomb Riley Home Museum, Benton House, Medical History Museum, Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum (under the Monument), you catch the drift.

*Research your family tree. The Indiana State Library has impressive resources and when you know more about your own story, it brightens your connection to the world around you. Promise. If you just want to skip to the end, you can always hire a genealogist.

*Got a favorite historic park? Go spend an hour picking up trash or pulling weeds. You don’t need to sign up or ask anyone. You’re someone, and you could make a corner of the world a little better by this simple act. This city belongs to all of us, therefore, it’s on all of us to take good care of it, isn’t it?

*Found any cool historic photos of Indy? Heritage Photo is collecting photos for “The Indiana Album,” and would be grateful for your contribution.

*Shop, eat, drink, live and spend time in historic places. Mass Ave, Indiana Avenue, Washington Street…we’d argue the most special places are historic ones. Spend money where it will help perpetuate and sustain a business that has invested resources so that we have some history left to visit and enjoy.

*If you get really inspired about a place you visited, a picture you took, or some research you did, feel free to send it over to HI–we’re accepting submissions for “Friday Favorites,” a collection of historic places, people, details and such that might inspire someone else.

Does your heart ‘pant’ for Indy? Maybe these ideas will help…

If you have other ideas to share, please feel free to post herewith!

4 responses to “Community Involvement? The New Year’s Resolution Starter Kit”

  1. Brittany says:

    Love that you are participating!! I’m definitely checking out the cemetary tours. Neat!

  2. basil berchekas jr says:

    Wish to stay with this one; captivating!

  3. Richard Patton says:

    Whether you are visiting the Riley House, Benton House or the Harrison Home, take the extra time to walk through our historic neighborhoods. All of the various historic districts are identified on numerous website. Walking give such a different perspective to the loving effort that has gone into the renovation of the homes and neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area.

  4. Joan Hostetler says:

    Tiffany, Thanks for your plug for the Indiana Album project to borrow and scan old photographs of Indiana! We’ll focus on photos of Indianapolis houses, neighborhoods, streets, businesses, etc. next year and hope to have one of the best collections of Indy images in time for the bicentennial in 2020! I’d also add that people should donate funds to your wonderful Historic Indianapolis site. Thanks for your contributions and enthusiasm for Indianapolis History! -Joan (

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