Think globally; act locally.

Think globally; act locally.

This well-known phrase is at the heart of the Licking County Foundation, an organization that focuses its time, efforts and funds on the local area and its residents.

"We administer over 200 charitable funds that have been established by donors to do good works in the community, to improve the quality of life of citizens in Licking County," said Connie Hawk, director of the Licking County Foundation.

The foundation, whose offices are in downtown Newark, across the street from the Midland Theatre, serves as a sort of middleman between donor and beneficiary by managing those funds and distributing them throughout the community according to the wishes of the donor.

According to William Moore, immediate past president of the Licking County Foundation, that is one of the reasons why the organization works so well.

"We work closely with individual donors," Moore said. "We like to follow through and have a continuous relationship."

From nonprofit organizations to students in need, the foundation has a wide range of recipients and beneficiaries throughout the county.

"We've benefited education, arts and culture, health, human services, recreation. We really have an impact on almost every aspect of life in Licking County," Hawk said, emphasizing the diversity of the donors' interests.

Founded by Everett D. Reese in 1956, the Licking County Foundation started with just a handful of funds, Hawk said. Since then, the charitable organization has flourished, growing into an asset of $45-million.

Nonprofit organizations and area students apply once a year for grants and scholarships through the Licking County Foundation. Review committees made up of community members review the applications, which then are scored and ranked. Those committees make recommendations to the foundation's governing committee, which ultimately approves the grants and scholarships.

This year alone, Hawk said, more than 400 area students have applied for scholarships. The foundation will be able to award more than $240,000, funding more than 200 scholarships. The minimum scholarship will be $1,000.

One of the foundation's most recent -- and most major -- projects has been a 2007 grant to the YES Club, an after-school and summer program designed as a safe haven during high-risk hours for youth in Licking County. The grant allowed the YES Club to renovate and move into an old car wash across the street from its old location, which was too small to house the 40 to 50 students arriving each day after school.

The Licking County Foundation was able "to take an old car wash and totally renovate it and make it into some really wonderful spaces that the kids can use É and gave that as a gift to us," said Vee Hottle, director of the YES Club. "Who would have ever thought a car wash could turn into such a beautiful facility? But it's been wonderful."

The YES Club's new home -- the YES Clubhouse -- features an office space, a lounge, a greeting room, a computer lab, a kitchen, a café and storage area, and that's just what's inside. An outdoor basketball court also keeps the students active and entertained.

"It's perfect for our needs," Hottle said. "They have been very generous to us. They also supported us by allowing us to receive some money for utilities and upkeep. É We're very lucky."

The renovation was funded through the foundation's William E. and Annie S. Miller Memorial Fund, and the land was provided by The Patricia R. and Herbert J. Murphy Foundation.

"It literally doubled the size of their facility and really enabled them to serve more young folks in our community," Hawk said. "It's a very vibrant program that really serves a need in our community."

Hawk said that not all of the foundation's good works are so clearly visible in the community.

"Some of the grants that we provide are very sizable grants, but we also provide smaller, more modest grants and a variety of different types of grants that are just as meaningful," she said.

Take the Tibbie Leslie Travel Grant, for example. Tibbie Leslie, who was raised in Newark but taught physical education in Cincinnati, traveled abroad throughout her life and established a fund with the Licking County Foundation to allow local teachers to have the same experiences to bring back with them to the classroom.

"The teachers and the schools are just so pleased with these grant awards and how they will not only broaden their scope, but how they will impact the classroom," Hawk said. "That's really inspiring to all of us here."

For Hawk, no one fund or project stands out as the best: She insists that they are all important.

"We're just so lucky to do this on a weekly basis, being able to do this on behalf of our donors, to have impact on the community that way," she said.