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The Ross Foundation was started in 2014 by the vision of our Founder Derris Ross, an Indianapolis native born and raised on the cities Far Eastside. Growing up, Derris could see how the lack of youth programs and community engagement has affected the city. Due to this, the rise in crime, drug usage, and poverty has taken a toll on the community. Now being older and a respected leader in the community, he has decided to start his own foundation to give back to and repair his childhood community.

The Ross Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2016. The organization got its original roots by hosting community assistance events during the holidays with programs like No Family Will Starve Thanksgiving Program, Making Every Kid Smile Christmas Toy Give Away and the 5,000 Eggs Easter Egg Hunt. The organization then took to the community based approach to reducing crime by getting residents involved through the Living Life to the Fullest Without Violence Peace Rallies, peace walks, and our A Mother’s Cry Support which provides grief support for mothers who have lost children to violence. 


Seeing the impact of these events on members of the community, we plan to build upon our roots. The Ross Foundation is now focused on how we can invoke long term change through effective programming to improve youth  outcomes and access to basic needs and opportunities for economic growth for residents. In order to have a true impact and success towards meeting our goals, our strategy is to develop and cultivate new and existing relationships with like-minded organizations and individuals who align with our mission. Through partnerships, sponsorships, skills-based volunteers and event volunteers, we plan to continue to propel our success.


To create more effective youth activities, repair our communities, and develop healthy leaders

Strategic Goals: 

  • Offer community assistance to low income families

  • Provide activities for youth to encourage positive behavior and academic excellence

  • Decrease unemployment rate through job placement assistance

  • Create programming geared towards crime prevention to reduce the city’s murder rate.

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