Sophomore starts nonprofit

Eric Fomley sorts through food donations from Living Stone's food drive (Photo by Jared Huhta).

Sophomore Eric Fomley knew when he decided to start The Living Stone Foundation that it would be a challenge.

“Basically, starting off the organization I had to get 501-c3 status from the IRS,” he said. “When I raise $5,000, I’ll get formal recognition. Right now, I’m trying to get a board together.”

Fomley recognized the hurdles he would encounter in December 2012 when he came up with the idea.

After all, not many college students start a nonprofit charity that provides material and monetary donations to individuals, families and organizations in Huntington County.

“I work with a lot of people in the community, and I just noticed that there’s a lot of people that are broken, need help and support,” he said. “God laid it on my heart to do something about it as opposed to just sitting around and ignoring the problem. It was something that I needed to do.”

Fomley, a native of Huntington, is no stranger to the poverty in the county. According to the United States Census Bureau, 11.2 percent of the county’s population is below the poverty.

“Money is a big problem in Huntington Country,” he said.

The Living Stone Foundation is based off 1 Peter 2:4-5: “As you come to him, the living Stone —rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood…” It works with local charities such as Love Inc., United Way and the Huntington County Community Foundation.

“Basically, the goal is this organization would help support [them] year ‘round,” he said. “There’s a flux of goods around Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, but the rest of the time it can be hard for the organizations to get support. I’m hoping to help with that.”

Fomley organized a food drive for Baker and Roush halls at the beginning of April. Boxes were available on each floor for student donations.

“Each floor was really very helpful,” he said. “We had a lot of cans, dry goods, hygiene products, stuff like that.”

Fomley is working on forming a board and raising funds before planning future events.

“It’s hard to find people who are willing to give up some time to help me get it started,” he said. “When so many people are asking for money, it’s hard to get that kind of support.”

Fomley has friends from Huntington North High School and local pastors who support him. They all agree that the Living Stone Foundation is needed in the area, Fomley said.

“I would just like it to be able to be a light for Jesus Christ, a way to show love to the community,” he said. “I’m just hoping to be able to have an organization that can give to charities that are loving their community members and doing so out of random acts of kindness, random acts of love, no strings attached. I just want it to be an example of Christ’s love.”

For more information on The Living Stone Foundation, visit thelivingstonefoundation.com or Facebook.com/thelivingstonefoundation.

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