Tyler, a South Putnam student, received his first taste of philanthropy when he won the 2008 Putnam County Community Foundation's National Philanthropy Week essay contest.
Tyler's essay, "Understanding Philanthropy with My Grandpa," consisted of 300 words explaining why his grandfather, Arvel Hornback, represents the true meaning of philanthropy.
His grandfather has been donating more than 10 percent of his earnings to his church and its food pantry; the State Youth Convention; and missionaries among other things for roughly 10 years.
"Grandpa's determination to make the world a better place to live by being a philanthropist is having a huge effect on my life," Tyler wrote in his essay.
As grand prizewinner, Tyler was given the opportunity to donate $150 to a local charity of his choice. Tyler chose the Mary Allison Children's Endowment Fund because it helps children in need.
The Mary Allison Home, located on Columbia Street, served as an orphanage for Putnam County children. At its inception, the home sheltered just a few children, but later grew to house over 25 in its prime.
In the 1980s, because of difficulties finding house parents to watch over the children, the board of directors sold the home to be used as a private residence and set up an annual fund. The trust fund was established to donate money to needy children through elementary schools.
School counselors can use the fund for children who need eyeglasses, a doctor or dentist appointment and even medicine.
"No questions asked," said Mary Allison board members, Jim Jackson and Joe Ferguson. "We never know which students in particular are receiving help from the fund."
Tyler's school also received a $500 grant.
His mother, Sherri, says she is really proud of her son. "It was a good experience for Tyler and his grandfather," she continued. "He is able to see the benefits of giving money to the foundation."
Tyler resides in rural Greencastle with his mother; father, Christian Nield; sister, Angel; and grandmother, Leoma Hornback.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Mary Allison Children's Endowment Fund can do so by calling Ginger Scott, treasurer, at 655-2333; Jim Jackson, president, at 522-1000; or Jim Ferguson, board member, at 653-9258.