We thought it important to share some great news related to incredible growth of HSJ Online while understanding our growth as a local and free reading media source is very dependent on our readers, contributors, and ad sponsors. Below, you will find some amazing stats when comparing 2019 with 2020:

  • 37,167 Unique Visitors to 53,013
  • 63,167 Total Visits to 100,818
  • 105,109 Total Page Views to 131,280
  • 1,495 Facebook Likes to 1,586
  • 55,529 Facebook Referrals to 86,488

Our number of different contributors increased from 70 to 79 even when we could not gather for our yearly review and celebration at the Yellow Trail Museum or hold our annual fundraiser at WILLow LeaVes. We can't thank Heritage of Hope enough for allowing us within their umbrella, Tim Andrews for his $10,000 matching grant in 2015 or the community for quickly matching it, the yearly support of the Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment Fund, the Town of Hope, and Pastor Warren and Helen Kirk. We now have two individuals contributing electronically and monthly. Checks are being received from United Way through their partnership with Cummins and employees. We now have eight ad sponsors. All contributions, small or large, are of extreme importance in supporting HSJ Online with a yearly modest general budget that has averaged around $14,000.

Despite not being able to sell mums at Heritage Days, we partnered with Duck Creek Gardens to do our mum fundraiser again, and we sold 201 mums, an increase of 120 over the previous year. It seemed every person we asked took mums, and we look forward to selling more next year. Even though a total of $394.25 is not a lot of money, it helps write several articles.

In a time when thousands of for-profit newspapers are going out of business, our community has embraced HSJ Online, still a rather innovative idea. The passion of our community and our team can't be contained. Consequently, our town is still turning pages in its progress and newspaper when many small towns are not. Undoubtedly, the sign “A Surprising Little Town” is very deserving.

Soon, there will be a thank you video on HSJ Online by Daniel Anderson. Daniel is a Hauser and Ball State graduate who is now producing some amazing material with his team at Devon House Creative. We feel fortunate that the HCFR Area Endowment Fund provided help for this project.

We are pleased to announce that Don Hewitt is now serving as president of HSJ Online with much support from other team members: Jessica Brown, Michael Dean, Bud Herron, David Webster, Terri Young, and Howard Zachariah. John Clark is our Content Coordinator and Stephanie Shoaf is our Business Coordinator with each bringing all kinds of experiences from the newspaper business.

Jenn Willhite has a degree in journalism and has been our feature writer since 2015. She is joined by other talented freelance and volunteer writers: Jessica Brown, John Clark, Rob Deweese, Todd Grimes, Brock Harris, Carrie Harris, Dave Miller, Mike Asher, Martha Bayless, Clyde Compton, Susan Fye, Bud Herron, Julian Smith, David Webster, Shelly Young, Terri Young, & Hauser student Maylee Barriger with guidance from Hauser teacher Kaylie Fougerouse.

Jenn summed up all our feelings at HSJ Online: “Hope is a beautiful community with amazingly wonderful stories and incredible people.”