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Foundations awards support children and families


For 12 Bucks County nonprofit organizations working daily to help children and families in need, the support of Foundations Community Partnerships and its Partnership in Youth Services Awards is invaluable, community leaders agree.

During its 21st annual awards luncheon on Oct. 16 at the Doylestown Country Club, the $3,000 gifts were presented to area programs, each with a particular focus on children and building stronger families.

The afternoon’s guest speaker was Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president, U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop.

“One in five children under the age of six struggles with more than one traumatic experience,” she told the more than 200 government, social service, nonprofit leaders and community advocates at the event. “At Sesame Workshop, our goal is to build circles of care among the community, caregivers, parents and educational providers.”

Foundations Executive Director Ron Bernstein, Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Foundations board member Tracy Pasternak Willis presented plaques and checks to the following nonprofit organizations:

- Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need plans to use the grant to provide assistance to 100 families in crisis, especially those who need emergency shelter and a roof over their heads. Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need assists families who have been evicted and are living in their cars or on the street.

- Autism Cares Foundation’s Fitness Program “Fit N Focus” provides a fitness program to 105 special needs individuals ages 13 and up.

- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County will use the grant to initiate a High School Bigs Program at Walt Disney Elementary School for at-risk students in grades K-5.

- Conwell-Egan High School, in partnership with the Peace Center, will use the grant to introduce a Life Skills program that teaches 100 students good decision-making, how to manage strong emotions, create healthy relationships, prevent sexual harassment, and appreciate diversity.

- Family Promise of Lower Bucks will use the grant to fund gap expenditures for homeless families to speed the process of regaining sustainable housing and supporting their critical needs. It will serve 70 participants.

- The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania Inc., will use the grant to support the Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Education and Intervention Group, which is a weekly group for detained adolescents at the Bucks County Youth Center. One hundred and seventy-five youth participate in the program.

- Hammerheads Sled Hockey Association will use the grant to purchase a blade sharpening system to increase performance of the 32 disabled youth of varied ages and abilities who participate in sled hockey.

- The Links – Bucks County Chapter will use the grant for their Links to Leadership program, which serves 300 participants. The program helps increase awareness and opportunities for youth to participate in leadership, mentoring, STEM college/career planning, self-care/self esteem, cultural expression and financial literacy activities.

- Shriners Hospital for Children will use the grant for its Urgent Pediatric Fracture Clinic, which provides state of the art orthopedic care to children, including full-service care and ultra-low dose x-rays, regardless of ability to pay. Nearly 2,000 youth will be served with the help of the grant.

- Woods Services will use the grant to enhance the education experience and improve learning for students with special needs and challenges through music therapy in partnership with The Conservatory – 283 students participate in the program.

- YMCA of Bucks County will use the grant to provide hands-on food literacy education, which highlights nutrition, food safety, preparation, and cooking skills through a cooking program for 120 vulnerable youth at the Quakertown Y.

- YWCA Bucks County will use the grant to offer Kindergarten Readiness Bootcamp for 30 students, which will provide research-informed and evidence-based summer enrichment activities to equip vulnerable preschool youth with the tools to achieve literacy, math, language and social development skills.

“We love to see so many organizations working together to make our community a more wholesome and inclusive community,” said Bernstein.