Almost $30,000 in grants was awarded to 16 non-profits by the Community Philanthropic Committee (CPC) on behalf of our Rotary club. CPC committee members carefully reviewed 34 applications to choose recipients of the available funds generated by our annual fundraiser, the Chili Cook-off.
Grant recipients included (front row, from left) Kera Swift-Josey, Arc of Chester County; Guillermina Rios, Chester County Community Collaborative; Glenda Brion, Community Warehouse Project; Kara Todd, Believe and Achieve; Christine Zaccarelli, Crime Victims Center of Chester County; Sandra Romeo, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County; Rich Murray, Club President; and (back row, from left): Mike Strawbridge, Bournelyf Special Camp; Tyler Changaris, Family Service of Chester County; Leslie Holt, A Child's Light; Tamara Wilson, CASA Youth; Ken Hutton, Housing Partnership of Chester County; Rev. Paul Hunt, Parish Hall Kitchen; Kathleen Sanger, Home of the Sparrow; Ryan Enns, Westside Community Center; Don Neimitz, North Star of Chester County; Bill Freidman, Chester County's Children; Rob Malone and Christine Scott, CPC Co-chairs.
Social services of many types were represented: social justice, mental health, protection of children, housing, basic needs and more. Parish Hall Kitchen focuses on teaching skills to those needing family sustaining jobs. Training line cooks helps families relieve stress from hunger, while creating hope for a successful future.
Other awardees provide winter fuel assistance, teach financial literacy, advocate for those experiencing domestic violence, and families caught in the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse. While the names of organizations vary, each seeks to improve daily life, promoting safety in families, feeding the hungry, teaching skills, providing shelter, and relieving physical, financial, or emotional abuse.
The Arc of Chester County serves children with disabilities and their families, melding all levels of abilities to pave the way for a productive life. North Star staff provides case management to prevent eviction through its 3-year program promoting self-sufficiency, teaching skills that establish stable lifestyles.
Mentoring youth from middle school through college is the mission of The Westside Community Center. The team provides a safe space for kids to gather after school, supporting their participation in extracurricular events.  Grateful moms share how much of their stress is relieved knowing their children are enjoying positive community activities.
Many thanks to Rita Brouwer-Ancher who has captured how grant recipients’ innovative projects and tireless efforts inspire us, and to Suzette Webb who has put faces to many of these organizations.