At a recent luncheon, the club awarded $30,000 to representatives of 10 non-profit organizations chosen by the Community Philanthropic Committee (CPC) from 22 applications. Representatives pictured with Melissa Baxter, club president, seated left, are Nan Latona, Glenda Brion, Kara Todd, Sandra Romeo, and standing from left, Rob Malone, co-chair of the CPC, Kathleen Sanger, Doug Pacitti, Ryan Enns, David James, Don Neimetz, Heather Robino, and Christine Scott, co-chair of CPC. Each representative was given an opportunity to explain how their grant funds would be used.

Kathleen Sanger, development director at Home of the Sparrow (HOS), received nods from non-profit representatives and Rotarians alike when she said, “our organization works seamlessly together with over 70% of the non-profits in this room, and many others throughout the county. We all understand that it takes a village to provide services. No one non-profit can do their job alone.” Addressing the Rotarians, she added, “You have no idea how important and how far your donations go.  We all work together to provide a safety net for individuals and families who need support.”
In addition to Sanger, who explained that HOS helps women attain housing and sustainability, Glenda Brion, executive director of the Community Warehouse, said they provide furniture and household goods for 10 to 12 families weekly coming out of shelters, helping them “make a house a home.”
“Believe and Achieve partners with the West Chester Area School District (WCASD) to provide positive experiences for students in the summer,” said Kara Todd. “We provide classes, field trips, and a farm market to provide produce and fruit for entire families.” Doug Pacitti, representing Chester County Children, said their volunteer staff secures funds so underprivileged children can attend summer camp.
“Providing rent assistance and other help for up to three years for single, working parents remains the mission of North Star of Chester County”, explained Don Neimetz, executive director.
“There are lots of shelters in our community, but our mission is keeping families together,” said David James, a board member at Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children, a non-profit celebrating its 200th anniversary.
Funds generated by the annual Rotary Club Chili Cook-off are used in part for the CPC grants. James admitted he is a big fan of the cook-off.  “I visit every chili booth, and often go back for seconds!”
The Westside Community Center, a new awardee, will use its grant "to empower the community’s next leaders,” said Ryan Enns, “providing after school and post high school  programs to help prepare students for life after high school. New this year is immigration legal services.”
Heather Robino, representing another new awardee, Parish Hall Kitchen, said their program feeds the hungry, and serves a hot meal every Friday night for 45 to 50 people. The program started at Holy Trinity Church years ago. “In 2017 we started a culinary program. When OOVID came along, we started a Parish-To-Go program, serving over 300 households on a regular basis.”