Foundations honors 12 Bucks nonprofits with ‘Partnership in Youth Services’ awards

by Tianna G. Hansen

More than 200 community service leaders, nonprofit representatives, and local governmental leaders attended the Foundations Community Partnership “Partnership in Youth Services” luncheon ceremony held at the Doylestown Country Club on October 23rd.

This year the event honored 12 nonprofit community programs across Bucks County that are making a difference in the lives of local children and their families with monetary grants of $3,000 each.

The event’s keynote speaker was Caryl Stern, CEO, UNICEF and author of “I Believe in Zero: Learning From the World’s Children.”

“I really believe regardless of our country’s division of politics, we can all come together around putting children first,” said Caryl.

“As a whole, people are good and when they take a step back, they recognize we need to put children first. My job is to help keep that thought in mind for all of the decisions we make.”

Foundations Executive Director Ron Bernstein, Stern, Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, and Foundations Board Member Peggy Hanselman presented plaques and checks to the 12 local non-profit organizations.

Among the community programs receiving grants were:

*A Woman’s Place’s program “Healthy Relationships Education for Developmentally Disabled & Learning Different Students” in Doylestown will use the grant to purchase a curriculum for students who are developmentally disabled and/or learning different to be used by 300 participants.

*Bristol Riverside Theatre will use the grant to support its ArtRageous Summer Theatre Arts Camp for at-risk youth in Bristol, which stimulates critical and creative thinking in a structured environment.

*Bucks County SPCA’s Humane Education and Outreach Resources in Lahaska interacts and educates youth throughout the county; grant funding will support resources that enhance and supplement these efforts to deliver outreach opportunities to 1,800 participants.

*Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia in Warminster will use the grant for the Kid Support & Straight Talk About Cancer program, a curriculum-based program to help kids up to age twelve learn about cancer, manage the stressors caused by cancer and gather support from other attendees.

*Family Service Association’s Teen Center in Langhorne will use the funding to support peer interaction among Teen Center participants, who are teens without a close circle of friends in their schools or communities.

*Hands Holding Hearts Summer Series will use the grant to support its annual bereavement summer camp in Langhorne, which helps children through the grieving process by bonding with other children through games and activities of healing.

*Heritage Conservancy’s Student Explorer Backpack Program in Doylestown helps children develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world through physical activity and the chance to enjoy the out-of-doors programs in lower Bucks County.

*Ivy Hill Equestrian Center’s WOW (We’re Outstanding Workers) Young Adult Job Skills Training and Job Placement Preparation program in Perkasie offers transitional work experience for special needs students aging out of the public school system.

*Libertae’s Early Childhood Creative Arts Program in Bensalem supports the children of mothers who have substance use disorders and are at high risk of developing long-term emotional and behavioral problems.

*Needlework Guild of America’s Warm Coats for Children and Adolescents program in Warminster will use the grant to help purchase 156 winter coats from Operation Warm, ranging in size from a child’s size 5 to an adult small/medium.

*Ridge Crest in Sellersville will use the funding to provide music therapy to 32 young adults and children with intellectual developmental delays and complex medical needs. *Camp Discovery in New Hope will use the grant to serve 20 female campers and 20 male campers. The camp provides compassion, caring, and companionship to children from single parent homes, foster care, and those who are working with an agency to rehabilitate their family relationships.

In addition to the grant awards, the Morris M. Davis Award and $1,500 scholarship is given annually to a student intern whose contributions to the community are an outstanding example.

The award was presented to Ellie Manca of Doylestown, a Biobehavioral Health Major in the Penn State Schreyer Honors College who worked at the Mercer Museum through Foundations Community Partnership’s Summer Youth Corps.

“Foundations is proud to offer community grants for the 20th year in a row through our Partnership in Youth Services Program and with the support of our sponsors,” said Bernstein.

“These grants help Bucks County nonprofits make a significant impact on the lives of young people and their families, and continue to enrich the community.”

PHOTO CAP: Hands Holding Hearts founder, Amy Keiper, at the awards luncheon.