The Ivins Outreach Center (IOC) is thrilled to celebrate a special anniversary of serving Lower Bucks County residents! It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since its doors opened in September 2003 as the (formerly) Ivins House Resource and Referral Center.
The founding members would be so proud to know their goal to assist and connect community members with the services and resources they need to thrive would lead this organization to grow into an essential community resource. The Ivins Outreach Center, a vital mission of the Morrisville Presbyterian Church, strives to improve the quality of life for people within our neighboring communities, providing opportunities for them to be healthy, confident, connected, and secure, regardless of age, income, or background.
The Ivins Outreach Center originated out of a generous bequest to the church that designated a portion of the monies be used for community outreach. This provided the funding for the Ivins House nonprofit, which was created to bridge the gap between established resources for assistance and community members who could benefit from them.
A very important aspect of the mission is to support the needs of community members regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or practice of faith. As a nonprofit, the center relies on grants as well as continued fundraising efforts and community support.
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant provides for the Faith in Action program which matches older adults with volunteer drivers who take them to medical and other necessary appointments. A Target Stores Grant supports a domestic violence prevention program in partnership with A Woman’s Place to help those who sought support through IOC.
Community fundraising includes a Silent Auction/Dinner, and Annual Golf Outing. A major partnership for the Ivins Outreach Center since 2004 is The Morrisville School District and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
The 21st Century Grant supports the addition of academically based afterschool activities and extended learning opportunities for district students. IOC was a community partner in this grant and was subsequently chosen to administer the program. Since then, this program has been extended to 14 schools (both public and parochial) serving thousands of students in Lower Bucks County.
The Ivins House continues to evolve and adapt to community needs. In 2009, the Board approved a name change to The Ivins Outreach Center, determining this better depicts who we are and what we do.
We purchased a shuttle bus to transport students to afterschool and summer enrichment activities; also utilized to transport senior community members to social functions (movies, shopping, restaurants, museums, etc.). We organize a Holiday Giving Tree each year providing toys and gift cards to youth, participate in the Driving Away the Cold through Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, and deliver hot meals to local students, families, older adults and homeless individuals.
Staying Put in Lower Bucks County, a new initiative and vital program of the IOC was launched in 2015.
An array of services is offered to senior community members who want to continue living on their own outside of assisted living communities. These services include transportation, grocery shopping, medical appointments, prescription delivery, and social gathering opportunities. They also receive weekly meals in the fall and spring, in partnership with Bucks County Technical High School Culinary Arts Academy.
Our most recent endeavor, begun in October 2022, is Home Share, a housing program which brings together a homeowner with a spare room and a person who is looking for a place to live. The provider and seeker each have a private bedroom, but both have full use of the rest of the provider’s home.
This is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging. We continue to make great strides toward our goal to create a community that is stronger, healthier, more involved, more generous, and more accepting of others, but there is still so much to do.
We hope to continue this great work for another 20 years and beyond! Our official 20th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Saturday, October 28th, at the Yardley Country Club.
We look forward to sharing more information about this event as it becomes available. The Ivins Outreach Center is located at 80 W Trenton Avenue, Morrisville.
Darletta Berry-Johnson was appointed as Executive Director to oversee the day-to-day operations when the organization was founded, and she still proudly holds the position today. To learn more about services and programs or inquire about specific needs, visit www.ivinsoutreach.org or call 215-428-0500.
PHOTO CAP: Kathy Foster (left) and Darletta Berry-Johnson