Foundation grants will fill some vital community needs

The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania recently awarded nearly $3 million in grants to community organizations.

The allocations came at the end of a highly competitive process that included $6.4 million worth of requests from 32 different organizations.

We are certain there were important requests that did not get filled. That’s what happens in a region where there are so many worthy organizations that are facilitating so many worthwhile programs that benefit all corners of the area.

Of the grants approved, two stood out to us.

River Valley Health and Dental Center received the largest grant, $400,000, to set up a mobile care unit that will provide dental and medical care to the region. The unit will annually serve about 3,000 individuals, mostly children, who will get services regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

The unit will, importantly, visit schools.

We believe this will serve a vital need, keeping those who have difficulty accessing and paying for dental and medical care from falling through the cracks.

The foundation also approved $175,000 in funding to a new program, “Girl Scouts Beyond Bars,” being instituted by the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

The program is designed to supply essential tools needed for girls to build and foster strong relationships with an incarcerated mother and participate in traditional Girl Scout programming. It provides behavioral and community skills training for the mothers.

As part of the program, the Girl Scouts plan to work with mothers at the State Correctional Institute at Muncy.

This program seems like something that attacks the problem of young girls struggling due to the incarceration of their mothers. The support makes sense.

A number of other grants were approved.

All of them are possible only because our community is blessed to have a community foundation with the financial might to answer important community needs.

In our view, the more of those funds that can go to programs that fill in possible cracks in the community’s human welfare system, the better.

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