One thing that we have learned over the years is that little things often make the greatest difference. While the requests we receive are frequently for food, housing and utilities, we assist with far more than the obvious.
Mommy and Me
Our Mommy and Me program provides the basics for new mothers and their babies. What a thrill for some of our new moms to have their first piece of new clothing for a child, or to have a crib rather than an old playpen for the baby to sleep in. We hear time and again that the mere idea of somebody caring enough to help has given the confidence and hope necessary for the right start with a new baby.
Good Grades for Great Kids
Good Grades for Great Kids has done wonders with the self-esteem and responsibility of participants in our good grade incentive program. Once achieving the goals that they have set themselves, the student may select either a gift certificate to their store of choice, or merit credits. Merit credits accrue through the school year, and are redeemed as a check at the end of the school year. With college on so many minds, happily the majority of qualifiers do select the merit credits! The program has been extremely well received by students and their parents.
Summer Camp remains an important experience in any child’s life. We are proud to have been a part of the start of “Camp Curtis” at the Upper Main Line YMCA in 1993, and have lent ongoing support ever since. Camp Books ‘n Hoops (which originated at Villanova University, and is now at Neumann College) is a wonderful overnight camp for inner city youth from Philadelphia. We are happy to have been a long time supporter to their goal of providing the camping experience along with a strong mix of basketball, academic and spiritual guidance to their attendees.
Camp in every form has become a very common request during the summer months. We continue to provide this assistance allowing for as many children as possible to partake in this special experience and keep the memory of summer camp with them always.
Back to School Program
Back to School doesn't always conjure up the best thoughts when you're a kid; imagine starting the year without shoes that fit, or a coat, or other appropriate clothing and supplies. This is often the case with many of the families that we work with. A new outfit and a backpack can actually make the difference between attending and not attending school, let alone wanting to be there. Each summer we help many children put their best foot forward as they begin the school year with new clothing, shoes and school supplies.
These are just a few of the other ways we have found to make a difference in the lives of the children and families who need us most. Remembering another time in our own lives often lends compassion and understanding, be it by experience, or gratitude for inexperience. The ongoing care and concern from our supporters and volunteers is what continues to make a difference.
The Birthday Club
The Birthday Club is our newest and happiest program! Through selected gift certificates, we allow the birthday child’s parent to choose a cake, party supplies and a special gift to celebrate the big day. For many of these children, this is the first real party they have had. Not only does it make for a memorable birthday, but it means every bit as much to the parents. Make a wish!
*Coming again, SPRING 2017!
Mothers Workshops - Our “Thanks, Mom!” workshop was a huge success! Held in late Spring, we were anxious to see how the program would be received. We asked a handful of the agencies we work with to “invite” expectant, new and mothers with young children to a special day out. They identified the moms as those whom they thought would be most receptive, and at the same time could really use a break.Read More +
We offered free babysitting, a beautiful lunch, and a fun, relaxing day.
Other than the Pennsylvania State Trooper who spoke on car seat safety and laws, all other speakers were moms themselves. There was an RN who covered basic childcare and medical issues including the importance of immunizations and well checks. The gals loved her, and spent as much time talking and asking questions as they did listening to the presentation. Next was a mom who sat with the group and had a wonderful outline for finding time just for “mom”. As the conversation unfolded, there were many tears and much laughter as they traded worries, stories and hopes. Finally came some expert instruction in basic yoga and relaxation exercises… and many wide eyes!
As the moms were leaving with their children in tow, one sentiment echoed the others' comments perfectly: “Thank you so much for caring about us! It is so great to know I am not alone in this.”
Certainly a few hours cannot make everything ok, but taking the time to teach and listen is the first step in building a foundation that can.