The Crawford Heritage Community Foundation recently distributed discretionary grants totaling $21,026 from six permanent endowments. The foundation awards discretionary grants twice each year. Nineteen local organizations received grants for their projects. They prioritize giving to improve upon the effectiveness of existing programs and support projects that incorporate preventive or curative approaches to the problems and challenges of our community.

Grants from their Unrestricted Fund and Ben Franklin Trust support projects in all parts of Crawford County. Programs for children and youth receive support from the Bernadene R. and John B. Cooley Fund. Titusville-area projects are financed from the Titusville Fund and Fred Lintner Fund. Faith-based and religious programs in the Titusville-area receive funding from the Albert L. Carlson Fund.

“Generous gifts from our friends and neighbors make these awards possible. Many people give each year so we can grant more money in the future. We hope others will give to help us do even more in the years to come. The generosity of the community is exceptional,” says Christian Maher, Executive Director.

The next cycle of grant funding will be in the summer. Organizations requesting funding should complete the foundation’s online form and submit it before June 15.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by Allegheny College, helps low-to- moderate income people prepare their tax returns to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax
Credit. Research shows that the Earned Income Tax Credit reduces poverty and provides a short-term safety net for its recipients. Program supplies will be purchased with $1,000.

Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System, Inc. (ACES) received $825 to implement the Pennsylvania Business Week program at high schools in PENNCREST School District. The program educates students about the benefits of the free enterprise system.

Benson Memorial Library received $1,076 to purchase iPad tablets allowing them to reach more young people at their youth learning table.

Cambridge Springs Public Library was given $1,430 to purchase a patron-friendly carrel workstation.

Center for Family Services will use $1,455 to send a staff member to HUD certification training in Washington, DC, thereby enhancing their housing counseling program.

The City of Meadville will broaden recreational opportunities in Bicentennial Park by building a kayak rack with $521 for project materials.

Community Services of Venango County received $825 to implement the Cooking Counts program in Titusville. They will teach low-income families to prepare healthy and affordable meals using nutritious ingredients.

Crawford County Coalition on Housing Needs, Inc. received $2,500 to defray renovation costs at their Emergency Shelter for homeless families.

Creating Landscapes Learning Center received $595 to erect signs at community gardens throughout Meadville in an effort to educate people about healthy, locally-grown food.

French Creek Council of Governments received $750 to help implement a vehicle tire recycling event in an effort to clean up streams and properties.

The French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society will use a $1,000 grant to assist in moving a railroad snow plow to Meadville and putting it on display with their Erie Locomotive #518 and Erie-Lackawanna Railroad caboose.

Friends of Drake Well, Inc. received $1,500 to defray printing costs for the Oilfield Journal. The publication features articles and original scholarship pertaining to the history of the oil industry.

Firefighter safety will be improved by the Hydetown Volunteer Fire Department with the purchase of emergency radios with $1,000.

Meadville Council on the Arts (MCA), in partnership with Meadville Neighborhood Center (MNC) received $633 to purchase supplies for arts classes for low-income children. Children who learn art are more likely improve their academic performance in other areas.

Titusville Area Ministerium was given $2,670 to support a chaplaincy program at Titusville Area Hospital.

Titusville Council on the Arts received $1,000 to support its youth theater, where students build leadership, confidence and self-esteem skills, proven to lead towards better academic performance.

Wayne Township received $300 to help implement an electronics recycling day in an effort to provide residents an opportunity to properly dispose of dangerous waste.

Women’s Services, Inc. supports victims of domestic and sexual violence through counseling and emergency shelter, among other services. They received $946 to purchase a classroom response system which will be used in abuse prevention education programming in local schools.

The Young Women’s Christian Association of Titusville will use $1,000 to purchase an inflatable bounce house for the use of children at the organization’s events.

The Crawford Heritage Community Foundation is dedicated to making Crawford County a better place to live, learn, work and raise a family. The Foundation helps people make the most of their philanthropy by giving to endowed funds. Grant awards are made from these funds to support the causes donors care about as well as worthwhile programs selected by the Foundation. The Foundation manages more than 100 funds, which benefit more than 100 different organizations, scholarships and charitable purposes. More than $6 million has been awarded since the organization was established in 1998. For more information about making a gift or seeking grant support for a project, write the Crawford Heritage Community Foundation, PO Box 933, Meadville, PA 16335, phone (814) 336-5206 or visit them on-line at www.crawfordheritage.org.