The Middle Bucks Institute of Technology’s Philanthropy Today Club is the proud recipient of the Norman Raab Foundation Grant and the Heenan Grant. This is the sixth year that they have been honored with this opportunity and grant renewal. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Raab and Mrs. Bernadette Heenan will attend a virtual meeting on June 12th, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. to assist the students in awarding these local community organizations with $17,000 in grants. The Raab Foundation Grant is awarding $10K, and the Heenan Grant is awarding $7K based on the work and research done by Philanthropy Today students at MBIT. Our Philanthropy Today students divided into groups to research various organizations and now present their findings, final report and will award the grants to the selected organizations.
The purpose of the Philanthropy Today Club at MBIT is to teach students about philanthropy, how to give responsibly through grant allocation and learn how to identify our community needs. The students develop a mission statement, learn about, visit and determine which local non-profits align with their mission. They then provide grants to the selected non-profit organizations that make a difference in the community. MBIT Philanthropy Today Club’s mission is to focus on improving the mental health of today’s youth in Bucks County, to increase awareness and prevention of suicide and to prevent future child neglect and advocate for the neglected children of Bucks County. After all organizations were met with virtually and were part of a rigorous interviewing process, the students have decided that seven in particular stood out to them.
The Grant recipients include:
- Christ’s Home (Heenan Grant) — $ 5,000
The students decided to fund Christ’s Home and to direct the funds for fun family outings for the house parents and children. They are one of the only group homes left in Bucks County that accepts children from infancy through late teenage years and will even allow them to stay while in post-secondary school. They are well established and well-funded but, due to changes in federal and state guidelines they have less money for the group home aspect. The Childcare students in our group appreciated the behavioral support and positive discipline model used. The group also liked that although all house families attend church each week, the denomination is at the discretion of each house parent and they do not require a specific church.
- Family Services of Bucks County (Raab Grant) — $2,500
Our group of students were so impressed with everything that Maria Picciotti shared and felt that the work they do really matched our mission statement. We were impressed by the number of people receiving services and the suicide hotline. We wish we had known more about the programs and that all of the students in Bucks County schools should be made more aware of them so they know who to reach out to. That is why we chose to fund them in the direction stated above.
- Bucks for Kids (Heenan Grant) — $1,000
Our group went back and forth when we were deciding whether or not to fund Bucks for Kids. After much discussion the group came around to agree to fund them because of our mission statement. Bucks for Kids give children experiences that they may never have had before. Most kids around here have a lot of opportunity and by providing the extra experiences these formerly neglected children gain confidence and heal. These children are not at fault for the situation they are in. The extras that many foster care providers can’t afford are really valuable in nurturing a neglected child.
- Lenape Valley Foundation (Raab Grant) — $2,000
The students selected Lenape Valley because it services Bucks County almost exclusively. They also provide our area crisis support for mental health. They are organized and well-funded by reputable sources yet still have needs to further support our community youth. We would like the money to be spent to assist in providing mental health services to youth as they see fit.
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) (Raab Grant) — $2,500
The students selected NAMI because the presentation and organization matched our mission statement exactly. Both presenters were passionate and worked tirelessly for so little money and they have a shortfall this year of funding and higher need than ever to provide services to our community.
- Fiaria Project – (Heenan Grant) — $ 1,000
The students felt that because they are 100% volunteer based and filling a desperate need in our community we needed to support them. We feel as though they really could use significant additional funding to take their organization to the next level. The passion, commitment and fervor with which they made things happen made the whole group admire the organization and Alexis Simek.
- NOVA (Network of Victim Assistance in Bucks County) — (Raab Grant) — $3,000
($1,500 awarded to Children’s Advocacy Center and $1,500 awarded to NOVA)
The students discussed and decided to split the funding between two aspects or areas under the NOVA umbrella. The BCAC and Mental health counseling. We felt that both areas were deserving and needed funding. Although we had not first realized the connection between NOVA and the CAC Angela McGettigan did a great job of explaining the two. We also had an opportunity to meet with Jane Kim and felt due to the current COVID 19 digital needs for forensic interviewing we should divide the funds. We feel that this type of interviewing goes a long way to help with children’s mental health and recovery.
The proud members of Philanthropy Today will be presenting the grant recipients with a check for their charitable organizations. The foundations that provide grant money, The Norman Raab Foundation and the Bernadette Heenan Grant, provide grants to non-profit organizations that pertain to education, health, research services, and human services. Advising our Philanthropy Today club at MBIT is Mrs. Pamela Swoyer, a work-based education teacher, who gives support to the students, grantors and organizations to make these grants possible and Dr. Thomas Gregor the other work-based education teacher assists with the club.