Philanthropy Today Club at MBIT

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.