Giving Circle Members Grant $23,000 to Local Nonprofits in 2023
State College, PA – Oct. 20, 2023 – At their annual reception on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Axemann Brewery, members of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle awarded $23,000 to three local nonprofits: Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County, and Housing Transitions.
These organizations were invited to pitch their projects at the reception for a chance to receive a grant from the Giving Circle, which is created by pooling members’ resources to create a more significant impact.
Following three heartfelt pitches, members cast their votes and Housing Transitions was awarded the top grant of $11,000.
Housing Transitions provides a wide array of housing programs and supportive services to those in need throughout Centre County. With the Giving Circle grant, Housing Transitions will renovate a well-worn family bathroom in its 100-year-old Centre House shelter.
“From our staff’s years of experience working with our clients, we’ve learned that a clean, hygienic place helps people get ready for work and school on a daily basis and makes them feel better,” said Amy Werner, Development and Community Relations Coordinator. The renovations will provide a well-kept and orderly space for residents to keep their belongings and practice good hygiene habits.
“The new vanity will provide storage for all family members, so they do not need to cart their belongings from their bedroom to the bathroom. They’ll be able to put their stuff in the drawers and the cabinets,” added Amy, allowing residents to feel more comfortable during their stay.
In addition to the first prize grant, the runners-up each received a $4,000 grant.
Centre County Youth Service Bureau exists to help ensure children, youth, and families have every opportunity to reach their full potential.
CEO Christine Bishop and Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Director Rebecca Lord shared stories from its Big Brothers Big Sisters program, the impact it has on many youth in the community, and the needs it is currently facing.
“We currently have 34 Littles (children) waiting for a Big (mentor) right now and their wait is anywhere from one to 1,400 days, which is about four years,” said Rebecca. “We want to be able to pair them with a caring, positive adult who can look out for them and look out for their future. We know our program can be what changes the trajectory of some of their lives.”
The Giving Circle grant will support a targeted volunteer mentor recruitment campaign, focused particularly on finding Bigs for Littles living in rural parts of Centre County.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County is one of 1,000 independent affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International. It builds, renovates, and repairs homes in partnership with qualified homeowners. Its 3D Home Build project involves constructing the first 3D concrete-printed home in Pennsylvania.
Stephanie Fost, Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity, and Bruce Kraselsky from XHAB-3D discussed the strategy behind this program and why they are working together to make it a reality.
“We are partnering with Habitat to demonstrate this concrete technology and create awareness so it can change the way the construction industry works,” said Bruce. “Our objective is both to do well and to do good. To empower with productivity tools for builders so they can go back into the market, make a profit, and build more houses. And to do good, since there are more houses are lower costs, more people can afford to live there.”
Giving Circle members can increase their impact at the VIP level. For an additional $250, VIP members receive an extra vote during the reception to award a bonus grant to any of the three finalist organizations.
The bonus grant was awarded to Housing Transitions, who received a total of $15,000 from the Giving Circle. Centre County Youth Service Bureau and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County each received $4,000.
Since the establishment of the Giving Circle in 2006, members have distributed $243,000 in grants, supporting nonprofit organizations throughout Centre County.
Previous recipients of the Giving Circle grant include Out of the Cold, Jana Marie Foundation, Center for Alternatives in Community Justice, Centre Safe, ACRES Project, Interfaith Human Services, Park Forest Preschool, and more.