Community Foundation awards $37,300 in grants to Governor Mifflin area initiatives

Educational and recreational activities for youth and seniors are among the initiatives that recently received grants from Berks County Community Foundation’s annual Governor Mifflin Area Charitable Program.

The Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust of Berks County Community Foundation funds the program. Nine organizations will receive a total of $37,300 in grants:

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$5,000 to VOiCEup Berks for Governor Mifflin Voices, a program through the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading to engage seventh-graders at Governor Mifflin Middle School in high-quality service-learning opportunities, community projects, and leadership development activities.

$4,700 to Olivet Boys & Girls Club to operate a satellite site at Grace Lutheran Church where Governor Mifflin middle and high school students can participate in educational, recreational, and guidance programs led by a site director, assistant site director, and members of AmeriCorps.

$4,700 to the S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation to provide Governor Mifflin elementary students with supplemental STEM programming.

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$4,700 to the YMCA of Reading & Berks County for Y on the Fly, which will bring “the full Y experience into our neighborhoods and recreational spaces, providing access to physical activities, educational enrichment in STEAM and literacy, healthy snacks, games, and other organized activities designed to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit in local youths.” The program will include 16 stops in the Governor Mifflin area, including schools, pools, and playgrounds.

$4,700 to Helping Harvest Fresh Food Bank to support the Mohnton Mobile Market, which brings healthy fresh and frozen items to families in need. This need has increased during the pandemic.

$4,675 to Clay on Main to provide crafts activities to on-site and off-site participants of the Mifflin Encore Center.

$4,026 to Immanuel United Church of Christ to support its NEXT DOOR program, which offers students from Governor Mifflin Middle School a free after-school, mentor-supervised space with recreation equipment, refreshments, supplies, guest speakers, and teachers.

$3,000 to the Jewish Federation of Reading-Berks to bring “Violins of Hope” to community events in the Governor Mifflin area. “Violins of Hope” is a collection of instruments recovered from the Holocaust and restored to provide education about the negatives of antisemitism, racism, and other divisions in our local community, and to turn the focus to unity and understanding.

$799 to Skyline Community School Inc. for scholarships. Skyline Community School is a nature- and science-based enrichment program designed to reach students ages 4 to 13 who receive homeschool or hybrid education in Governor Mifflin and surrounding school districts.

These grants are in addition to annual distributions from the Hiller Charitable Trust totaling more than $20,000 that are made to the Borough of Shillington, Mifflin Community Library, and Albright College.

A bequest by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Russell L. Hiller established the Russell L. Hiller Charitable Trust in 2003 when the 60-year resident of Shillington passed away at the age of 97. He spent 26 years as a federal bankruptcy judge in Reading.

Throughout his years in Shillington, Hiller often walked to the borough park and relaxed on a bench overlooking Governor Mifflin schools. The pursuit of education was his lifelong passion.

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