United Way Berks awards LIVE UNITED grants to six local nonprofits

United Way LIVE UNITED Grants provide support to local grassroots and community-based organizations for creative projects that bring people together and improve the quality of life for Berks Countians. These grants are in addition to the annual funding provided to programs delivered through United Way’s 33 agency partners.

These grants are one-time grants of up to $5,000 provided to local nonprofits with a yearly budget below $250,000. The 2021 grant recipients represent six organizations located across the county and total $27,500.

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“We are excited to assist local nonprofits with LIVE UNITED grants to support innovative programming and community engagement. We are thankful for United Way donors who make all of this possible. The grants support programs helping people right here in our own community,” says Tammy White, President, United Way of Berks County.

Grant recipients include:

A $5,000 grant to Berks Business Education Coalition to Students Interacting with Business Internship Program that will help expand an internship component in the senior year curriculum at Antietam and Muhlenberg School Districts. Participating students investigate potential career interest and gain valuable employment skills.

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A $5,000 grant was awarded to Girls on the Run of Berks County to support financial assistance to girls in grades 3-5 attending the organization’s 2022 Summer Camp. The program focuses on leadership, empowerment and social-emotional well-being through physical activity.

Mentors for Berks Youth received a $5,000 grant to launch a College Bound Mentoring program. The program aims to expand the horizons and potential of low-income, first generation students through a college-advising program in the Reading and Muhlenberg High Schools. Students and parents will work with a College Coach and mentor/alumni who is an employed college graduate from a similar background.

A $2,500 grant to Schwarzwald UCC Preschool in Exeter Township will help replace 40-year old playground equipment used by children, ages two to five. Outside social play has become even more important due to the impact of COVID.

The Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge received a $5,000 grant to launch its Firekeepers Youth Program. The organization promotes the Native American culture, as census results show Native Americans as a growing population. Berks County is home to over 8,000 American Indians/Alaska Natives/Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders. The Firekeepers Youth Program is designed to reinforce Native teachings and will include special programs and social and cultural activities.

Wood-to-Wonderful’s 2021-22 “Reading is Toyrific” Program received a $5,000 grant to support literacy outreach with 13th & Union Elementary School and will provide books and story-related wooden toys to elementary students. The program works with adults having disabilities to make the toys.

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