A Note From Daylin
All day we’ve been posting on social media about many awesome nonprofits and organizations in the 17th district. That’s because today is #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day for giving. We’re fortunate to have so many amazing groups and organizations in our community. In this time of self-isolation, feelings of loneliness and hopelessness are not uncommon. One terrific way to combat that is by helping others. There are many ways that you can help, whether it’s time, money or simply by helping us recognize & spread the word about these terrific organizations and individuals who help make our community a better place.
Food Pantries in the 17th
Food pantries across our community are seeing a very steep increase in the number of community members seeking assistance. To meet this increased need, the pantries are in need for food items or monetary donations that will keep their shelves stocked and the community fed. That is why it’s important now more than ever that we continue to support their work. Please consider making a #GivingTuesdayNow contribution to your local food pantry. Here’s a short list of some of the ones in the community:
All Saints Lutheran Church Soup Kitchen:
Ada Mutch Community Community Resource Center
Ardmore Food Pantry in Ardmore
Calvary Baptist Soup Kitchen in Norristown:
Hope United Methodist Church in Havertown:
Martha’s Choice Marketplace/Catholic Social Services in Norristown
Colonial Neighborhood Council in Conshohocken
Iglesia De Dios Renacer Pantry in Plymouth Meeting
Mitzvah Food Pantry/JFCS – Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center in Bala Cynwyd
Narberth Community Food Bank in Narberth
Neighborhood Meals on Wheels in King of Prussia
Norristown Salvation Army Choice Pantry in Norristown
Upper Merion Community Food Cupboard in King of Prussia
Temple Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Havertown
Wayne United Methodist Church in Wayne
ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth
ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth assists at-risk elderly and disabled adults with low to moderate incomes who reside in Lower Merion or Narberth. ElderNet helps older neighbors remain independent and provides a variety of free, practical services so they have access to healthcare, food security, and an improved quality of life. They also provide information to individuals who need assistance with housing, nursing care, or other necessities.
ElderNet has a one of a kind Volunteer Program which is all about neighbors helping neighbors. Generous volunteers provide rides to doctors' appointments and grocery stores, or help with odd jobs, errands and yard work. When funds are available, ElderNet can assist those who need money for fuel, rent, food, and other one-time financial emergencies through grants and locally raised funds.
ElderNet is an invaluable community resource that answers questions, helps individuals assess immediate needs, and finds resources to meet those needs. For more information, visit www.eldernetonline.org or call 610-525-0706.
Delco Suicide Awareness & Task Force
The mission of the Delaware County Suicide Prevention & Awareness Task Force is to reduce the loss and suffering caused by suicide and suicidal behavior by implementing and promoting prevention, intervention, and post-intervention programs as well as providing information, support and education about efforts to lessen the incidence of suicide and the stigma associated with suicide.
The Task Force’s purpose is to promote understanding that suicide is a preventable community health problem in our county. Through collaboration and coalition-building, DCSPATF has partnered with local businesses, healthcare and mental health providers, government agencies and community members to hold annual events, trainings, workshops and create an impressive, informative website to open lines of communication and share educational resources.
DCSPATF offers a wealth of resources at http://delcosuicideprevention.org/ including Suicide Warning Signs, Suicide Prevention Toolkits, Guides for Suicide Loss, and a list of support groups and lifelines. Additionally, the Warm Line is available at 855-464-9342 when what you need is somebody to listen. It is a service that offers an empathetic ear, support and advice when you are feeling lonely, looking to help a loved one, or simply having a tough time managing one of life’s many obstacles.
Pals For Life
Pals For Life is a non-profit organization based in Wayne, PA that is dedicated to providing companion animal programs to people who need them so much, such as the elderly, handicapped, and persons who just need love, friendship and a furry hug.
Pals For Life has been providing pet visitation and humane education programs throughout the Delaware Valley since 1985. Its mission is to have pets and people help each other to live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives.
During Pet Visits, Pals For Life brings cuddly pets to the residents of nursing homes, memory-care facilities, mental-health centers, hospitals, group homes, and disability day programs. Their animals have comforted teenagers dealing with eating disorders, children dealing with difficult family situations and isolated individuals struggling with loneliness. Hugging a dog provides comfort like little else can.
To learn more about Pals For Life, visit their website at palsforlife.org.
Take a Breather Foundation
The Take a Breather Foundation was founded in 2012 as a non-profit organization, being an outgrowth of the annual Narberth CF Run. Their goal is to provide a respite, in the form of a wish, to those battling CF and to give young children and adults the opportunity to “take a breather” from CF by focusing on creating magical memories that will stay with them for a lifetime. The hope is that these memories will strengthen their hearts and minds as they battle the psychological, emotional and financial turmoil that accompanies life with CF.
For more information, the Take a Breather Foundation can be reached through their website at www.TakeABreatherFromCF.org or call 610-664-1826.
Molly McBrayn (second from left) of Take A Breather presenting wish recipient Caley Gowen (middle) with her CF team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with her wish trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Matt (left) giving a speech at last year’s “Take a Breather Gala” with Dr. Hadjiliadas, Director of the CF Center, Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Area Community Cupboard
It’s been just over one year since the Upper Merion Area Community Cupboard (UMACC) opened its doors to address food insufficiency needs of local families and individuals. What started as a conversation transformed into a community-wide collaboration with a unified goal of strengthening the most vulnerable neighbors through food supplementation and nurturing a stronger, more compassionate community.
UMACC has served hundreds of families. Throughout the year, 100-plus community members have volunteered to help UMACC sort, stock, inventory, bake, host and deliver food to patrons who are homebound or face travel limitations.
Follow UMACC on Facebook to receive updates on needed supplies.
Finding Shelter Animal Rescue is an all-volunteer animal rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals. Their goal is to raise public awareness to the plight of animals and the beauty of adopting a homeless animal in need of forever loving care. The animals that Finding Shelter rescues come from shelters that frequently euthanize for space. They also accept and place companion animals who are unwanted, neglected and released from puppy mills and need a second chance at a full and happy life.
My office has worked with Finding Shelter on more than one occasion, so we are well aware of how amazing they are. However, our admiration for their organization recently soared to a whole new level when they contacted our office to let us know that their volunteers had been tirelessly working to sew masks for those in need. Volunteers Ben and Liz Campanella and Kate Whiteslaw dedicated all their free time to making this essential gear, and I was more than happy to help get the masks to workers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and local nursing homes.
The people at Finding Shelter are the best in the business and we are proud to be able to work with them! If you are in a position to help, please consider sending them the gift of food, supplies or toys to keep them busy. Thank you!
Elmwood Park Zoo
The mission of the Elmwood Park Zoo is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation.
Elmwood Park Zoo was established in 1924 when a local farmer transferred 16 acres and a small menagerie to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the zoo is owned and operated by the Norristown Zoological Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment. Under the Society’s careful management, Elmwood Park Zoo has attained the elite status as one of only 230 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Elmwood Park Zoo currently maintains a collection of over 100 species that hail from all over the globe. Highlights of the collection include giraffes, zebras, bald and golden eagles, jaguars, and red pandas. A number of species in the collection are managed pursuant to an international SSP (Species Survival Plan) These programs aim to maintain and increase the size of animal populations that are under the largest threat of extinction. Other species in the collection represent significant wildlife conservation success stories, such as the American bison, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and American alligator. About two-thirds of the animal collection is on exhibit; many others are maintained separately for use in education programs.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is fundraising during #GivingTuesdayNow for their COVID-19 emergency fund, that helps childhood cancer families with grocery assistance, as well as lodging and travel support for those receiving treatment. These families need every bit of help you can provide!
Follow them on Facebook to learn about the families who are affected by this pandemic and, more importantly, what you can do to help them.
Peter’s Place was founded in 2001 in memory of Peter Morsbach. After Peter’s sudden death at the age of 10, his family and friends became aware that there were few support options for grieving families, especially for those who could not afford it. Friends of the Morsbach family created Peter’s Place, the first family grief support agency of its kind to serve our area. Since their opening in 2001, Peter’s Place has provided support to nearly 10,000 grieving children and adult caregivers in the five-county area. Peter’s Place remains the only center of its kind in Delaware County and neighboring Chester County.
The mission of Peter’s Place is to provide safe and supportive environments for grieving children and families and to act as a community resource to foster understanding of the effects of death and grief. Peter’s Place achieves this mission by providing onsite peer support groups to children and caregivers, school-based peer support groups, and postvention services when a school community suffers the loss of a student or teacher. All of their services are provided free of charge.
To learn more about Peter’s Place, sign-up for their e-newsletter, or donate to the organization, visit www.PetersPlaceOnline.org or call at 610-687-5150.
Lower Merion Conservancy
Today, the mission of The Lower Merion Conservancy includes protecting and enhancing our community’s character and quality of life, recognizing that the sustainable management of our environmental and historic resources is inextricably intertwined with both conservation and change. The Conservancy advocates for policies, programs, and projects that support its vision for the community and builds an informed constituency that can actively support this vision. In a nutshell, The Lower Merion Conservancy protects the natural and historical traits that set our community apart and makes Lower Merion one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania.
The Conservancy’s dedication and hard work are demonstrated through projects they take on, such as the Historic Perseveration Watchlist that they publish annually. The Watchlist identifies vulnerable historic properties in need of preservation. In many parts of the township and borough, preservation is now regarded as a practical strategy for revitalizing moribund main streets, safeguarding traditional neighborhoods from over development or incompatible new construction, and protecting affordable housing. Since its initial publication twenty years ago, the WatchList has identified more than 75 vulnerable historic properties in need of attention. Many of these properties have been saved through public and private initiatives. To view the 2019 Watchlist, click here.
For Pete’s Sake
For Pete’s Sake enables cancer patients and their loved ones to strengthen, deepen and unify their relationships by creating unforgettable and lasting respite vacations.
2019 has been a particularly big year for the organization. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary in September and thus far have helped 190 families take a break from cancer--more than any year prior.
Marci and her team believe that travel is transformative, and their main goal is to tackle the emotional and psychological impacts of cancer on the patient and their family. FPS works with oncology professionals at cancer centers to nominate patients between the ages of 24-55 for a respite vacation. FPS schedules and covers the family with a cash stipend, journals, and inspirational materials so they can have a transformative vacation.
A typical vacation includes:
- Up to a week’s accommodation for the patient and family. FPS covers most of the expenses for the vacation and work with families to ensure the timing is good for the patient and family to take the vacation.
- A Take a Beak Bag- which includes a cash stipend, writing journals, toiletries, and inspirational books to keep their spirits high.
- A Take a Break Bag for children- which includes snacks, games, and encouraging notes from other children.
- A photo Keepsake that captures all the best moments of the vacation.
- Continued emotional support after the vacation and referrals to other non-profits.
After the vacation FPS continues to provide support and work with families to create mini breaks for them while offering support through their journey. FPS has provided over 1,500 vacations for cancer patients and their families. A total of 6,800 people have traveled with FPS.
Norristown Literacy Council
Are you an adult with any of the following goals? - Getting a job, passing the GED, becoming a citizen, or entering a college or training program. If so, contact The Literary Council of Norristown to see if they can help you reach your goals through better literacy skills. Since 1984, the Literary Council of Norristown has been offering a variety of literacy programs designed to help the widest possible range of people. Contact them today and make an appointment with one of their tutors. You can visit their website at www.lcnlit.org or call 610-292-8515 for more information.
ACLAMO Family Centers, a charitable, non-profit organization based in Norristown, provides educational programs, social services and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members to empower them to fully achieve their life potential. Accion Comunal Lationamericana de Montgomery County works within the community with a vision of helping every family, every child and every adult reach their full potential, independence and happiness. ACLAMO is derived from the Spanish verb "aclamar," which means "to proclaim, to shout forth." They want their community to know that they, too, can achieve the American Dream of success.
Child Guidance Resource Centers
Based in District 17’s Havertown neighborhood, Child Guidance Resource Centers is a private, non-profit community behavioral healthcare organization. They are dedicated to providing quality care and educational services that assess, treat, and empower children, adolescents, and families with behavioral challenges, developmental disabilities, or residential needs in the Delaware Valley. With 63 years of service, Child Guidance is committed to creating and sustaining healthy, secure communities through highly qualified clinical services. Their work advocates for, and maintains the health and well-being of the clients they serve. Vital to this commitment is an outstanding clinical and support staff that provides services of unparalleled value.
Lean more about their work (and consider a #GivingTuesdayNow Contribution) at https://cgrc.org/
Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue
When a person is lost or endangered, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Fortunately, there is a dedicated search and rescue group - Greater Philadelphia Search And Rescue (GPSAR) - who can help. Led by specially trained command officers, GPSAR has a volunteer contingent of over 30 members who search for missing persons when the need arises throughout the tri-state area.
Learn more about this nonprofit organization based out or Norristown and consider contributing to their efforts on #GivingTuesdayNow.
Maternity Care Coalition
Since 1980, the Maternity Care Coalition has worked to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women and parenting families, and to enhance school readiness for children 0-3. They have assisted more than 100,000 families throughout Southeastern, PA. For 20 years, MCC donors have used Mother’s Day – and the springtime more broadly – to celebrate thousands of inspirational women by making a donation in their honor or in their memory.
This year, as communities everywhere practice social distancing, they're using this campaign to not only support their programs but to spread love and joy to anyone and everyone who could use a little extra. And, they’ve asked “Little Artists” to help make the art for this year’s campaign which you can read more about here.
During the COVID-19 crisis the library buildings and bookmobiles are closed, but the library is still there for you. You can apply for a library card online, and access all their online resources including e books and magazines, thousands of movies, music albums, and audio books, plus story times and book clubs. There are also online tutorials, practice tests, job search and workplace skills improvement, plus skill building in reading, writing, math, and basic science, career certification and licensure exam prep, college and grad school entrance test prep.
If you can, please also consider making a charitable contribution to your local library! Your donation is needed, and will be deeply appreciated, now more than ever.