Multiple Diocese of Scranton organizations received grants for important programs thanks to the generosity of several local and national charitable foundations. Among the most recent awards were:
- The Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, supported Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton with a $20,000 grant for a project titled “Reviving a Core Model for Self-Sufficiency: A Return To Evidence-Based Relief Assistance.”
The grant is helping Catholic Social Services provide relief assistance in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in a manner that has measurable impact on recipients’ lives. Clients who receive relief assistance, for example, are tracked in their progress toward achieving individualized goals, such as maintaining stable housing, obtaining or retaining employment or repairing family finances through better credit management.
Relief assistance, especially via case management, has always been a hallmark of Catholic Social Services’ work.
AllOne Charities supported Holy Cross High School with a $22,000 grant to form a pilot partnership with the NEPA Center for Independent Living to ensure that special-needs students get the best hands-on educational experience possible.
“AllOne Charities is pleased to serve as a partner in the innovative and collaborative work between Holy Cross High School and the NEPA Center for Independent Living,” John Cosgrove, executive director of AllOne Foundation & Charities, said. “There is so much more we can achieve together in improving the access to quality programming for our friends and neighbors with special needs.”
Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Education Jason Morrison recognized AllOne Charities’ commitment for enhancing access to special-needs programs for Catholic school students.
“We are grateful to AllOne Charities for the generous support of our students with exceptionalities,” he said. “This gift achieves our goal of ensuring that all students achieve their God-given potential and are prepared for life beyond the classroom.”
- AllOne Charities also supported the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center’s Respite Care Program, which offers a much-needed break to caregivers for children ages 5-13 who are actively receiving mental-health services.
The program, run in partnership with Luzerne County Mental Health & Developmental Services and its System of Care, has seen greatly increasing client numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It serves newfound caregivers and the children for whom they are responsible. These caregivers lack child-care resources or natural supports to help them in their new roles.
“Wilkes-Barre CYC is on the front lines of providing excellent, compassionate and quality care for those with special needs and for those who care for them,” Cosgrove said. “AllOne Charities is pleased to support their invaluable work.”
- The Margaret Briggs Foundation supported Catholic Social Services’ Food Pantry in Carbondale with a $10,000 grant to continue providing food amid rapidly increasing demand during the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Carbondale pantry saw a record 1,154 households served, representing a 106 percent month-over-month increase and an unprecedented turn of events that has continued late into fall.
- The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., also supported Catholic Social Services’ Carbondale Food Pantry with a $15,000 grant. This was the first grant Catholic Social Services has received from the Pulte Foundation.
- The Luzerne Foundation, in conjunction with the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, awarded $5,870 to the Catholic Youth Center to take the initial steps toward creating a new meal kit and recipe program for Wyoming Valley families living in poverty. The program is on track to launch early in 2021.
- The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation also awarded a $25,000 discretionary grant to support Catholic Social Services’ COVID relief efforts.
- The Luzerne County COVID relief grant program, made possible by the CARES Act, awarded the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center $11,845 and Catholic Social Services $8,730 to support COVID relief efforts.
- Finally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools’ Targeted Grants Program awarded a total of $471,671 to Diocesan Catholic elementary and secondary schools to upgrade security systems.
“The Diocese of Scranton is incredibly appreciative of the work all of these supporters do locally, in our country and in our world,” Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary of Development, said. “Their grantmaking makes a notable impact on all who are served by our various nonprofit entities, and we thank them for their partnership, especially during these turbulent times.”