Continuing their vital work

Grants totaling $150,000 awarded to area nonprofits to address impacts of COVID-19

Safe and sanitized: United Way of Bucks County received $8,000 to support its recently opened HELP Center in Bristol Borough. The funds will be used to purchase cleaning supplies in bulk to distribute to financially struggling families so they can keep their homes COVID-19 free. Source: United Way of Bucks County

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits across Bucks County have been vital in coming to the aid of locals, whether it’s helping a newly unemployed individual feed their family or providing necessities to high-risk senior citizens who cannot safely leave their homes.

In order to help these organizations continue this life-saving work, the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks announced $150,000 in grant awards to 22 nonprofits. Funds under the COVID-19 Emergency Nonprofit Relief Program, or ENRP, will be used to support services that are combating the negative effects of the coronavirus.

United Way of Bucks County received $8,000 to support its recently opened HELP Center in Bristol Borough.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Redevelopment Authority of Bucks County for this grant,” said Tim Philpot, director of Financial Stability & Health. “This will allow us to purchase cleaning supplies in bulk to distribute to financially struggling families so they can keep their homes COVID-19 free.”

“Right now, these products can be expensive and difficult to find,” added Marissa Christie, president and CEO.

The HELP Center is a collaboration among United Way of Bucks County, St. Mary Medical Center and Bucks County Opportunity Council, with support from Penn Community Bank, that provides food and other necessities to residents countywide. Items are distributed through food pantries, Fresh Connect free mobile farmers markets and existing distribution points.

Family Service Association of Bucks County also received a grant of $8,000, which will be utilized for a number of initiatives, including hardware acquisition for telehealth, and fulfillment of nursing services at the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter in Levittown.

“These grant funds were applied across Family Service programs and services,” said CEO Dina Della Ducata. “Our clients in the affected areas have even more complex and multidisciplinary needs amplified due to COVID-19. We are most appreciative of the financial support that enables us to continue our mission and serve the most vulnerable populations in Bucks County during these ever-changing times.”

Cheryl Campbell, executive director of Bristol’s The Christmas Gala, was surprised and thrilled to learn her nonprofit was awarded $5,000. The funds will be used to help elderly residents address various needs, such as minor bill support, transportation to doctor’s appointments, minor home repairs and other everyday needs.

“The board [of The Christmas Gala] just called a special meeting for the 19th to figure out how we can raise some money with no fundraising going on. This has taken the pressure off of us and gives us a little more time to make our fundraising efforts work,” Campbell said. “We will also be able to help a few others that we normally would have had to turn away. There’s not enough words to explain how much I appreciate this grant. I can speak for the entire board and myself that this grant has come at just the right time, and our hearts are filled to know that we can still keep doing our good work.”

The Southampton-based HealthLink Dental Clinic, which provides free dental care to low-income residents and veterans, received $5,000.

“HealthLink Dental Clinic is grateful for the support of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Bucks during these challenging times,” said Raquel Braemer, CFRE, executive director. “The awarded COVID-19 emergency grant will help fund the new supplies and equipment needed to serve our dental patients in the safest and most effective way possible, in light of the pandemic. The current situation has resulted in a myriad of expenses for which our charity had not budgeted. This grant will offset many of these costs, including new PPE to be donned at the free dental clinic for the protection of our patients, volunteers and staff. We look forward to opening our doors again soon and returning to our work giving smiles to low-income, working adults and veterans in our community.”

Additional grant recipients include: Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need ($8,000); Bristol Township Senior Citizens ($9,000); Bucks County Housing Group ($8,000); Bucks County Opportunity Council ($8,000); Destined for a Dream ($3,000); ERA of Lower Bucks County ($5,000); Joseph A. Schumacher VFW Post 1597 ($5,000); Livengrin Foundation ($9,000); Middletown Community Foundation ($8,000); Middletown Senior Citizens Association ($9,000); NAMI Bucks County ($7,000); The Monroe Foundation for Youth ($2,000); The Pennsbury Society ($7,000); The Salvation Army ($9,000); Vita Education Services ($7,000); Washington Crossing Council ($7,000); YMCA of Bucks County ($9,000); and YWCA of Bucks County ($4,000).

ENRP is a collaborative effort between the Redevelopment Authority and the County Commissioners, funded through gross terminal revenue generated from Parx Casino in Bensalem Township, and administered by the Redevelopment Authority under Pennsylvania Gaming legislation introduced by Sen. Tommy Tomlinson.

“The Redevelopment Authority will continue to look for ways to provide critical resources to the individuals, communities and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sean Schafer, Redevelopment Authority chairman. “We are committed to utilizing our proven track record of maximizing federal, state and local resources to support our communities, especially in the wake of harmful disruptions in these trying times, and will use every tool available to us to facilitate the short- and long-term recovery effort in Bucks County.”

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com