$11.9M in Grants Awarded by Community Foundation of Western Pa. & Eastern Ohio

SHARON, Pa. – The Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania & Eastern Ohio had a strong 2019, a year which saw the organization award grants totaling $11.9 million to charitable causes throughout the region. The foundation ended the year with $127 million in assets, says Kyle English, executive director.

Last year began with the foundation completing an impact assessment to help forge a deeper relationship with local charitable organizations, he says. The assessment helped ensure grant dollars supplied by donors would have a larger impact throughout the community.

“The responses to this assessment provided clarity surrounding the region’s most glaring social issues, such as addiction and the brain drain,” English says. “However, it also became evident that there are solutions to these problems.”

Support needs to be provided to programs that offer greater access for those trying to improve their lives and achieve careers that will yield a living wage, or assist in softening the fact that there is a shortage of affordable housing throughout the communities that are served by the foundation.

“In short, a particular emphasis should be placed on supporting programs that offer children and families the opportunity to establish attitudes of self-reliance and confidence,” he says.

A new Community Foundation program was created to support students in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, regardless of age, working to better their lives by studying for a career in the trades. Lifting Individuals for the Trades, or LIFT, was established to cover a portion of a student’s household expenses while they are in trade school, offering a better chance at starting and completing a program. 

The foundation also worked to build on programs that have a direct impact on the welfare of children, such as assisting teenage foster children by providing them with essentials such as deodorant, other toiletries and back-to-school clothing or ensuring there is sufficient winter clothing for those in need.

Last summer, the Community Foundation assisted residents of Kinsman after severe flooding. Community members made monetary donations that supported the provision of dumpsters and food baskets and paid for replacing damaged furnaces and air conditioners.

“As the foundation looks forward to 2020, it will be an honor to assist the newly formed Grove City Health Care Foundation with their mission to invest in the health care and wellness for the residents of Grove City,” English says. “This will be in addition to continuing as a regional leader that serves Trumbull, Mercer and Lawrence counties to ensure that anyone who would like to help others is able to do so.”

The Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio employs nine. Since it was founded, it has awarded grants totaling more than $50 million through its six affiliate foundations.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.