Making a Difference
2016 · 2015 · 2014 · 2013 · 2012 · 2011 · 2010 · 2009 · 2008 · 2007 · 2006 · 2005

Seeing Each Child as a Child, Not a Diagnosis

The Academia is a one-room schoolhouse located in Williamsport, PA, for special needs students in grades K-12. It was started by two parents who felt that the public school system was not the right place for their son. They incorporated an excellent online cyber-school curriculum along with the guidance of teachers with a combined 50 years of experience. They believe in learning outside of the classroom, experiential forms of education, and strong parental involvement. Some children thrive in a smaller classroom situation and others do better working with a cyber-school format. The students consist of children on the autism spectrum as well as those with tourette syndrome, grand-mal seizures, oppositional defiant disorder, missing chromosomes, anxiety, dyslexia, and children who have been bullied in other schools. The children complete their cyber-school education during morning hours and the afternoons are devoted to special activities. The Legacy Foundation provided a grant, matched by one of our clients, to help purchase a van for transporting students for school trips, therapy appointments, and swim lessons. All parents are encouraged and welcome to volunteer anytime. Please visit their website for more information: www.the-academia.org.

A Place for America's Homeless Youth to Call Home

Covenant House of Philadelphia opened its doors in June of 1999 in response to the growing crisis of homelessness among our nation's children. It is now one of the most prominent and trusted child welfare organizations in the world providing support for homeless children under the age of 21. They have supported over 20,000 youths. The mission of Covenant House Pennsylvania is to serve youths in crisis with “absolute respect and unconditional love” and additionally “to protect and safeguard all children.” Any youth in need of help is admitted the first time, no questions asked, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are the only program in Philadelphia and the largest private child welfare agency in the Delaware Valley. They provide practical tools to end the chronic cycle of homelessness. They meet not only immediate needs such as shelter, food, and clothing, but also provide innovative solutions that address long-term concerns, including transitional housing, health care, educational programs, and vocational preparedness. The Legacy Foundation's grant was matched by a client and provided participants with SEPTA transportation so that they could get to work, medical appointments, etc. For more information on the support and services they provide, please visit www.covenanthouse.org.

Empowering Futures and Giving Our Youth a Sense of Purpose

The Garage Community & Youth Center is an after-school center whose mission is to empower youth to reach their potential. They partner with local schools, churches, businesses, other non-profits, and community members to provide free, academic tutoring, mentoring, relationship-building, a computer lab, community service opportunities, and recreation for middle and high school students in southern Chester County. Up until 2001, the youth center was a vacant car garage, but a local business leader and youth pastor envisioned it as a haven for young people. The Garage is open five afternoons/evenings a week, free of charge, to middle and high school students in the greater Kennett Square area and West Grove, serving hundreds of students daily. Their mission is achieved primarily through three core components of their after-school program: tutoring, mentoring, and community service. Many of the students come from economically disadvantaged families whose parents face numerous language and cultural challenges. Some come from single parent homes and substantially and economically distressed households. A number of high-risk youth, including those at risk of dropping out of school, those who have been in trouble with law enforcement, and those contemplating gang involvement, benefit from this after school program. Their involvement provides them with the support necessary to begin overcoming obstacles, achieve success in school and make positive life choices. With a matching grant provided by one of our clients, the Legacy Foundation's grant provided a Mac computer and several iPads which are used by students and staff for workshops/presentations. These additional much needed computers allow each student to work in a less crowded environment since computer time is always in high demand. For more information on the program, please visit The Garage Community and Youth Center's website at www.garageyouthcenter.org.

Advances in Research Can Make Dreams Come True

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a non-profit, donor supported organization formed in 1955, dedicated to supporting the development of new drugs to fight the disease and improving the quality of life for those with CF. The foundation is also a world leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. In 1955, the life expectancy for those with CF was only 5 years of age, and today with the advances made possible by the CF Foundation, life expectancy stands at 37 plus years of age. A fundraising event called “We Will Rock CF” has been held every year since 2007 in honor of a local CF patient. It just so happens that this local patient is the son of an associate who works at one of our client's company, making it a very memorable collaboration. Participants in the event took part in playing video games, bidding on silent auction items, enjoying food and plenty of fun! The Legacy Foundation partnered with one of our clients and together made a significant contribution to the event. The grant was earmarked 100% towards research, new drug development, and finding a cure for CF. To find out more information on the significant, ongoing work by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please visit their website at www.cff.org and look for your local chapter.

To Recognize and Celebrate our Heroes and She-roes!

The Lourdes Health System established a dedicated Military Behavioral Health Unit for Women at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County (LMCBC). The goal is to improve access to care for women and provide treatment primarily for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as drug and alcohol abuse, depression and other behavioral health issues. It is estimated that as many as 20% of military personnel deployed in the past 10 years are affected by PTSD, which is a psychological detour causing prolonged symptoms which impair daily life. The challenges for service women facing PTSD are significant, as they now represent an increasing percentage of our troops located in fields of combat and they must seek treatment in a military health system originally designed for men. Patients benefit from a combination of mainstream medicine, alternative therapies, and spirituality to enhance a healthy lifestyle. This is the first step in the development of a comprehensive military behavioral health service. The long term plans include a partial-day program, a fitness center, and holistic treatment. The Legacy Foundation grant, supported by a match from one of our clients, provided funding for the Media Center of the new Lourdes Military Behavioral Health Unit for Women. This included 10 iPads with smart cases and 10 iPods with disposable ear buds, which will enable visual conferencing with family members and also provide access to email and a music library. The need for these services is significant and Lourdes is well positioned to service this need now and in the future. For more information, please visit www.lourdesnet.org/foundation.