This past summer, Brandywine Health Foundation’s Coatesville Area Youth Philanthropy Program (CAYPP) announced the nonprofits chosen to receive $15,000 in grant funding. The decision was reached by young philanthropists after a months-long process.
The grants were made possible in part by Citadel, which, in addition to providing significant funding for CAYPP, also hosted the big announcement (bank tellers served soft drinks through service windows).
Citadel’s commitment to philanthropy, CEO Jeff March said, began in 1937 when metal workers at the Luken’s Steel Mill banded together to create a hardship fund for down-on-their-luck employees.
Those iron workers stashed away coins and dollars in a tin box, so many, in fact, that soon they were able to establish their own credit union. That credit union ultimately became Citadel.
But for March, whom students call “inspirational”, philanthropy was a part of his childhood in a way one may not have expected from a CEO. After his father died, March’s mother and her 7 small children relied on Coatesville for emotional strength and financial support.
“The Coatesville community stepped up and said ‘you’re going to get through this’. They held us up. So, I’m proud today to help give back to that community,” March said.
Knowing the number of challenges Coatesville residents face each day made their task as grant makers particularly daunting, CAYPP (pronounced ‘cape’) members said. So they took a systematic approach. “We knew we couldn’t solve all the problems. So we did research, met with leaders and ultimately decided to address the safety of the greater Coatesville area through our grants,” said Maurissa Willet, a Coatesville Area Senior High student and CAYPP member.
And the grant recipients are:
- Tri-County Chapter of American Red Cross
- Better Tomorrows at Regency Park Apartments
- Coatesville Kids to College
CAYPP presented each recipient with a check for $5,000 and invited grantees to share a few words.
Coatesville Kids to College’s Executive Director Keith Wilburn said the generous grant represented a vote of confidence from the people that mattered most.
“It really means a lot to us that you, as children living and growing up in Coatesville, see the value in the work we do,” said Wilburn. Coatesville Kids to College plans to use the money to fund their I-rise Elementary Summer Camp, a six-week full day camp which will provide a safe and educational place for young Coatesville kids.