About ACHIEVEability

Annual Backpack Donation Drive

Thanks to the generous support of Cradles to Crayons and organizations such as Urban Outfitters, Bank of America, PECO and Greenphire, the 2016 Backpack Donation Drive was a huge success.


Marking our best year to date, more than 1,500 backpacks and school supplies were donated to ACHIEVEability in support of this drive. These donations support the school age children in our Family Self-Sufficiency Program and residents in our local West Philadelphia community. The value of these items total more than $30,000.


Other donors include Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company, Cora Capital Advisors, Grant Thornton LLP, Hamilton Lane, Intact Vascular, Neuronetics, Tau Gamma Delta Sorority, and many other individual donors. Because of our donors, we are able to make a positive impact on the families we serve.


At ACHIEVEability, we work hard every day to serve the Haddington and Cobbs Creek communities and to support the single parent families on their journey to self-sufficiency. We understand that education is the key to success. The 38 parents in our program who earned degrees over the past two years, and their children who stayed in school, are proof that hard work can make a difference!


Other ACHIEVEability donation drives include the Thanksgiving Dinner Drive and Holiday Gift Drive. For more information about these drives, please visit our volunteer page or contact Events Manager Brian Hoskins at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215-557-8414 ext. 8814. To make a contribution, please visit our donation page.


ACHIEVEability Partners with St. Thomas Church for Summer Youth Camp

During the week of July 11th, 2016, 20 children from our Family Self-Sufficiency Program attended an all-day summer camp in partnership with St. Thomas Church in Fort Washington, PA. This was the first year that ACHIEVEability partnered with St. Thomas Church for youth programming.


Camp activities included gardening, cooking, sports, arts & crafts, nutrition and music. The Elmwood Zoo came one day and the last day culminated with treats from an ice cream truck. 


For many of the children in attendance, this is the only camp they will attend this summer. ACHIEVEability is looking forward to partnering with St. Thomas Church again next year for another youth summer camp. 



ACHIEVEability Parents Awarded Cars through Vehicles for Change

On Saturday, June 11, 2016, four ACHIEVEability parents were awarded vehicles through Mazda & Vehicles for Change. The program empowers families with financial challenges to achieve economic and personal independence through car ownership and technical training.





Morgan Lewis Impact Day 2016

For the sixth consecutive year, employees from Morgan Lewis have supported ACHIEVEability by volunteering their time and energy as part of their annual Impact Day. On Saturday, June 4, 2016, 18 volunteers helped to beautify our Community Services Office by painting, gardening, landscaping and assembling patio furniture. 


It was a beautiful late-Spring day in early June, and Morgan Lewis volunteers took full advantage of the weather. In addition to weeding and mulching the community garden, Morgan Lewis purchased flowers and vegetables for planting.



The team of volunteers also painted the common space in the Community Services Office and constructed and stained patio furniture for use in the community garden.



As an added bonus, Morgan Lewis is making a contribution of an original piece of artwork to be put on display in the newly painted space. In addition, other Morgan Lewis staff assembled interview kits, art supply kits and "Bake me Back Home" kits for families and children in our program and local West Philadelphia residents. 

Morgan Lewis has been an incredible supportive partner of ACHIEVEability for the past several years, volunteering their services in support of Morgan Lewis Impact Day, making contributions to our various donation drives, and sponsoring our fundraising events. Thank you Morgan Lewis for all that you do! 

Morgan Lewis provides comprehensive litigation, corporate, finance, restructuring, employment and benefits, and intellectual property services in all major industries, helping clients address and anticipate challenges across vast and rapidly changing landscapes. They approach every representation with an equal commitment to first understanding, and then efficiently and effectively advancing, the interests of their clients and arriving at the best results. Morgan Lewis has 28 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and they work with clients ranging from established, global Fortune 100 companies to enterprising startups.



New West Philly Community Clean-Up Day

The third annual New West Community Clean-Up Day was a huge success. Thanks to a partnership with Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., District Attorney Seth Williams, and Ready, Willing & Able - Philadelphia, ACHIEVEability staff, and the support of PECO volunteers, we cleaned eight square blocks in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia on Friday, May 20, 2016.


Thanks to the CLIP (Community Life Improvement Program) of the City of Philadelphia Government for providing sufficient tools for the project.


For more information about ACHIEVEability and how you can get involved to support your Philadelphia community, please click here




Mother's Day Appreciation Event

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program hosted a Mother's Day event for the hardworking single mothers in our program. Nearly 20 families attended the event which focused on healthy lifestyles. In addition to sitting down to a healthy and nutritious brunch, all of the mothers received a special Mother's Day gift bag including a mason jar with healthy mason jar salad recipes. 


The event was topped off with a Zoomba class in which the mothers and their children participated. 


ACHIEVEability families are 97% female headed households. Each of these amazing women come from very diverse backgrounds with a multitude of challenges. Yet, through perseverance and a foundation of support provided by our program, our mothers continue to overcome life’s obstacles and become better parents, work toward their educational and financial goals, and ultimately, create paths toward success.



Celebrating 35 Years of Stepping Up to Break the Generational Cycle of Poverty

35 years ago a group of pioneers organized to improve the future of low income, single homeless parents in West Philadelphia. This group was originally known as Philadelphians Concerned About Housing (PCAH), and their dream was to provide a safety net of comprehensive support services and housing for women and men seeking to break free from homelessness and poverty. ACHIEVEability was founded on the importance of providing families with the tools and resources needed to attain higher education, develop careers and become homeowners. 

Fast forward to today. Our programs have strong outcomes, are considered “best practice” in the field, and are praised for their impact. A strategic alliance has been formed with Mission First Housing Group that strengthens our ability to reach even more families, and to grow ACHIEVEability’s community engagement and services agenda. We have a strong and influential board of directors and an extraordinary, compelling staff that delivers every day for children and families.

Perhaps most importantly, we have all of you - our friends, partners, funders, volunteers. You are champions for this work and we cannot do it without you! Please continue to share your energy, resources and amazing passion so that together we can change the trajectory of poverty - one family at a time. Thank you so much for being with us!


Need in Deed

In support of Need in Deed, an organization connecting the classroom with the community, ACHIEVEability Senior Fellow Harold Barrow offered his expertise in the field of homelesseness on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, by speaking to a classroom of more than 30 fourth grade students at D. Newlin Fell School in South Philadelphia. This was the first time that this classroom heard from a community partner after choosing to address homelessness for their annual service-learning topic.


Need for Deed works with over 80 public school teachers around Philadelphia, helping to bring real world learning and resources to their students about social issues selected by the students. This is the third year ACHIEVEability and Harold Barrow have supported the Need in Deed program. We are proud to support such a great program and Philadelphia classroom. 


Family Holiday Party

On Saturday, December 12, 2015, ACHIEVEability held its annual Holiday Party for families in our Family Self-Sufficiency Program and local West Philadelphia residents. This year's event was themed "Despicable Me" and even included an appearance by one of the Minions! More than 100 parents and children attended the party which was held at St. Matthew AME Church in West Philadelphia.


The Holiday Party was a festive celebration featuring delicious food and many interactive activities. Families in attendance had fun with arts and crafts, dancing, face painting, a moon bounce and raffle prizes. The event was topped off with a special appearance from Santa Claus.


Thank you to all ACHIEVEability and Mission First staff who volunteered their time and energy to make this party a great success. A special thanks to Akilah Abdul-Rahman and Jessica Falk of ACHIEVEability for managing the event. We also want to thank the following volunteers: Mark Deitcher of Mission First and his family, Gary O'Rourke and Julie Carter of Mission First, Jack O'Brien of Morgan Lewis and his wife Jennifer Lutz, who tutors ACHIEVEability children, and former Philadelphia Police Officer Doug Paige who has played Santa for the past four consecutive years.


In addition, we want to thank Herrs Food, Inc., Mariposa Food Co-Op, Metropolitan Bakery,Olive Garden, Wawa, and Wendy's for providing in-kind donations and discounts to the Holiday Party.


We are Thankful for Your Support

ACHIEVEability is thankful for the many donors who supported this year's Thanksgiving Dinner Drive. On Tuesday, November 24, 2016 and Wednesday, November 25, 2016, more than 180 of our families and local residents benefited from their generosity.


Donors this year included Brown's ShopRite, Capogiro Gelati, Drexel University, The Hoff Family, Lower Merion School District, Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, Morgan Lewis, The Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn, Ottens Flavors, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Tau Gamma Delta Sorority, various individual donors.


The food donations received from all of our donors helped to provide a complete Thanksgiving meal for more than 80 ACHIEVEability families and an additional 100 families in our local West Philadelphia community. In all, ACHIEVEability received more than $5,000 in donations, food and gift cards. Thank you to all of our donors for your generosity.



Thanksgiving Dinner Drive

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many families like those which we support at ACHIEVEability struggle to provide traditional Thanksgiving meals for their families. While ACHIEVEability can help offset some of their costs of living, our families are responsible to pay for expenses such as rent, utilities, food and childcare. Money is often scarce for essentials and can be especially difficult to manage during this time of year. This is where your support comes in.
We want our families to have the best Thanksgiving possible. To help, we provide everything a family needs to celebrate the holiday. Here is how you can help:

  • Sponsor one or more of our families by providing an entire Thanksgiving dinner including the turkey, canned vegetables, gravy, stuffing, etc.
  • Organize a donation drive for non-perishable items (canned an boxed food)
  • Donate money to help purchase food for this drive.
If you are interested in sponsoring one or more families or organizing a donation drive, please contact Events Manager Brian Hoskins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215-557-8414 ext. 8814. All donated Thanksgiving items need to be picked up delivered by Monday, November 23rd.  Please see the attached flyer for a suggested shopping list: Thanksgiving Dinner Drive 2015 

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