About ACHIEVEability

Backpack Donation Drive

Thanks to the generous support of Cradles to Crayons and organizations such as Urban Outfitters, PECO, Bank of America, Morgan Leiws and Greenphire, the 2015 Backpack Donation Drive was a huge success.

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Marking our best year yet, more than 1,100 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 $25,000.

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Other donors include DeVry University, Grant Thornton, Hamilton Lane, Intact Vascular, Neuronetics, Tau Gamma Delta Sorority, Towers Watson and many other individual donors. Because of our donors, we are able to make a positive impact on the families we serve.

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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 19 parents in our program who earned degrees last year and their children who stayed in school are proof that hard work can make a difference!

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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 215-748-8814. To make a contribution, please visit our donation page.

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West Philly Community Summer Jam

The first annual West Philly Community Summer Jam was a huge success! Nearly 500 local West Philadelphia residents attended the event on Saturday, August 8, 2015, enjoying the opportunity to engage with local organizations and resources that promote healthy and safe communities. 

Presented in collaboration with Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, as well as the ACHIEVEability Community Advisory Committee (CAC), the event included keynote speakers, entertainment and live performances, resource tables for local businesses and organizations, great food, and great raffle giveaways. In addition, nearly 300 backpacks filled with school supplies were distributed to local youth during the event. A special thanks to Director of Community Services Kimberly Snowden,Community Services Associate Yolanda Mack and Events Manager/Development Specialist Brian Hoskins for their leadership and hard work in delivering this wonderful event. It is truly amazing what a small group of staff can do to make a difference for the families and neighborhoods we serve.

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Recapping the event, it began with Pastor Dewayne Ross of Divine Destiny Community Fellowship providing the opening welcome, with Councilman Jones and Councilwoman Blackwell all giving warm and welcoming remarks to the local residents in attendance. Former ACHIEVEability participant Gerald Parnell provided his artistic service as the event’s DJ and many local residents and groups gave memorable performances including the Universal African Dance Ensemble, Jazzy the Clown and Her Dancers, and a skit from the play The Garbage Can, performed by Cleos Young.

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ACHIEVEability thanks the many partners and volunteers who supported the Community Summer Jam with contributions of their time, energy and resources. PECO employees, including ACHIEVEability Board Member Mary Walker, and CAC members graciously volunteered their time to help set-up and execute the event, along with Brown’s ShopRite,Deitz & Watson, Second Chance Foundation and Wawa, which all donated various food and beverages. ACHIEVEability also thanks the nearly twenty 60th Street merchants who donated items to be raffled off at the event, and the many organizations who provided resource tables and information including Enroll America,Gwynedd Mercy, Habitat for Humanity, Health Partners Plans,Mariposa Food Co-Op, SWEEP Philadelphia, and Wordsworth.

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We are excited to have provided this valuable resource to our local West Philadelphia community, and will continue to strengthen our roots with our many partners and supporters . We have already begun planning for next year’s event, aiming for an even bigger turnout from local residents and more partnerships with local businesses, organizations and other local stakeholders.

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Planting the Seeds

Revised-SusanHeadshotIt has been almost two years as ACHIEVEability’s interim leader and I had always intended to blog on this website about the special mission moments I experienced.

I would have shared about being rocked when one new self-sufficiency participant gave our staff trays of fruit and vegetables on the day she joined the program. “I can’t even thank you enough. I will NOT let you down,” she said, as she handed over what could have been close to a day’s wages. Or, I would have written about the day another participant proudly introduced me to her role model in the program and showed me how “ACHIEVEability was creating heroes.” Or, I would have blogged about my sense of pride when a resident who was helped in the Community Services Office wrote a beautiful letter to describe how our staff offered “a light at the end of the tunnel” when she had come to the office feeling “ashamed and embarrassed.”

I definitely would have shared the story of another nonprofit executive who, after learning about our philosophy, outcomes and services said with amazement, “no one does what you do.” I likely would have included stories about the countless community and foundation leaders who helped me navigate Philadelphia’s nonprofit world, or selfless staff and Board members who work so hard on behalf of our cause.

There would, indeed, have been a lot to say. My time working on behalf of the ACHIEVEability mission has been a blessing, a lesson and an honor.

The theme for our Food for Thought 2015 gala is “Planting the Seeds for our Families to Succeed.” Never has this theme been more relevant than today as the organization is poised to bloom under Wanda Mial’s leadership. With the depth of support that is possible from funders, donors and volunteers, I am more confident than ever that ACHIEVEability will build stronger communities and more individuals will succeed in breaking through the endemic systems of generational poverty.

I thank you for the honor of serving the ACHIEVEability mission, and I thank you in advance for planting more seeds for success in the days and years ahead.

Volunteer. Donate. Join the Food for Thought party on April 18th. Imagine what could happen if we all planted the seeds…

Susan Patton - ACHIEVEability, Interim CEO

   

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