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Bank of America

Bank of America awards nearly $640,000 to address critical needs in Philadelphia and recognizes ACHIEVEability and Cradles to Crayons as Neighborhood Builder® Awardee Recipients.

 The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced nearly $640,000 in grants to 14 nonprofits in Philadelphia addressing critical needs such as hunger and shelter to longer term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources.

As part of this support, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation named Cradles to Crayons and ACHIEVEability as Neighborhood Builder award recipients.  The organizations will each receive a $200,000 unrestricted grant and leadership training for their executive director and an emerging leader. Since 2004, Bank of America has recognized nearly 730 nonprofits as Neighborhood Builders.

“We’re committed to supporting our local community and look to make investments that are responding to the greatest needs of the people that live here,” said Thomas C. Woodward, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia market president for Bank of America. “These grants will assist nonprofits addressing Philadelphia’s immediate needs while also supporting integrated services that will help people get back on their feet.”

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth to 12 who are living in homeless or low- income situations with essential items, such as coats, clothing and backpacks, that they need to thrive at home, school and play. Items are collected from community donations and corporate drives and assembled by volunteers at the Cradles to Crayons facility in West Conshohocken. The items reach children through social service agencies and school partners.

ACHIEVEability works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income, single parent and homeless families to achieve self-sufficiency. ACHIEVEability believes that housing is the first step to ending poverty and it has its own program to provide housing to stabilize families. Recognizing that education is the key to permanent self-sufficiency and financial freedom, ACHIEVEability supports participants in their pursuit of a post-secondary degree or its equivalent.

In addition to the Neighborhood Builder grantees, some of the nonprofit organizations receiving funding to support their efforts include:

  • People’s Emergency Center, which serves homeless women and their children.  PEC operates 200 units of temporary and permanent housing, a food relief program, and educational centers offering job training, early childhood education, computer classes, and training on lifeskills like parenting, nutrition, budgeting and credit building.
  • Project H.O.M.E, which works to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The grant will support Rowan Homes, one of the few permanent supportive housing programs in the region for families with a history of homelessness and a special need such as chronic substance abuse or mental illness. Families at Rowan Homes are offered adult and youth education, job placement and health care.
  • MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance), which prepares and packages medically-appropriate meals for people living with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease or HIV/AIDS. Registered dieticians consult with patients to help prepare meals. MANNA is the only organization in the country offering three medically-appropriate meals a day, seven days a week. The grant will fund 4,478 meals.

Grants were also awarded to the Bethesda Project, DePaul USA, the Klein Jewish Community Center, LIFT Philadelphia, the Mazzoni Center, Operation Warm, the Salvation Army, Cradles to Crayons, Pathways and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is awarding nearly $22 million in grants to over 1,000 nonprofits across the country.  The majority of grants will support nonprofits serving low-income communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn.  This funding is part of the company’s intensified philanthropic focus on three core issues vital to the economic health of communities: housing, jobs and hunger and represents an important component of Bank of America’s lending, investing and giving activities to help advance local economies. Last year, the bank awarded $730,000 in grants to Philadelphia region nonprofits that support housing and workforce development and education programs.