The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty recently announced a $30,000 grant to EDGE Teen Center in Liberty Township to purchase a van for the EDGE Community Service Program. The grant is part of the Foundation’s focus on identifying micro-solutions to transportation barriers throughout the community, as identified in their 2017 Community Needs Assessment.
“We are excited to partner with EDGE to help improve access to community service opportunities for local teens,” said Erin Clemons, Community Foundation president and CEO. “This will be an asset to both the students and the local organizations they are serving.”
The EDGE Community Service Program provides service opportunities to 400 teens at 15 area organizations such as Chesterwood Village Nursing Home, Matthew 25 Ministries, Reach Out Lakota, and PAWS. In 2017 they provided 1500 round-trips that allowed students to perform more than 4,000 hours of service. Transportation to and from service sites is provided free of charge for students, many of whom do not yet drive or do not have access to a car to drive themselves.
“Having a reliable van is critical to our ability to sustain and continue to growing this popular program,” said Brenda Yablonsky, executive director of EDGE. “This new van means we can continue to expose local teens to service opportunities that help them build confidence, sense of purpose, leadership and decision-making skills – all while benefiting many nearby social service agencies and their clients.”
The $30,000 grant will cover the purchase of a new, reliable 15-passenger van to replace EDGE’s existing 20-year-old vehicle. Additional grants and fundraising efforts will cover maintenance, fuel costs and other program expenses over the projected 10-year life of the new vehicle. EDGE plans to purchase and have the new van in operation during the 2018-2019 school year.
For more information about the EDGE Community Service Program and other opportunities for teens at EDGE, and to learn how you can help their mission of empowering teens to impact the world, visit www.edgeteencenter.com.