Investing in the Health and Wellness of the Berwick Community.
The Community Giving Foundation got its start in the Berwick community, and has remained committed to charitable causes that benefit residents in the greater Berwick area. Created in November 1998 from the sale of the Berwick Hospital to for-profit ownership, the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund is the largest charitable fund of the Foundation.
The mission of the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund is to select, identify, and invest in programs and projects that improve the health and welfare of Berwick and the surrounding area—impacting the community's overall well-being.
A Story of Local Giving
United in Recovery, a program under the United Way umbrella, is a five-county coalition to end substance use disorder by educating, changing policies, expanding access, and improving treatment for opioid addiction. The coalition teamed up with 7 Mountains Media and Lamar Advertising on a year-round prevention marketing campaign aimed at reducing the rate of community members who suffer from substance use disorder and shedding light on treatment options. A grant through the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund supported digital and radio advertising and billboard marketing in the Berwick community in 2020.
"We thank the donors that make these grants possible. Substance use disorder is a serious community issue. Together, we can help end overdose deaths and spread awareness to prevent community members form suffering with this disorder." (Adrienne Mael, President/CEO of the United Way of Columbia and Montour Counties)
Pictured, Olivia Oden, Stigma Reduction and Education Specialist for United in Recovery, and Adrienne Mael.
Your support of Community Giving Foundation: Berwick makes an impact on the lives of people in your community. This story is just one example of the power of giving happening right here because of the generosity of our donors.
The geographic boundaries of the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund encompass 8 boroughs and 15 townships in eastern Columbia County and lower/western Luzerne County.
Berwick's Service Area
The 23 locales eligible to receive Berwick Health & Wellness Fund grants are:
- Columbia County Boroughs: Berwick Borough*, Benton Borough, Briar Creek Borough, Stillwater Borough
- Columbia County Townships: Benton Township, Briar Creek Township, Fishing Creek Township, Mifflin Township, North Centre Township, South Centre Township
- Luzerne County Boroughs: Berwick Borough*, Conyngham Borough, Nescopeck Borough, New Columbus Borough, Shickshinny Borough
- Luzerne County Townships: Butler Township, Conyngham Township, Hollenback Township, Hunlock Township, Huntington Township, Nescopeck Township, Salem Township, Sugarloaf Township, Union Township
Grant Making Approach
In general, the Community Giving Foundation: Berwick favors preventive approaches and collaborative endeavors that enhance community health and wellness. Proposals receiving the most favorable review show evidence of:
- A solid understanding of community needs, current research in the field and best practices in service delivery
- A clear connection between the organization’s mission and the project for which funds are requested
- Achievable outcomes and a practical plan for reaching them
- A plan to measure and validate impact of the project
- Staff and/or volunteers who will be able to undertake the project successfully
- An ability to leverage or match grant dollars from other sources
- A plan to sustain the project beyond the grant period.
Priority Areas of Interest
The Foundation Board invests in programs and projects that promote overall health and wellness within the geographic boundaries of the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund. In the grant review process, priority is given to proposals that respond to one or more of the areas of need identified by a community assessment process:
- Ensuring that children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school.
- Promoting oral health for residents who lack access to regular dental care.
- Reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease through nutrition, physical activity and tobacco-free lifestyles.
- Improving mental and behavioral health through community awareness, support and treatment.
- Types of Grants: Berwick invites requests for program support and for capital projects that include equipment and facilities. On rare occasion, requests for general operating expenses may be considered.
- Duration of Grants: Berwick typically awards one-year grants. In certain cases, grants may be renewable for additional years. It is not the intention of the Community Giving Foundation to establish permanent or dependent relationships with grantees.
- Size of Grants: Grant size varies according to the type of project, the needs of the organization and the target population. On average, 53% of our competitive grants are less than $5,000/grant; 34% of our grants are $10,000 or above; and 13% of our grants are between $5,000 and $9,999.
- Limitations: In order to be eligible to receive a grant from the Community Giving Foundation, an organization must hold 501(c)(3) nonprofit status or be a governmental organization. All grants must benefit the residents and communities within the defined geographic boundaries. The Foundation does not award grants to individuals or to projects that serve an exclusively religious purpose.
For More Information
Greg Martz (Chair)
Jeff Cerminaro (Vice Chair)
The Advisory Committee is charged with evaluating grant applications from the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund service area for competitive and strategic initiatives. The committee monitors community strengths and needs and makes site visits to past grant recipients as needed to verify progress.