Bucks County Housing Group – Proud to be a Stuff the Bus Partner
By Erik Clare
Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) is a private, non-profit social-service organization whose mission is to advance the interests of people with low to moderate income and people in crisis by providing affordable housing and related social services. We have five family supportive housing (shelter) programs, permanent supportive housing programs for families and for frail elders, community-based supportive housing programs and a Veterans Housing Assistance program. All of the programs are staffed by well qualified case managers. Three community food pantries serve the lower, middle and upper portions of Bucks County. BCHG offers counseling for first-time homebuyers and owns and manages seventy nine scattered-site affordable housing units for low-income occupants.
Many of BCHG’s clients and their children enter our programs with little more than the clothes on their backs. Lacking the basic essentials that most take for granted, they need bedding, bathroom, laundry and personal hygiene items, cookware and kitchen implements, household cleaning supplies and school supplies. School is hard enough for the average child and the children of our clients have to deal with more than the average child. The backpacks provided by the United Way through ‘Stuff the Bus’ allow these children to begin the school year on the same footing as their friends. It helps them to fit in and provides them an opportunity to enjoy school and get a great education. BCHG is proud to again partner with the United Way and the other great agencies in this year’s ‘Stuff the Bus’ campaign.
Erik Clare is the Director of Development at BCHG
YWCA of Bucks County – Empowering Kids to Grow
By Erin Winkler
The YWCA of Bucks County is a not for profit serving Women and Families in the Bucks County communities. We work to eliminate racism and empower women, through various programs hosted through our organization. Alongside of those programs, the YWCA hosts summer camp programs, after school programs, lunch and library programs, gambling prevention, and more! We work with our various family center staff at their locations as well as residents of those locations, and members throughout the community of Bucks County. Receiving school supplies matters because every child deserves to have a happy and successful school year to benefit their futures and grow into awesome individuals; and with the help of our community we can make that happen!
Erin Winkler is the Resource Development Associate at YWCA
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County – Supplying Kids with Confidence to Succeed
By Ursula Raczak
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County (BBBSBC) matches carefully-screened, caring adult volunteers as mentors to children referred to our program, aged 6 thru 16, throughout Bucks County. We take great care to ensure that each child (“Little”) is matched to a mentor (“Big”) that brings out the best in him or her. Since our founding in 1963, BBBSBC has empowered thousands of youth and adults alike.
Bigs establish a relationship with their Littles and help teach them the skills necessary for everyday life. Bigs also take joy in showing their Littles new opportunities, and endless possibilities. Just by sharing simple everyday experiences, a volunteer can make a BIG impact on a Little’s life.
Studies show that children who have a mentor are more motivated to do well in school, have better relationships with family and friends, and are also less likely to skip school or use alcohol and drugs.
All matches are supported by a professional staff member who helps the match navigate through situations that may arise, offers tips to help build the friendship, and gives ideas for match activities. Our team maintains consistent contact with the Big, the Little, and the parent to ensure that the relationship is meaningful, fun and safe for everyone involved.
Our matches usually last over three years- and some much longer. Imagine the amount of change you can see over that period of time!
The Littles in our program really appreciate all of the school supplies and backpacks they receive through the donations from the Stuff the Bus campaign! It’s amazing how starting the school year off with new supplies can build up their confidence!
Thank you to all who participate – it means so much to all of our kiddos!
Ursula Raczak is the CEO of BBBSBC
To learn more about Stuff the Bus or to make a donation visit: www.uwbucks.org/stuffthebus