The Millennium Circle Fund of The Luzerne Foundation was created by a special group of donors whose one- time gifts of $2,000 play a pivotal role in helping The Luzerne Foundation identify unmet community needs. The ultimate goal is to have 2,000 members and a fund that would support the community with grants of $200,000 or more each year.
The Millennium Circle Fund of The Luzerne Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to CASA of Luzerne County after members listened to presentations from six nonprofits and voted at their annual luncheon held at the Woodlands on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. With the 2019 grant award considered, the Millennium Circle Fund provided $389,000 in grant funding since its inception in 2001.
“We are so grateful to The Luzerne Foundation and The Millennium Circle members for their generosity and belief in our mission to provide every abused and neglected child in Luzerne County with a Court Appointed Special Advocate. This generous support will help bring us closer to providing an advocate to more than 100 children in 2020, and be faithful to our mission of providing an advocate to each of the 500 children in foster care in Luzerne County,” said John Aciukewicz, Esq., Executive Director, CASA.
“Six amazing presentations captured the most significant needs in Luzerne County. After thoughtful consideration, The Millennium Circle membership awarded CASA of Luzerne County the $25,000 grant. Many thanks to all of the charities for their participation, and congratulations to CASA on being selected as the 2019 Grant Recipient,” said Charles Barber, President & CEO.
Three years ago, the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) had 18 advocates, today there are 52 and over five hundred children waiting for help.
CASA’s mission is to recruit, train, and support community volunteers to serve as the voice of abused and neglected children in the Luzerne County court system so that these children will be safe, secure, and given the opportunity to thrive.
Children who are assigned a CASA volunteer are half as likely to re-enter foster care and perform better in school. Since 2013, 158 children in Luzerne County have been matched with a CASA volunteer. This grant will provide more volunteer training.
A History of Making a Difference
Over the past decade the Millennium Circle Fund has granted over $389,000 to nonprofit organizations throughout Luzerne County. Previous recipients:
CASA of Luzerne County
United Way of Wyoming Valley – Nurse’s Pantry
Brandon’s Forever Home – After school Tutoring and Family Meal Program
The Hope Center of Wyoming Valley to expand Dental and Free Clinics for the Uninsured & Underinsured
CEO (Commission on Economic Opportunity) – Food 4 Kids Weekends Backpack Program
$10,000 to Volunteers of America/Ruth’s Place for shelter expansion
$10,000 to CEO (Commission on Economic Opportunity) Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Center for Healthy Living
Family Service Association of NEPA for the Help Line to “Dial 211” Conversion
Anti-Bullying Coalition of Luzerne County
Commission on Economic Opportunity’s Dinners for Kids Program
Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley for their Help Line program
Ruth’s Place Homeless Women’s Shelter in Wilkes-Barre for renovation of new location
Care & Concern Ministries in Pittston for facilities enhancement for program services
Volunteers in Medicine, a program providing health care services to our “working poor,” as well as other uninsured and under-insured area residents
Luzerne-Wyoming Counties’ Drug and Alcohol Program for prevention services delivered in all public school districts within Luzerne County
McGlynn Learning Center for education programs provided to at-risk children who reside in Wilkes-Barre
Friday’s Child, a program available to autistic children and directed by the Jewish Community Center, Wilkes-Barre
Candy’s Place, a community support center for cancer patients and their loved ones
Diamond City Partnership for Downtown Wilkes-Barre revitalization
28 “Follow Your Dreams” motivational presentations held at local high schools
What is the focus of the Fund? To provide general operating grants to local nonprofit organizations or Community Based Organizations (“CBO”) with deep roots in the community that have been adversely impacted by the crisis To provide additional support to community-based organizations that are wo…
The Luzerne Foundation receives National Standards Recognition – Has been accredited for the past 10 years!
The Luzerne Foundation is recognized for having organizational and financial practices that are in accordance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. The Council on Foundations and leaders of the community foundation field created the National Standards in 2000 to aid community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that would show the foundations’ transparency and financial responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices. In addition, National Standards were developed to distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles, build the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions and assist the field with self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service.
In all, 26 National Standards must be met before compliance is issued. Intended both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for external assessment of performance, the National Standards address the following keys areas of community foundation operations: Structure & Governance, Resource Development, Accountability, Grantmaking, and Community Engagement.