Covid Relief grants help a range of important services

Milford. Pike Autism Support Services of NEPA, the Milford Fire Department, the Center for Developmental Disabilities, the Dingmans Ferry Theater, and the Pocono Environmental Education Center benefited from the last round of Greater Pike’s relief grants.

21 Oct 2020 | 10:22

The Greater Pike Community Foundation awarded over $20,000 through five grants to area nonprofits in the final round of funding from the Greater Pike Covid Relief Fund.

Pike Autism Support Services of NEPA was among the recipients. Executive Director JeanneMarie Passaro said the grant “will help keep our doors open” and provide services to families and individuals with autism in northeast Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Passaro explained her organization seeks to inform and educate the public on many fronts, working with law enforcement personnel for example, to help them better interact with an autistic individual. Pike Autism also provides scholarships to parents for workshops and training. Her office is a one-stop education and information resource. “I’ve received calls from families looking for help such as locating a dentist who works with the special needs population,” Passaro said and added, “We appreciate Greater Pike’s support, it truly helps.”

The Milford Fire Department, which covers half of the population of Dingman Township and all of the population of Milford Township and Milford Borough, received a grant. Fire Chief Jeff Christensen said, “We as a department greatly appreciate the generous grant the foundation awarded us. We will be using the money to help ease the impact from being unable to hold our fundraising events by purchasing much needed fuel for our emergency vehicles. An interesting note: the Milford Fire Department has a rapid intervention team for firefighter rescue that covers 3 states.

Others receiving grants include the Center for Developmental Disabilities to help purchase distance learning equipment, Dingmans Ferry Theater for their inaugural performance, and Pocono Environmental Education Center for daycare services.

“The Greater Pike COVID Relief Fund was established this spring in the wake of the pandemic and donations to it just poured in,” said Jenni Hamill, Executive Director of Greater Pike Community Foundation. “The generosity of our community has allowed us to award nearly $70,000 in Covid relief grants to our struggling local nonprofits, in addition to our annual Buchanan and Snyder grant programs.”

This latest round, totaling over $20,000 concludes the Greater Pike COVID Relief Fund’s awards. However, donations to help local nonprofits with emerging needs can be made to the Fund for Greater Pike, which serves the various and changing needs of the Greater Pike area, especially priority needs and emergencies within our community. You can donate online at greaterpike.org.