This article was originally published in the June 2017 Trenton Downtowner.

(Courtesy the Princeton Area Community Foundation Facebook page.)

The Princeton Area Community Foundation has awarded $545,000 in Greater Mercer Grants to 20 nonprofits that provide vital services to Trenton and the region — with roughly 75 percent of the programs benefiting children.

The awards reflect the PACF’s Greater Mercer Grants and the George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundation.

Program Support:

CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties, Ewing, $25,000, for Mercer County Child Advocacy Program where judges appoint CASA volunteers to advocate for serious cases of abused and neglected children and remain assigned to each case until it is closed and the child is placed in permanent housing.

Family Guidance Center, Hamilton, $20,000, Children’s Day Treatment Program for low-income, at-risk children, who have a diagnosable mental health disorder and receive intense mental health treatment and support services through this after-school program. The program also operates a summer camp.

Kidsbridge, Ewing, $20,000, for its Bullying Prevention & Diversity Appreciation Program for students in grades 3 to 6 in Trenton, Hamilton, and Ewing.

Literacy New Jersey Read to Succeed, Hamilton, $10,000. The organization provides free, basic literacy tutoring to about 100 adults in Mercer County.

Mount Carmel Guild of Trenton Emergency Assistance Food Pantry, 73 North Clinton Avenue, $25,000.

National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton, 949 West State Street, $15,000, to assist low-income children in grades 3-12 from Trenton, Hamilton, Ewing, and Lawrence receive year-round advanced tennis training, as well as structured academic enrichment, mentoring, college preparation and job training.

People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, Lawrence, $20,000, the Reading Deeply in Community literary program involving over 100 low-income, underserved adults and youths.

Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey, 437 East State Street, $20,000, for the Responsible Choices program reducing unintended adolescent pregnancy and preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections by providing age-appropriate, medically accurate, evidence-based comprehensive sexual health education through partnerships with local schools and community-based organizations.

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, 72 Escher Street, $25,000, for the Send Hunger Packing Program provides supplemental weekend meals to more than 600 children, ages 5 to 18, enrolled in 15 schools in Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell, and Lawrence. TASK partners with Mercer Street Friends to deliver packs children can slip into their backpacks every Friday.

UrbanPromise Trenton, 801 West State Street, $25,000, the After School StreetLeaders Program helps about 25 at-risk Trenton youth obtain meaningful work and training, along with academic assistance, college preparation, leadership training, and life skills development.

The following received funds for a specific community building projects:

Passage Theatre Company, 801 West State Street, $50,000, involves educational programming, a middle school touring performance of stories from Mercer County Holocaust survivors, and a new collaboration with Trenton’s Christina Seix Academy.

VolunteerConnect, Princeton, $25,000, for the Enhancing the Capacity of Community Organizations Program providing board training to help organizations develop more effective nonprofit boards and skills-based volunteers and to provide educational forums for leaders.
General Operating Support:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County, Lawrence, $25,000, for involving about 2,600 students, ages 5 to 18 years old, in educational, enrichment, and career-preparation programs after-school, on weekends and over the summer.

Greater Trenton, 102 Barrack Street, $45,000, to support work to advance economic development and revitalization projects in Trenton, with an emphasis on the downtown area.

HomeFront, Lawrenceville, $45,000, to addresses the needs of the homeless through its family preservation center, transitional housing, and permanent, affordable rental units for working, low-income families.

PEI Kids, Lawrenceville, $25,000, to support more than 12,000 children and their families served annually through programs that address child assault, sexual abuse, bullying, gang culture, and online threats.

Trenton Children’s Chorus, 471 Parkway Avenue, $20,000, to support more than 170 children attending schools in the region in grades K-12 receive vocal training, drumming, and piano instruction, as well as intense academic support.

Womanspace, Lawrenceville, $40,000, to support victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault with programs that include a hotline, counseling and support services, emergency shelter, and transitional housing.

YMCA of Trenton, 431 Pennington Avenue, $45,000, supports a variety of services for the community, including health screenings, healthy living classes, after-school activities, parental engagement programs, and quality of life programs for seniors.