Operation Our Town has announced grant awards to 17 local programs aimed at the education and prevention of drug use in Blair County.  A total of over $59,000 will be distributed to the recipients of the 2022 Grant Cycle.

A total of over $1.3 million has been awarded in grants by Operation Our Town for prevention programs in Blair County over the past 15 years.

Operation Our Town will begin accepting grant applications again in May of 2023.  We also plan to hold a grant training before the next grant cycle in the spring of 2023.  You can check back for more information on the 2023 grant cycle dates and grant training at: OperationOurTown.org.

Each grant was judged objectively by specific criteria on a scoring process by the Operation Our Town Grant Committee.  In addition, Grant Committee members recuse themselves on grant applications in which they have a personal or professional interest.  The Grant Committee includes five members:

  • Jodi Cessna, Executive Director of Central PA Community Foundation
  • Michele Fiore, retired Mental Health Counselor
  • Donna Gority, former Blair County Commissioner
  • Jolene Kopriva, former Blair County Judge
  • Judy Rosser, Executive Director of Blair Drug & Alcohol Partnerships



AASD Adult Education Program:  HSE: Bright Futures

2212 Sixth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Altoona  (814) 329-0253

Funding awarded will be used to invest in the future of Blair County adults who lack a high school diploma by awarding HSE (High School Equivalency) scholarships to pay for the cost of GED subtest exams necessary to earning their High School Equivalency Credential.


AASD ELECT Program:  ELECT (Education Leading to Employment & Career Training)

1201 8th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 946-8365

Funding awarded will be used to provide nutritious meals and snacks for pregnant and parenting teens at educational events and workshops, and provide engagement support to paternal figures that are ineligible for the program but involved in their children’s lives.  


Altoona Area School District Foundation:  Project SOAR (Study, Overcome, Achieve, Reward)

1404 6th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 243-0235

Funding awarded will be used for supplies and program materials for students that have been identified to receive financial assistance to pursue a post-secondary education, given that they meet program guidelines and participate fully in the program.


ArtsAltoona:  Empowering Arts for Men in Recovery

2212 Sixth Avenue, Altoona  (814) 201-7004

Funding awarded will be used to offer creative arts instruction to men in recovery from drug addiction.  Lessons will incorporate the use of art to build confidence, self-esteem, communication skills, relieve stress, and encourage creativity and imagination.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County:  S.M.A.R.T. (Students & Mentors Achieving Results Together) School-based Mentoring Program

891 23rd Street, Altoona  (814) 944-6129

Funding awarded will be used to help create and support matches between mentors and mentees in all of the SMART School/Site-based Mentoring Programs throughout Blair County; thus providing children with meaningful relationships to help reduce the likelihood of substance abuse, criminal mischief, school absenteeism, and violence.


Blair Regional YMCA:  Family Y-Nite

1111 Hewit Street, Hollidaysburg  (814) 695-3204

Funding awarded will be used to help low-income families attend family-based activities that bring families together in a fun, safe, affordable, and drug-free environment which provide food, resources, art, music, and crafts for all.


Central Blair Recreation & Park Commission: Youth Sports Program Supplies/Equipment

2101 5th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 949-2231

Funding awarded will be used for new program supplies and equipment for the following youth sports programs: playground program; elementary, instructional, and happy hoops basketball; elementary, instructional, and junior high girls’ volleyball; instructional/indoor and elementary soccer.


Child Advocates of Blair County:  CHOICES Summer Program

319 Sycamore Street, Altoona  (814) 330-4068

Funding awarded will be used to purchase supplies and incentives for a youth summer program at Evergreen Manors that will include educational topics & agency speakers, as well as topic related crafts, games, and activities.


Evolution Expressions:  Arts for Healing Program

1331 12th Avenue, Suite 300, Altoona  (814) 934-2781

Funding awarded will be used to provide quality, strength-based, preventative, therapeutic programming for youth with the purchase of art supplies for trauma-focused arts related activities to help at-risk youth combat the effects of trauma through the use of art techniques.


Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation:  After School Program

118 E. Spruce Court, Altoona  (814) 949-8838

Funding awarded will be used to fund educational materials, incentives, healthy snacks, field trips, and individual assistance to youth at-risk enrolled in three after-school programs held within the low-income housing developments of Evergreen Manors, Fairview Hills, and Logan Hills.


Home Nursing Agency Foundation:  Healing Patch

20 Sheraton Drive, Altoona  (814) 947-7027

Funding awarded will be used to assist with the supplies associated with peer support groups held twice monthly during the school year for Blair County children and their families who have suffered the death of a loved one, as well as grief related books and brochures for their Lending Library.


Overflow Church:  Jefferson Park Neighborhood Outreach

127 5th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 577-6196

Funding awarded will be used to provide supplies for neighborhood outreach events at Jefferson Park such as community clean-up days, cookouts, trunk or treat, and Easter egg hunts.


Renew Church:  Ben Blessed – Homeless Outreach Ministry

2212 6th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 799-5291

Funding awarded will be used to provide daily hot food delivery and non-perishable food items, self-care items such as toiletries, clothing, and hygiene products to minister to the increasing homeless population within Blair County.


Roaring Spring Community Library:  Mending Patches

320 E. Main Street, Roaring Spring  (814) 224-2994

Funding awarded will be used to provide a free hands-on and creative drop-in, self-directed, and formal program teaching at-risk youth how to mend, alter, and upcycle their clothing.


The R.O.C.K. at 2nd Avenue:  The R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out to Community Kids)

130 2nd Avenue, Altoona  (814) 943-2072

Funding awarded will be used to purchase food and program supplies for youth in Pre-K to 12th grade and provide a home-cooked meal, gym/physical activities, arts & crafts, and age-appropriate small groups that encourage healthy living.


United Way of Blair County’s Family Resource Center:  Parent Education Programs:  Parents as Teachers & Parent Education Classes

208 Hollidaysburg Plaza, Duncansville  (814) 317-5567 ext: 405

Funding awarded will be used for program supplies and educational materials for the parent education programs Parents as Teachers (evidence-based home visiting) and Parent Education Classes.


Young Life of Central Pennsylvania:  Young Life Camp

117 Quince Court, Hollidaysburg  (814) 312-2061

Funding awarded will be used to help high school students attend Young Life Camp who financially cannot afford the cost of camp otherwise.