OPERATION OUR TOWN AWARDS GRANTS FOR DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION
Operation Our Town has announced grant awards to 24 local programs aimed at the prevention and/or reduction of substance abuse in Blair County. A total of $60,000 will be distributed to the recipients of the 2023 Grant Cycle.
Each of these programs play an important role in helping to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth and families in Blair County.
A total of over $1.3 million has been awarded in grants over the past 16 years by Operation Our Town for prevention programs in Blair County.
Operation Our Town will begin accepting grant applications again in May of 2024. We also plan to hold another grant training before the next grant cycle in the spring of 2024. You can check back for more information on the 2024 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 the following members:
- Jodi Cessna, Executive Director of Central PA Community Foundation
- Donna Gority, former Blair County Commissioner
- Jolene Kopriva, former Blair County Judge
- Judy Rosser, Executive Director of Blair Drug & Alcohol Partnerships
OPERATION OUR TOWN 2023 GRANT RECIPIENTS
AASD Adult Education Program: HSE: Key to a Bright Future
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) 946-8551
Funding awarded will be used to provide pregnant and parenting teens nutritious meals at special events, provide students with necessities for their household, and ensure students have safe and suitable car seats/safety items for their children.
Altoona Area Public Library: Focused on Foundations
1600 5th Avenue, Altoona (814) 946-0417
Funding awarded will be used for a new playgroup for children, birth to age 3, which teaches the parents/guardians about their child’s early development, identifying developmental delays, and how to obtain early intervention services.
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: After School Arts Program (ASAP)
2212 Sixth Avenue, Altoona (814) 201-7004
Funding awarded will be used to offer free, consistent arts programming for youth in Elementary and Middle school throughout each school year.
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 provides food, resources, art, music, and crafts for all.
Booker T. Washington Revitalization Corp.: Garden Heights Playground
2101 5th Avenue, Altoona (814) 949-2231
Funding awarded will be used toward the construction of a new park and playground in the Garden Heights neighborhood of Altoona, designed for children of all abilities.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown: Getting Ahead
1300 12th Avenue, Altoona (814) 944-9388
Funding awarded will be used to walk beside those in poverty, homeless, or nearly homeless, to introduce strategies and tools to become self-sufficient, allowing them to have a choice to get ahead.
Central Blair County Park & Recreation 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: elementary, instructional, and happy hoops basketball; elementary and junior high volleyball; NFL flag football program; instructional/indoor and elementary soccer.
Child Advocates of Blair County: CHOICES Summer Program
319 Sycamore Street, Altoona (814) 946-4068
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) 201-2751
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: The Healing Patch Children’s Grief Program
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.
Morrisons Cove Memorial Park: Stay Drug Free at Spring Cove
201 S. Walnut Street, Martinsburg (814) 793-2176
Funding awarded will be used toward providing drug a prevention and mental wellness event for area youth.
Northern Blair County Recreation Commission: NBCRC Sponsored Youth Program
4080 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd, Altoona (814) 742-9500
Funding awarded will be used to work with at risk students or those in need, by providing programming/activities that promote a healthy lifestyle while also being educated on drug and alcohol awareness.
Overflow Church: Jefferson Park Community Engagement
125 5th Avenue, Altoona (615) 430-9987
Funding awarded will be used to provide supplies for neighborhood outreach events at Jefferson Park such as community cookouts, clean-up days, community meals, trunk or treat, and Easter egg hunts.
Roaring Spring Community Library Association: Hydroponics on a Shoestring
320 E. Main Street, Roaring Spring (814) 224-2994
Funding awarded will be used to promote drug prevention and recovery through reducing food insecurity in Pennsylvania by offering hydroponics.
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 supplies for a program held on Wednesdays for youth in Pre-K to 12th grade, which provides a home-cooked meal, gym/physical activities, the arts, and age-appropriate small groups that encourage healthy living.
Tyrone Area School District: Arts Elevate
1001 Clay Avenue, Tyrone (814) 684-1800 ext. 3707
Funding awarded will be used to purchase an additional potter’s wheel for an after-school arts connection program aimed at creating an environment to support disenfranchised and disconnected students through mentorship and art.
Tyrone Snyder Public Library: Socialize Our Salute
1000 Pennsylvania Avenue, Tyrone (814) 684-1133
Funding awarded will be used to support the Socialize our Salute social group for veterans that will help foster a core support group in a substance-free environment for local veterans centered around the veteran experience.
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.
YES to Kids: Youth Empowerment Scholarships
338 Deer Run Drive, Roaring Spring (814) 502-4435
Funding awarded will be used to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth by keeping them active and involved in the extracurricular activities of their choice while they develop important life skills, build their self-esteem, and improve their academic performance by providing all young people with the opportunity to reach their full potential.
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.