Tammy and Jackie Crego

Tammy Duering, president of the Longwood Rotary Club, and Jackie Crego, executive director of the Garage Youth Center in Kennett Square.

KENNETT SQUARE— Longwood Rotary Club Foundation has distributed its one-millionth dollar in grants to support projects locally and globally, strengthening this community.

Initially, this was done through small fundraising efforts throughout the year. As Longwood Rotary saw the community need growing, as well as the desire to make a more significant impact in the community, the club began to implement a single fundraiser - the Gala - to raise funds for the Foundation.

Some of the local projects and organizations that have received support from the Longwood Rotary Club Foundation include Anson Nixon Playground equipment and installation, Book Bag Project and activities with Kennett Area Community Service, Project C.U.R.E., La Comunidad Hispana, Stroud Water Research Center, Tick Tock Learning Center, The Garage Community and Youth Center, Kennett Senior Center, Girls in Science & Technology Program, Project WIN at Kennett High School, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Reins For Life, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts, and Community Volunteers in Medicine.

Karen Ammon, executive director at Tick Tock Early Learning Center, said the funds provided by Longwood Rotary provide affordable education to low-income parents.

"This helps us with our overall mission of serving the community by providing high quality, affordable childcare to working families. Parents and caregivers can fully focus on work knowing their children are safe, happy, well fed and well educated," she said. "Thanks to the Longwood Rotary Tick Tock Early Learning Center was able to improve safety and security center wide."

"Longwood Rotary's $1,500 grant to AHHAH to build 10 PULL (Pop Up Lending Libraries) Stations in Kennett Square set in motion a community collective impact campaign in Kennett Square focusing on arts and children's literacy. The money helped pay for materials used to build the PULL Stations," said Jan Michener, Executive Director, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts.

One of the first projects that Longwood Rotary supported was what is now known as Operation Warm. In 1998, Dick Sanford, Rotarian, saw children waiting at the bus stop without jackets. He went to a local store and purchased every jacket they had available. Longwood Rotary helped to supply the funds for the 58 coats needed that first year. Twenty years later, Operation Warm is an independent worldwide organization and recently distributed its 3 millionth new coat.

Longwood Rotary was chartered in 1997. The organization brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. The organization raises funds to help support organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of all residents in the region.

The Foundation will support projects and organizations that focus on quality of life, education, diversity and inclusion, community and economic development, public safety and health and environmental sustainability.

Additionally, the Foundation will be taking on larger collaborative initiatives based on the outcomes of a recent Community Needs Assessment that was conducted by the club.

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