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Which Local Non-Profit Was Honored with Corporate Citizenship Recognition?

Jun 4, 2024 | Coatesville, Event

The Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Corporate Citizenship Recognition was awarded to Arts Holding Hands and Hearts, Inc. (AHHAH) at this year’s Gala on the Greene, held at the historic Graystone Mansion in Coatesville. This prestigious award, given since 2012, honors local non-profit organizations for their outstanding dedication to the community.

The celebration, featuring local vendors and community organizations, saw AHHAH receiving heartfelt commendations for their impactful work. Special thanks were extended to Breuninger Insurance, Looker Books, Justamere Foundation, and Presence Bank for nominating AHHAH for this esteemed recognition.

AHHAH Executive Director Jan Michener expressed immense gratitude for the community’s support, emphasizing the progress and connections fostered through collaborative efforts. “We are truly moved by the incredible support of our community and the progress and connections we have made together,” Michener said.

Celebrating Community Commitment: Spring Forward Event

AHHAH also recently co-hosted the “Spring Forward Together” event at the Kennett Library’s Melton Terrace on April 24. The celebration, sponsored by the library and AHHAH, brought together representatives from over 40 area non-profit organizations and elected officials to highlight the county’s commitment to families and children.

The event underscored the significant impact of the Chester County Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program initiated in Coatesville in 2021 and operated by AHHAH. To date, the program has provided over 8,000 children from birth to age five with free monthly books, accounting for 28% of children in that age group within the county.

Expanding Horizons: Imagination Library’s Countywide Impact

Michener thanked key individuals, including Lori Cushman, president of the Justamere Foundation, for their substantial contributions. Cushman’s foundation pledged $260,000 over five years to support the program’s expansion. The foundation, based in Exton, focuses on combating generational poverty through educational grants and community partnerships.

Cushman highlighted the transformative power of reading, drawing from her personal experience of growing up with limited resources but a few cherished books. “Anything that we can do to move that needle forward for these children is so critical,” she said.

Legislative Support and Future Prospects

State officials, including State Sen. Carolyn Commita, State Sen. John Kane, and State Rep. Christina Sappey, announced their support for legislation to expand the Imagination Library statewide. State Rep. Liz Hanbidge’s H.B. 2025 aims to establish the Statewide Imagination Library Program, bringing Pennsylvania into the program’s global fold.

Currently, more than 53,000 children across 44 Pennsylvania counties are enrolled in the Imagination Library, but around 700,000 eligible children remain unregistered. The proposed legislation seeks to ensure every child in Pennsylvania has access to this invaluable resource.

Restorative Justice Open House

AHHAH invites the community to the Restorative Justice Open House on Wednesday, June 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The event will feature a showcase of the film trailer “Invisible No More,” created by youth from Chester County Juvenile Probation. Attendees will hear from elected officials, AHHAH representatives, and members of the Creative Club of Chester County’s Film Making 101/102.

For more information and to register for the event, visit AHHAH Registration.

This article celebrates the remarkable achievements and community spirit embodied by AHHAH and highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance education and support for children across Chester County.

Spring forward event information by Richard Gar, Chester County Press.

Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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