Camphill Village Kimberton Hills recently received a $1,000 grant from Phoenixville Area Middle School’s Help4Others group.
Help4Others, or H40, is a Youth in Philanthropy Group at the Phoenixville Area Middle School. This group of 14 eighth grade students meets once a week to learn more about needs in their community and how people give back. With guidance from their teachers, Gina Keenan and Monica Daley, they reviewed proposals submitted by non-profit organizations and visited sites in order to help them determine how to best distribute funds.
Out of nine area non-profits the students selected, Camphill Village Kimberton Hills received funding to purchase strawberries and supplies for the Sankanac Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Garden. The Sankanac CSA at Camphill Kimberton grows vegetables and produce on approximately 12 acres that feed the 100 village residents and an additional 150 families outside the community. CSA members sign up and pay a fee at the beginning of the year, which then enables the farmer, Todd Newlin, to buy seed, supplies, and equipment. Newlin, along with people with and without disabilities, ready the soil, greenhouses and seedlings. Starting at the end of May and continuing through October, CSA members visit the farm each week to pick up that week’s harvest. Every growing season differs slightly depending on the weather. Buying fresh and local produce has many benefits to personal health and to the environment.
Youth in Philanthropy, now its seventh year at both the middle school and high school, is supported by the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. The program is intended to help young people gain a deeper understanding of needs, charity and volunteerism within their own community.
Lynn Pike Hartman, vice president of programs at the Foundation, spoke at the award presentation held on Wednesday. Hartman used the analogy of the strawberries purchased for Camphill Kimberton to express to the students how important their work in H4O has been. Just as the strawberries need careful, diligent tending in order to become thoroughly red and delicious, the H4O has been proof that through their hard work they now have evidence of reaping what they have sown.
“If you plant honesty, you reap trust,” said Hartman. “If you plant goodness, you reap friendships. If you plant hard work, you reap success, and if you plant charity, then you reap heartfelt joy. Remember this joy and that you can bring this feeling into your lives every day.”
Other award recipients included The Clinic, Police Athletic League, Good Samaritan Shelter, Mom’s House, PACS, Healthy Start, and the Southeastern PA Autism Resource Center.