Erie Community Foundation Helping Today Grants Benefit Local Nonprofits

January 03, 2024

The Erie Community Foundation, committed to inspiring, engaging, and empowering donors and communities across the region, is pleased to announce the approval of recent Helping Today grants aimed at fostering a united, vibrant, and thriving region for all.

“The Foundation's mission is to make a positive impact on the community, and the recently approved Helping Today grants reflect this commitment,” said Deborah Murphy, board chair, The Erie Community Foundation. “The grants will support a diverse range of projects that align with The Foundation’s areas of focus – education, health, economic growth, neighborhood and community development, and quality of life. The Foundation is excited about the potential impact these initiatives will have on the community, today and in the future.”

The Erie Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted on the following projects for funding:


Project Funded

Amount Funded

AHN Saint Vincent Hospital

Inpatient Behavioral Health Therapeutic Resources


Christian Ministries of the Apostolic Faith Church

Achievers Entrepreneurial Hub (AEH)


Community Blood Bank of NWPA and WNY

Improving the Blood Donor Experience


Cranesville Volunteer Fire Department

Replace Faulty Siding on Fire Station


DrivingPal, Inc.

Erie County Future Truck Drivers


Foundation for Erie's Public Schools

Volunteer Clearance Clinics for Families in Erie's Public Schools


Gannon University

CrowdDrive: Empowering NWPA for Early-Stage Financing Success


Gaudenzia, Inc.

Open Access in Erie County


Greater Erie Community Action Committee

Meals on Wheels Van Grant


Journey: Healing Together

Erie's Journey to Wellness 1.5


St. Martin Center, Inc.

Early Learning Center Security Enhancements


With a $37,5000 grant, St. Martin Center, Inc. will enhance security systems at St. Martin Center's Early Learning Center. Improvements include a state-of-the-art security system, access control measures, and infrastructure improvements to ensure a secure and protective environment for the children under the center's care.

"Protecting our children at the Early Learning Center is of paramount importance to St. Martin Center,” said David González, CEO of St. Martin Center. “This Helping Today grant from The Erie Community Foundation allows us to invest in innovative security measures, providing peace of mind to both parents and staff. We are truly grateful for the Foundation's commitment to the well-being of our community."

The Early Learning Center Security Enhancements project aligns with The Erie Community Foundation's vision for a united and thriving region by prioritizing the safety and well-being of the youngest members of the community. St. Martin Center, Inc., plays a vital role in early childhood education and development, and the security upgrades funded by the grant will further enhance the quality of services provided.

Gaudenzia, Inc., a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to providing addiction and mental health services, will use its $40,000 grant for the project to implement and enhance its Open Access program in Erie County. Open Access is a model of care that prioritizes immediate access to behavioral health services, reducing barriers to treatment for individuals seeking support for addiction and mental health concerns. The grant will support the development of streamlined processes, staffing, and resources necessary to expand and improve the availability of Open Access services. By investing in behavioral health services, the Foundation contributes to the well-being of the community and addresses a critical need for accessible and timely mental health and addiction support.

“The Erie Community Foundation, together with our public and private partners, is proud to support all of these impactful initiatives that align with our vision for a united, vibrant, and thriving region for all,” said Karen Bilowith, president and CEO of The Erie Community Foundation. “These Helping Today grants are informed by community-identified needs and represent a significant step towards building a better future for our community.”