A Transformative Gift to Our Community
In December of 2020, United Way of Berks County received a transformative gift of $10 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Separate from the annual investments made possible by the yearly United Way Campaign, the one-time grant is a unique opportunity to fund initiatives and programs that will transform our community for generations to come.
Based on recommendations from a special advisory committee of volunteers, our Board of Directors has announced three new strategies that will ensure Ms. Scott’s gift benefits Berks County today and in the future:
- Supplemental COVID Response Grants to meet the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic
- Impact Grants to area nonprofits and/or collaborations to support expanded programming and capacity
- Multi-year Grants centered on systemic issues and sustainable impact. The first of these grants is expected to be awarded in 2022
The first Impact Grant is directed to Reading Hospital’s Street Medicine Program to provide care to our community’s most vulnerable population – individuals experiencing homelessness. This program is supported by volunteer physicians and will serve more clients by restructuring its staffing model. The nearly $321,000 grant will allow the program to expand staffing to include: an advanced practice provider, a case manager and a community liaison—all focused on improving the coordination of services and preventive care for chronic health issues.
The Advisory Committee
An advisory committee comprised of community volunteers and members of the Board of Directors is guiding the strategies resulting from the MacKenzie Scott gift. The members of the committee are: Sharon Danks, Steven Fisher, Bradley Hall, Kimberly Hippert-Eversgerd, Carolyn Holleran, Joanne Judge, P. Sue Perrotty, Scott Rehr, Daniel Sansary, David Turner and Christina Weeber