Community Foundation of Westmoreland County

$150,000 earmarked for revitalization projects in seven Westmoreland County cities

Community Foundation of Westmoreland County invites ideas from the community as part of Revitalizing Westmoreland County initiative

GREENSBURG, Pa., Sept. 3, 2014 -- The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (CFWC) will award $150,000 in grants per year for the next three years to projects designed to revitalize seven communities in Westmoreland County.

The Revitalizing Westmoreland community initiative is designed to encourage new and creative ways to improve the lives for residents of Arnold, Jeanette, Greensburg, Latrobe Lower Burrell, Monessen and New Kensington.  These communities were selected because they have experienced significant losses in their manufacturing base and subsequent out migration.

“We are seeking to create partnerships between neighborhood residents, business associations, civic groups, nonprofits and local government to creatively rebuild their communities as a clean, safe and productive place to live,” said James Bendel, Executive Director of CFWC.

Community groups and organizations of all types are encouraged to submit projects. Projects for funding will revolve around safety, education, cleanup, and beautification.  Sample projects include vacant lot cleanups, community gardens, community art, play equipment, and community events that will encourage community pride and build relationships.

Grants for Revitalizing Westmoreland projects range from between $500 to $40,000 on a matching basis.  Projects are required to seek matching funds in the form of volunteer time, cash or in-kind donations of goods and services for ¼ of the project costs.  “By working together, we can involve more of the community and provide for over $200,000 that will directly benefit the residents,” said Bendel. 

Awards will be made annually and applications for projects that will take place in 2015, must be submitted by October 31, 2014.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit their ideas, however they must partner with a nonprofit organization in order to receive funding.

“The grants are just a place to begin,” said Bendel.  “Sense of place so vital to the health of the community, if we can involve the residents in transforming these seven communities, we can create a spirit of giving that will continue well into the future.”

CFWC will hold four information meetings in the community and invite all interested parties to attend to find out more information on how they can participate in Revitalizing Westmoreland.  Meetings will take place at:

Sept 16 -- Greensburg -- 6-730 
CFWC’s offices, Greensburg Garden & Civic Center , 951 Old Salem Road, Penthouse Suite, Greensburg, PA 15601

Sept. 17 -- New Kensington -- 6-730
Westmoreland County Community College – New Kensington Campus, 1150 5th Ave, Room 132, First Floor, New Kensington, PA 15068

Sept. 18 -- Monessen -- 6-730
City of Monessen, Council Chamber, 1 Wendell Ramsey Lane, Monessen PA 15062

Sept. 22 -- Greensburg --  3-430
CFWC’s offices, Greensburg Garden & Civic Center , 951 Old Salem Road, Penthouse Suite, Greensburg, PA 15601

The mission of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County is to encourage local residents to become philanthropists, provide grants that support a wide variety of charitable organizations and serve as a community leader. Since its inception in 1995, CFWC has grown to include over 190 funds valued at $20 million. CFWC has also granted over $12 million to local non-profit organizations.  In 2010, CFWC became an affiliate of The Pittsburgh Foundation, the 14th largest community foundation in the United States.