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Power of the Purse in Berks County Fund Awards $75,000 in Grants

May 9, 2024

Reading, PA (May 9, 2024) – The Power of the Purse in Berks County Fund of Berks County Community Foundation recently awarded $75,000 in grants to nine organizations. The Power of the Purse Fund supports organizations and projects that focus on women’s education, economic empowerment, safety, rights, and health.

The following grants were awarded:

  • $10,000 to Connections Work for a program to provide transportation, ID’s, and work-related clothing to remove any barriers to employment for individuals with justice involvement.
  • $8,500 to Hannah’s Hope for staff training in Trauma Informed Care.
  • $3,000 to John Paul II Center for Special Learning for their Girl Talk 101 program that creates a safe space for female students ages 10-45 with any disability to talk about their bodies, rights, safety, and self-advocacy with staff and community experts.
  • $5,000 to Literacy Council of Reading to supply resources such as bus passes to enable female participants the opportunity to participate in Literacy Council classes.
  • $3,750 to Mary’s Shelter to provide housing and supportive services to homeless unaccompanied youth.
  • $15,000 to Opportunity House to offer financial assistance to empower women and ensure entry into permanent housing.
  • $10,000 to Reading Science Center to provide STEM opportunities through hands-on programming for girls in Berks County.
  • $15,000 to Safe Berks to help eliminate barriers that survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault face in obtaining and/or maintaining employment by providing direct support and financial assistance for education and employment needs.
  • $4,750 to VOiCEup Berks to send Berks County youth to a national youth leadership conference to foster leadership skills.

“From an outsider’s perspective, you think that there are these big mountains that you have to go over, but sometimes it’s a small amount of money or just a small gesture that can make the difference for someone being successful and getting out of poverty or getting a job,” said Chiara Renninger, founder of Power of the Purse. “I learned that just small things can really make a huge difference to people.”

“Being able to enhance the spirit of the Power of the Purse (POP) initiative is really empowering for the women in our community,” said Cindy Miliam, health and human services program officer. “POP funding for these organizations supports the belief that woman play a pivotal role in driving change and shaping the future of Berks County.”

Power of the Purse Fund was created in 2012 as a women’s giving circle. For more information, click here.


Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing, and distributing charitable funds to improve the quality of life in Berks County, PA. More information is available at

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