first federal charitable foundation logo

P: 570.501.2784

First Federal Charitable grantsSix Northeast Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, including four in Greater Hazleton, recently received grants from the First Federal Charitable Foundation.

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat’s Revitalization Fund, the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, the Hazleton Area Recreation Program, Eckley Miners’ Village Associates, Rural Health Corporation of Northeast Pennsylvania and Mauch Chunk Historical Society all received grants they plan to use to fund vital organization projects.

The First Federal Charitable Foundation was established to support worthwhile community causes. It strives to nurture current nonprofit institutions and programs that will effectively serve those in need from the community and expand their presence and services in the area, and promote opportunities for new nonprofit institutions and programs that will serve the unserved.

Executive Director Megan Kennedy said, “The First Federal Charitable Foundation is honored to support these nonprofit organizations and the work they do throughout Northeast Pennsylvania. Our region is well known for its generosity and service to others and all of us at the foundation take great pride in helping those organizations who want to give back to the community.”

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat’s Revitalization Fund was seeking a donation to assist the Hazleton Police Department in purchasing four cameras for each of the 12 parks and playgrounds throughout the city. In its grant application, organization officials said the cameras will help to reduce criminal activity and deter vandalism at the city’s recreational facilities.

The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress plans to use the money to assist its Main Street Program, which addresses necessary revitalization initiatives and capital improvement projects that otherwise would not be completed. This includes working with partners and property owners to find new uses for vacant lots and blighted properties, raising the funds necessary to undertake capital improvements and managing construction projects to completion, expanding educational and entrepreneurial resources, integrating the Hispanic business community and developing leadership potential among Hispanic business owners, marketing the downtown to new businesses/investors and visitors, and organizing and promoting cultural programs and special events.

The Hazleton Area Recreation Project’s (HARP) mission is to enhance the future of the youth of the Greater Hazleton area through providing exercise, character development, self-discipline, confidence, structure, work ethic and friendship. HAPR plans to use the funding to hire a full-time and a part-time certified trainer for the gym at its complex on Poplar Street, as well as covering costs of scholarships for under-privileged youth applying to programs. HARP currently has a long waiting list of students and plans to use the grant money to expand both its After-School Discovery program and its Saturday training programs and serve an additional 250 children between the two programs. The funding will allow children from economically disadvantaged families to participate with little or no costs.

Eckley Miners’ Village Associates (EMVA) supports the educational mission of Eckley Miners’ Village and is dedicated to preserving the region’s rich Anthracite heritage. The organization plans to use the grant money to retain its full-time Education and Volunteer Coordinator, increase its impact with area schools and continue to provide programs for low-income families and groups. The EMVA has previously hosted a Free Day program, which allowed families from low-income areas to explore the rich history of Eckley Miners’ Village. The organization also implemented a Back-2-School program that invited families, students and teachers for an afternoon of educational fun that included effective, low-cost private tours as well as hands-on educational activities like scavenger hunts.

Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania (RHC) is a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center providing health care to the community. Its mission is to provide access to comprehensive primary and preventive medical and dental services to residents of all income levels within Northeast PA. RHC plans to use the grant money to purchase a new electrocardiograph machine with a spirometry feature, which will provide accurate and efficient testing, as well as a vision screener to allow staff to perform better vision screenings and provide early detection of risk factors. The organization’s Black Creek Health Center in Nuremberg serves the healthcare needs of Nuremberg and the surrounding communities and fills the need for residents who have financial and/or geographic barriers to care.

Mauch Chunk Historical Society in Jim Thorpe preserves and interprets the region’s history and serves as a focal point for culture and the arts in our community. As a Historical Society, the organization exists to educate its residents, tourists and students about the rich history of this area, regardless of income levels. The organization maintains the Mauch Chunk Opera House, which serves as a performing arts center providing quality entertainment and presentations at a reasonable cost. It also presents free family entertainment during festivals and low-cost community theater. Mauch Chunk plans to use the money to build a unisex bathroom in the second-floor lobby space to relieve congestion in the first-floor restroom during busy shows and provide convenience for patrons who may have issues walking steps. It also plans to upgrade the first-floor bathrooms and address other restroom issues.

First Federal Charitable Foundation grant applications are open to nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that are located in Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties. Any organization whose headquarters is in another county but services either Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon or Columbia counties may apply for a grant to be used in one of those counties.

For more information on the foundation or to obtain a grant application, visit or call 570-501-2784.

CAPTION: Six Northeast Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, including four in Greater Hazleton, recently received grants from the First Federal Charitable Foundation. Pictured are, first row, from left: Patricia Lavan, representing Rural Health Corp of NEPA; Bode Morin, representing Eckley Miners’ Village; Jo Anna Shovlin, representing Eckley Miners’ Village; Krista Schneider, representing the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress (DHAP); and Joe Clifford, representing the Hazleton Area Recreation Program (HARP) and DHAP. Second row: Tony Cusatis, president of the First Federal Charitable Foundation Board of Directors; Tiffany Tankalavage, representing Rural Health Corp of NEPA; Bob Yevak, representing Eckley Miners’ Village and Mauch Chunk Historical Society; Anthony (Sabu) Scarcella, representing Mauch Chunk Historical Society; Dave Minnig, representing HARP; Jimmy Clement, representing HARP; Neal DeAngelo III, representing HARP and DHAP; Bob Curry, representing HARP; and Megan Kennedy, Executive Director of First Federal Charitable Foundation. Missing from photo: representatives from the Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat’s Revitalization Fund.

First Federal Charitable Foundation

8 West Broad Street, Suite 208
Hazleton, PA 18201
P: 570.501.2784