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P: 570.501.2784

First Federal Charitable Victims Resource CenterVictims Resource Center received a First Federal Charitable Foundation grant that it plans to use to renovate the building the organization uses to provide victims/survivors with crisis intervention, ongoing one-on-one counseling and crime victim support groups, as well as office space for its 25 full-time staff members.

Victims Resource Center (VRC) annually helps more than 1,000 Luzerne County residents alone. It has outgrown its current space on Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre and, while it has found a new building to move into, the organization needs funding renovate and convert the new location to meet its specifications.

VRC Executive Director Janet MacKay said, “The victims/survivors that we serve have been traumatized by a crime victimization and need immediate assistance and ongoing support to heal from the victimization. The physical space that support is provided in can contribute negatively or positively to the healing process. However, the current space we use to provide our services does not meet the criteria for a calming, safe environment in which to allow victims/survivors to do the trauma work. At this point in our history as an agency, we need to create space that optimizes the environment for healing. The space for services is the most important reason we have decided that we need to relocate.”

Victims Resource Center, formerly Luzerne County Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), began during the nationwide rape crisis movement as a grassroots organization in 1974 after a study of Philadelphia WOAR by a committee of concerned people. In 1982, WOAR formally changed its organizational name, to reflect current and future goals, to Victims Resource Center. Since 1982, VRC has developed additional direct service and educational programs to meet the needs of both victims and the community. These include programs for people with mental retardation, preschool children and workers who are concerned about sexual harassment, as well as self-help support and psycho-educational groups.

Throughout the years, VRC has maintained its emphasis on the need for quality, coordinated, comprehensive services for victims of all types of crime. The organization’s over-riding goal has always been to help victims make the painful transition from victim to survivor.

First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kennedy said, “We’re honored to support Victims Resource Center with this grant. This organization is providing a valuable service to individuals across Northeast Pennsylvania. In addition to the work they do at their center, they perform vital outreach to area schools to educate children and adolescents about how to form safe and healthy relationships with friends, parents, teachers and romantic partners. It’s important to teach the next generation how to form healthy relationships and we hope this grant helps support the important work that is done every day at the Victims Resource Center.”

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

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that are located in Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties are eligible to apply. 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: Tammi Burke, pictured at center, manager of community services for the Victims Resource Center (VRC), accepts a grant from First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kenney, right, that VRC plans to use to help fund renovations at a new facility in Wilkes-Barre. Also pictured at left is Tony Cusatis, president of the First Federal Charitable Foundation Board of Directors.

First Federal Charitable Foundation

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