On June 4, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities awarded $87,000 in grants and scholarships from their Portiuncula Foundation. The foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations that advance the health and well-being of people in communities where the Sisters of St. Francis live and work. In addition, nursing scholarships are awarded to students working to obtain a nursing certificate, associate or master’s degree in nursing from a Catholic nursing school, college or university in western Pennsylvania.
Ten grants totaling $80,000 were awarded to these western Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) organizations:
- Vincentian de Marillac, Inc.: $7,500 multi-sensory environmental system for people with dementia
- Angels’ Place, Inc.: $7,000 computers for early childhood learning center
- Circle C Youth and Family Services, Inc.: $6,500 bathroom renovation at group home for older adolescents
- The Intersection, Inc.: $6,000 on site meals, food pantry and emergency support services for people in need
- TELI: The Early Learning Institute: $5,000 Helping Hand client aid program
- Sisters Place, Inc.: $5,000 six-week summer day camp for children of single parents
- Bethlehem Haven: $5,000 Step Up program for women in addiction recovery
- Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry: $3,000 counseling and tutoring
Grants were also awarded to the following ministries of the Sisters of Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities:
- St. Elizabeth/St. Clare Schools Food Program, Kenya, Africa: $15,000 supplemental food for underserved children
- Change A Heart Volunteer Program, Pittsburgh: $15,000 housing costs for young adults serving people in need
- St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Greenville, S.C.: $5,000 k-6 math curriculum enhancement
Four scholarships totaling $7,000 were awarded to:
Teresa Lynn (Terri) Deithorn Memorial Nursing Scholarships, in the amount of $2,500 each
- Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. for Brendan P. Crowley
- St. Francis University, Loretto, Pa. for Rachel R. Dieterich
Major Helen C. Humenansky Nursing Scholarships, in the amount of $1,000 each
- Carlow University, Pittsburgh, Pa. for Desiree C. Edmonds
- Gannon University, Erie, Pa. for Heather E. Wilson
Founded in 2003, the Portiuncula Foundation supports efforts to advance the health and well-being of people living in communities where the Sisters of St. Francis live and work. The foundation manages the restricted gifts and charitable funds formerly held at the Pittsburgh-based St. Francis Health Foundation, St. Francis Hospital of New Castle, and St. Francis Medical Center in a manner in keeping with the original intent of the donors.
The Portiuncula Foundation also administers the memorial nursing scholarships originally established at the former St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing.
The name, Portiuncula is derived from an Italian word that means “Little Portion.”