Whitman groups get $25,000 in state dollars to support students, families and seniors

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 -- State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., announced an exciting state investment in her district. She worked with Whitman Council Inc., in partnership with Sharswood Elementary School and Murphy Recreation Center, to invest $25,000 in state grants to support seniors, and students, as well as many neighbors’ housing and utility needs.

Rep. Fiedler worked to secure a $25,000 grant to support Whitman Council, a Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) that serves the South Philadelphia community by working with seniors and families to address various needs including rent rebates, assisting first-time homebuyers, utility assistance, property tax freeze for senior citizens, LIHEAP/PACE and mortgage foreclosure outreach.

“I am so excited to announce that these state grant dollars are being invested right here in our district to support seniors, students and families! Whitman Council is a bedrock for the community and has helped so many seniors, working and low-income families throughout this pandemic keep the roof over their head and put food on the table,” Rep. Fiedler said.

Whitman Council is partnering with two local community groups to invest the funds to help local students, families and seniors. Maryanne Daniels from Whitman Council said the group helps hundreds of people every month, and is committed to working with other community stakeholders.

“We distributed roughly $17,000 to Sharswood Elementary School to provide new desks, materials and update their parent room and student resource center,” Daniels said. She said the group worked with Sharswood Principal Leigh Vitvitsky to identify where the funds could best serve the school community.  “These spaces were long overdue for upgrades. The parent resource center will support parents’ needs and serve as a central, welcoming place for families,” she said.

The state grant dollars invested at Murphy Recreation Center will be used to upgrade sporting equipment like scoreboards and cornhole boards, as well as afterschool desks and tables. Under the leadership of Brenden Gibson, Murphy Recreation Center provided virtual schooling and continues to offer recreational and educational activities to South Philadelphia children and adults right in the heart of the community.

Rep. Fiedler said, “investing in schools and in rec centers is essential to supporting our neighbors throughout and beyond this pandemic. I am glad to see these dollars at work!” She said the partnership with Whitman Council is also very important, as the group continues to provide services daily to community members.