Pine-Richland Youth Center Raises Funds to Help Needy Area Families for Vacation

After witnessing the need for help during the holidays last year, the Pine-Richland Youth Center organized a $ 2,500 fundraiser that it will match for families in need this holiday season.

The effort, dubbed Richie’s Great Gift-Away, aims to raise $ 2,500 by December 15 and identify families in need.

Residents of the central service area – southern Butler County and all of Allegheny County – are eligible.

“Some people are still trying to find new jobs and we know a girl who lost her mother,” said Jessica Hall-Wirth, director of the centre’s Students with Exceptional Abilities program.

“We forget that these kinds of tragedies happen and the holiday season is not always as magical as it can be,” she said. “We wanted to give back somehow.”

The center displays a snowman illustration on one of its walls to show the fundraising progress. Currently the snowman is melted to the ground, but Hall-Wirth said that will change as donations arrive to build the snowman.

The center will match the $ 2,500 raised, or $ 5,000 distributed among 10 families. The number and number of families served could change depending on the outcome of the fundraiser and the number of families identified for the giveaway, she said.

The public is invited to make a donation via the centre’s website, by phone or by mail.

The center also asks the public to nominate families in need. Self-nominations will be accepted.

A committee of center directors will choose the gift recipients on Dec. 16 and the winners will be notified by Dec. 17, Hall-Wirth said.

The center offers programming for adults and children, including a range of classes and sports and educational opportunities. The Students with Exceptional Abilities program is aimed at children with a wide variety of disabilities and gifted students, as well as students with academic challenges.

To donate or identify a family in need, visit, or call 724-443-3796. Donations can also be dropped off or mailed to Pine-Richland Youth Center, 5554 Community Center Drive, Gibsonia, PA 15044.

Mary Ann Thomas is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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