An extra $500,000 for the PPD

Last year, the Philadelphia Police Department was able to provide its force some much-needed extra training, equipment, and technology, thanks to $514,500 in grants from the Philadelphia Police Foundation. The year-end tally was announced by the foundation on Jan. 6.

The funds supported the PPD’s purchase of 72 ballistic helmets for the SWAT team; anti-bias training for police cadets at the Holocaust Museum in Washington; canine bulletproof vests; improved saddle padding for horses in the mounted unit; funding for a drone program; renovations to the 18th Police District and Southwest District Division buildings at 55th and Pine Streets; and other necessities. The items had not been included in the city’s 2019 budget for the department.

“Last year was extremely productive and satisfying for our board and for the ultimate benefit of the men and women of the police department,” said Maureen S. Rush, president of the foundation.

Warming up the holidays

Five needy families now have a new heating systems in their homes thanks to Oliver Heating & Cooling in Morton, Delaware County, and their family of volunteers.

Owner David Oliver is carrying on the tradition that his father, Joe, started 21 years ago and christened “Heat for the Holidays.” The company provides the materials, their employees volunteer their labor, suppliers pitch in some of the units, and WSFS Bank supports the tradition with a donation. This year, the group was able to put heaters in the homes of four Pennsylvania families — in PennBrookhaven, Drexel Hill, Upper Darby, and Wyncote — and one in Vorhees, N.J. The recipients are chosen from nominations submitted to Oliver by community organizations and churches, or via word of mouth.

“A lot of time, the head of household has had medical issues,” said Oliver, 58. “They just fell on hard times and it turned into a problem with their heat.”

West Chester University teams with CHOP

West Chester University students Kimmi Szajnuk and Cameron Ducey raised more than $11,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as part of a class project called One Team Goal.

They paired CHOP patients with one of West Chester’s athletic teams. The kids, nicknamed ambassadors, attended practices and games with their respective teams. At the same time, One Team Goal raised funds for the hospital through 50/50 raffles, headband sales, and a charity gala.

“Not only were we able to exceed our goal of raising $10,000, but it was amazing to see the children and athletes having such a fun time at the gala,” said Ducey. The pair hopes to continue the goodwill by training other students to take over the project.