Help for students who want to study abroad

Thanks to a dog, students at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University can now apply for financial support to study abroad.

Temple’s George Miller, an associate professor of journalism, has always had a passion for international education and travel. He had been thinking about endowing a scholarship for several years and decided to start the Mookie Miller Fund for Adventure in Education, named after his beloved black-and-white Shih Tzu, who died in August at age 17.

Mookie was a fixture on campus. The pup accompanied Miller, also a former Philadelphia Daily News photographer, to class and would greet students who came by for office hours.

“He really was part of the institution, so I wanted to do something to memorialize him,” said Miller, who is currently the associate dean for academic affairs at Temple’s Japan campus. Former students, journalists, and colleagues have contributed to the fund. Find more information at

Homes for homeless veterans

Rental assistance is now available for homeless and at-risk, low-income veterans in New Jersey and their families.

Fifty furnished, one-bedroom apartments at the Valley Brook Village, on the 16-acre campus of the Veterans Administration New Jersey Health Care System in Lyons, have recently been completed.

The apartments are located near retail shopping that includes groceries, pharmacies, libraries, medical services, and public transportation. The facility also offers case-management assistance, vocational training, and other supportive services to help veterans become more financially stable and self-sufficient.

The first phase of the Village, which includes 62 affordable apartments, was completed in 2013. For more information:

Building bikes in time for Christmas

A Chester County company is making dreams come true for kids who want a bicycle for Christmas.

On Dec. 5, volunteers with West Chester-based Pine Street Carpenters gathered to assemble about 120 bicycles for their 12th annual 100 Wheels Project. Since 2008 the company has bought and built more than 960 bicycles to be given away at the holidays.

To distribute the bicycles, the firm partners with nonprofits, including Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children, Family Service of Chester County, The Care Center, Saint Agnes Day Room, and The Salvation Army — all located in West Chester — along with Home of the Sparrow (Exton); Carter Community Development Corporation (Kennett Square); People’s Pantry at Church Road (Malvern); and Family Services of Montgomery County (Norristown).

In addition to the bicycles, the group also supplied locks and helmets, most of which were provided through a grant from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children or collected by Benchmark Federal Credit Union.