I am grateful, honored and blessed to be a part of one of the finest organizations I've ever known! There is no better place for kids. The purpose, goals and intentions of SHH are clearly defined and executed. The proof is in the members ~ period.
When I was asked to serve on the Board of Sarah Heinz House, an organization I did not know, I was not confident that I would be able to commit the appropriate amount of time given other obligations. From my first visit to "The Club", however, I realized that I simply could not say "no" to the request. The "vibe" of SHH is overwhelming - from the energy of the kids to the commitment of the enormous number of volunteers to the integrity and passion of the staff. Once you've been there, you simply want to contribute whatever you can to help such a special place. Of particular note is the staff's focus on continuous improvement and desire to make a great institution even better. Their professionalism surpasses that of most institutions with which I have had experience, from small companies to large corporations.
Each year, Sarah Heinz House nominates a student to partipate in the Natiuonal Youth of the Year Program. We have consistently been recognized as the leader in space - resulting most recently on the National Youth of the Year (who followed on the heels of recent State and Regional winners). Each year, in connection that program, the Youth of the Year candiates visit with the Board, and share "what Sarah Heinz House" means to them. I was fortunate that my first ever board meeting included these brilliant presentations. As a result, as a Board Member, I am directl connected to how important SHH is to our memebers, and how much our members contribute and deeply care about SHH.
The Sarah Heinze House has a long history of making a difference in the lives of the children of Pittsburgh especially in the Northiside. The motto--laugh,learn, lead--tells the importance of what is offered including an after school program and summer camp. For many needy kids, financially and socially, this is a second home; a place to learn from great teachers and mentors and in turn become leaders. The SHH has over 1000 memebers and serves an additional 2500 kids. The program reguires regular attendance which increases the child's committment. Over 40 % have been members for over 2 years with many remaining in "Club" through high school. Over 90% of those who remain with the program are admitted to college or a trade school. Last year, a student from the SHH, Nick Foley, was awarded the national Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of America. Supporting this organization helps many kids who need our help the most.
Sarah Heinz House has become a national leader in after school care with outcome data to prove it! The joy of its members when they are at SHH is obvious and is the best measure of its success.
I have been a Board Member and volunteer at Sarah Heinz House for the past four years. This boys and girls club has helped so many of our youth from grades K-12 which I have been able to personally witness. It provides so many opportunities with it's programs and group activities that many of these kids might not ever have experienced. I have been involved long enough to see many of these young kids transform into responsible young adults with endless opportunities ahead of them. Many of these kids have been recognized with various local, state and national awards that would not have been possible without the help and guidance of Sarah Heinz House and it's caring and dedicated staff. This is an organziation well worth investing in.