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Labor supported Teen Works votes to provide funds for three more community projects


March 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Labor supported Teen Works votes to provide funds for three more community projects


LEHIGH VALLEY, February 18th- The Teen Works Board of Directors voted to help fund three community projects being conducted by area teens from throughout the Lehigh Valley. The organization held a meeting on February 10th at the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley building in Bethlehem Township. Meetings of the Board of Directors are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month, depending on if the organization received any applications for grants by any teens or youth groups.

Unions from throughout the Lehigh Valley contribute funds that is donated to area teens involved with a project to help the region. The program is a agency of the Greater Lehigh Valley United Way. All funds donated by the labor organizations is used to support the Teen Works program.

School students ask the Teen Works Board of Directors for financial help to conduct a community project in the Lehigh Valley. Under the program teen(s) must first complete an application for the financial help and attend a meeting.

Ron Achey, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation, Greater Lehigh Valley United Way Labor Liaison, the go-between the labor community in the Lehigh Valley and the community based organization, and co-ordinator of the Teen Works program, stated funds donated to be used for providing grants has decreased over the past several years and the group may need to adjust the maximum grant that can be obtained down-ward in 2009. Currently, the most funds that can be provided for any community project is $1,000.00.

Boy Scout Troop 431 member Derek Weber of Macungie Township received a grant of $1,000.00 from the organization to construct a Memorial Garden for fallen soldiers that served in the Iraq War. The teen wants to construct the garden on the Lower Macungie Township Building property in a location to be determined later. The plan is to begin the project around late April.

Boy Scout Troop 335 member Angelo Fattore of Bethlehm had requested the organization provide funds for his project to repair and fix the food pantry that has no shelving and minimal light at the Northeast Ministry in Bethlehem. The goal is to move the food from boxes and wooden pallets and on shelving that could be organized and ready to be used.

However, the teen was successful in obtaining the needed funding elsewhere, and stated he no longer was requesting the organization donate funding for his project. Teen Works decided to give a $200.00 grant to purchase food for the pantry.

Boy Scout Troop 431 member Brandon Tunkel of Allentown, received a grant of $700.00 for his project. The teen received the grant to help purchase materials to construct a handicap accessible ramp and stairway for a portable classroom at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Macungie Township. The youth stated he offered to build the ramp so the classroom would pass the handicap code.

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