FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The Penny Pitch 2018 recipients have been announced!
WOWO will begin raising funds for Erin’s House and Big Brothers Big Sisters Friday, October 26 through the annual Penny Pitch Radiothon, scheduled for Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14.
Erin’s House is recognized as one of the premier children’s grief centers in the nation. The organization caters to children going through a difficult time, stating “there are no rules on the ‘right way’ anxious children should grieve. There are no rules how anyone should grieve, for that matter. The important thing is to be there for the child, to offer support and a sounding board for the emotions following a death or loss – regardless of how the child may express them.”
The funds raised during this year’s Penny Pitch effort will specifically go toward expanding the Erin’s House Teen Program. While Erin’s House is already serving teens, the facility’s space is becoming more crowded as more people are being served overall. Currently, the teen rooms are the smallest program rooms in the building. The organization hopes to use Penny Pitch funds to create a “Teen Club House,” giving teens independence in a safe and secure environment.
The Teen Club House would be used for programs specifically for teens on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. It would be a separate 20×20 building, with a loft and wrap-around porch. The expansion would include developing new activities, training staff and volunteer facilitators, providing community education on teen grief, and supporting schools impacted by death.
WOWO is also raising funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters, specifically for Real Men Read (R.M.R.). The program aims to pair children with a positive male role model.
Approximately 23.7% of America’s children live in mother-only families. R.M.R. volunteers provide a positive male role model to 2nd and 3rd grade students, making five visits to the classroom throughout the year to read a book and engage the students’ interests in reading.
Currently, Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinates 238 adult male volunteers to visit 248 Allen County school classrooms. In the 2017-2018 school year, these men read books to more than 6,200 elementary grade children.
Funds raised through this year’s Penny Pitch effort will go directly toward the R.M.R. program. Due to a decrease in program funding from the United Way of Allen County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is now solely responsible for the administration of the program.
Funds will go toward purchasing classroom books and creating long term financial support for the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters wishes for each child participating in the R.M.R. program to receive his/her own personal copies of the program books in the future. Funds may also held expand the program into more schools.