These Wilmington Nonprofits Are Making the World a Better Place

Updated December 9, 2016
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Original article from DelawareBusinessTimes.com

Barrel of Makers

WilmToday just featured this “maker space” in our ‘Small Biz Spotlight’ feature. Read the article here

Barrel of Makers has been operating a maker space in Wilmington since 2012 — a volunteer-run community center where anyone can learn soldering, integrated circuits, fiber arts, woodworking, glass-bead making, 3-D printing, computer programming and other useful skills. If it’s art, craft or tech, they’ll help you learn it. 

Different generations collaborate and create things with tools they wouldn’t normally have access to.
As volunteer Jessi Glassco puts it, “Anybody can make stuff with us. No experience necessary.” 

They operate out of a suite at 1313 Innovation and a converted garage at 2003 W. 17th St. and on www.meetup.com/barrelofmakers.

Boys Scouts Low Income City Outreach

Boy Scouts of America has removed all the barriers for almost 500 low-income city children who want to become Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. Now the organization provides free uniforms and transportation, pays all registration fees, lends camping equipment and provides staff to do the jobs parents perform in many packs. The goal is to give all boys ages 7 to 18 a chance to experience the outdoors and learn the skills scouting teaches — even when their parents are working too many jobs to volunteer.

Now there are two Boy Scout troops and 15 Cub Scout packs operating in schools and at community groups — Hicks Anderson, Ministry of Caring, Walnut Street YMCA, Kingswood Community Center, the Latin American Community Center, West End Neighborhood House and Stop the Violence Prayer Chain.

2016 Troop 99 Pancake Breakfast. Image from North Delaware Happening Magazine
Wilmington Youth Rowing Association

WYRA, operating since 1989, brings the sport of crew to Wilmington’s less fortunate children. “The beauty of our program is that kids from Southbridge and Greenville row together every day and learn that a boat can’t move successfully down the course unless everyone pulls together,” said Executive Director Faith Pizor.

Rower wannabes begin with Row-For-It, WYRA’s intro to crew. The three-week program is open to all children 10 and older, and 75 percent of campers pay nothing, based on family income. 

Image from wyra.org

Kids who want to take up crew as their sport can sign up to row year-round. WYRA currently has 75 crew members. About 25 percent are on full or partial scholarships. 

Many rowers from the city of Wilming-ton who might never have thought of going to college were introduced to rowing and rowing scholarships at WYRA’s blue-awninged boathouse on the Christina River, where the staff has set up a college application program to help crew members in their college searches. 

“Colleges like rowers,” Pizor said. “WYRA graduates have rowed for more than 80 colleges.”

Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s

St. Paul’s has served 294 people at their The Family Counseling Center in the first 10 months of 2016. Many of the people they provide help to need trauma care after witnessing armed robberies, physical assaults or domestic violence.

St. Paul’s also offers Spanish and English counseling with a sliding-scale fee that ranges from $5 to $50 an hour, far less than the market cost of $80 to $120 an hour. The center expects to serve 330 people by the year’s end — almost 100 more than last year. 

Sister Theresa Marie Elitz, OSF founder of St. Paul’s Church outreach program. Image from stpaulscounseling.org
Want to hear more about the organizations and people dedicated to making Wilmington a better place for all?
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Feature image from iStockPhoto/annatodica

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