Bowmanstown Basketball Court Chalk Wall
The Kids for the Community Toy Drive
Carbon Foundation Establishes Two New Funds to Support Area Community Groups
Two new field of interest funds have been established at the Carbon County Community Foundation to support community groups in Palmerton and Bowmanstown.
The Bowmanstown Area Residents Connected (BARC) Fund was established by the group of the same name with the mission to empower the residents of Bowmanstown through increasing community awareness and communication. Formed in 2014, BARC is comprised of volunteers from the community who organize various events throughout the year, like a neighborhood yard sale, a holiday decorations contest, and an annual dog show. Proceeds raised through these events support beautification projects, like a chalkboard wall; the purchase of equipment, such as a message board, park benches and bike racks, for the community; and services to benefit residents, like the Helping Hands program, the Monday Mile weekly walk, two food blessing boxes set up at local churches, and two Little Libraries. The group’s future plans include two main projects: putting a mural in the grafitti-riddled tunnel and putting a multi-use community park by the Post Office.
“Our dedicated committee has worked to make Bowmanstown a model community for the residents who live here,” said Kara Scott, BARC President & Founder. “We have been raising money through our events, candy bar sales, and lottery tickets, and the community has been very supportive. We are excited about our partnerships with various other organizations that have expanded our bandwidth and are grateful for the support from the Carbon County Community Foundation, the Delaware Lehigh National Corridor, the Palmerton Library, the Bowmanstown Parryville Lions Club, who had the faith in us to support our mission from the very beginning, and of course, our residents who have shaped our direction with their feedback and support. It is amazing what can happen when great people are working in collaboration for a better community.”
The Kids for the Community Fund was established by Jennifer Merkel-Wertman and her daughter, Zoey, of Palmerton to help area kids grasp the joy and love from volunteering in the community and helping others in need. They founded Kids for the Community in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, after getting together a group of area kids to create homemade cards for residents of a local senior center.
Now, the group meets regularly to organize projects and events to benefit the Palmerton community, including planting flowers in the park; collections of clothing, food, books, and toys for local nonprofits; a Heroes Day celebration; and first-aid classes and trainings for area youth. Distributions from the new Kids for the Community Fund will support these programs and the operating costs of Kids for the Community, as well as any grants that group wants to recommend to other qualified charitable organizations.
“Our Kids group is ready to continue helping the community, helping people in need, and helping other charitable organizations with the achievement of their goes – all while giving our kids a chance to grow with these objectives in their hearts,” said Jennifer Merkel-Wertman. “Coming up, we are excited about the annual Heroes Day event, as well as a book drive for local daycares.”
“I like to get together with my friends while doing things for the Community,” said Zoey.
Any family with children who wants to join Kids for the Community in a volunteer activity can find information about upcoming events at www.facebook.com/KCPalmertonPA or can email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org. New families are always welcome; just show up and join in on the fun!
“I am so impressed with the work that BARC and Kids for the Community have been doing in Carbon County. Both are great examples of residents coming together to improve the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors,” said Sharon Alexander, President of CCCF. “The Carbon County Community Foundation is proud to support their efforts and I hope like-minded individuals from the community will consider donating to these new funds to help them each further their missions and continue the great work they are doing.”