Supporting the Ecosystem of Safety and Sustainability in our Communities

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – March 11, 2014 – Comment

As I mentioned in another blog earlier this year, American Water’s environmental grant program for nine years has helped fund innovative projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies. Additionally, the company also recognizes that community safety is just as important as community improvement.

To this end, the American Water Charitable Foundation started off the New Year by awarding $126,000 in safety grants to organizations in 14 states, supporting programs and services which keep communities safe such as; neighborhood watch groups, volunteer emergency services, shelter groups, police departments, and fire departments. These community organizations are extremely resourceful and dedicated in meeting their missions to guard human health and safety, even amidst budget cuts and overall financial challenges. We believe it is important for us to offer assistance as they continue their efforts to enhance the overall safety of our communities.

These grants have been awarded in states all across the American Water footprint, including California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. There are 41 organizations receiving safety grants which will be used in many different ways.

Here’s just a sampling:

  • Kentucky’s Urban League of Nations will use funds for their Motivated All Day Every Day (MADE) program, which is a youth violence prevention program.
  • Indiana’s Shelby Senior Services will be installing “Knox boxes,” which are emergency buttons that contact emergency services.
  • Missouri’s 21st Century Fund will be purchasing smoke detectors for families in need with their grant.
  • Pennsylvania’s Volunteer Fire Company of Mt. Lebanon will use the grant for an inline hard-wired communication system for confined space rescue operations (manholes, vaults and other confined spaces).
  • New Jersey’s Woodland Community Development Corporation will use the funds to purchase radios for the community’s Neighborhood Watch program.

To see the full list of recipients, click here.

We all have a responsibility to protect and maintain our communities, and must remember and support the people who are directly safeguarding us, especially those in volunteer or non-profit groups. These heroes depend on our grants, donations, and other sources of funding to keep things going. Community safety comes in all forms, and these efforts all flow back into a larger ecosystem of helping to ensure the livability and sustainability of our communities.