Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -William Butler Yeats
Historically, The Community Service Committee of the Allentown Rotary Club awards grants to 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit organizations based upon the following criteria:
- the recipient organization is based in Allentown and serves the people and needs of Allentown; or
- the recipient organization is based in the Lehigh Valley but also serves the people and needs of Allentown.
Grant sizes and number of awards vary each year, and may have limitations of their use at the discretion and recommendation of the Allentown Rotary Board and Foundation.
In 2014, the Community Service Grant recipient was Community Bike Works of Allentown because of their service to the community’s youth, and educational programs that teach life lessons through bicycle mechanics. Their flagship Earn-A-Bike program, which started in 1995, pairs students with adult mentors for a 12-week course in bicycle mechanics and safety. In the course of working on their bikes, students learn skills such as mechanics, writing and teamwork. Students enjoy the satisfaction of turning a broken bike into a functional one, and are awarded their refurbished bike and new helmet at the conclusion of the course.
“The Allentown Rotary Club has been looking to partner with an organization like Community Bike Works: a dedicated group that is making a difference in the lives of the youth throughout Allentown,” says Ann McManus, the Allentown Rotary Club Community Service Chairwoman.