On March 13, in my SEEN column I highlighted the Sarah Heinz House’s Steak & Burger Dinner at the Hall of Fame Club in PNC Park. It dawned on me recently that readers might be interested to learn where the money raised at events like that one actually goes. Hence, here is a special edition for my blog: #SEENMoneyWellSpent!
Last week, I visited the Sarah Heinz House and chatted with director of development and marketing Janice Wasson and Bob Bechtold, who has been a member of the SHH (Sarah Heinz House) since he was a little kid and for many years has been working there as a physical education teacher. It was inspiring to see how generations of children have benefited from the work done at SHH.
Bob Bechtold and Janice Wasson
The SHH began serving the community in 1901, and they recently added a new building, which is Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. This green space offers an indoor pool, has floors made from recycled rubber tires (very cool!), and a new cafe area where they can serve more than 17,000 meals each year (along with 22,000 snacks). This is of great value to the community; as a social worker I have come to realize and see first-hand how many kids in our own backyards go without food on a daily basis.
“We want Pittsburghers to know that the Sarah Heinz House doesn’t just serve the North Side. We work with families and elderly people from all over the city. There are 130 structured after-school programs and each day we serve roughly 300 kids from 90 different schools,” Janice said.
Kids working on Robotics #SEENFutureEngineers
Bob was equally enthusiastic about the program as he was giving me a tour of the building. “The Sarah Heinz House was there for me as a kid, and I am happy to be serving generations of families. Mrs. Heinz wanted it to feel like a home away from home, and I think we have achieved that,” he said with a smile.
The one thing that SHH is lacking is transportation to take students from schools to their facility. This service was cut due to budget constraints on the state and local levels. If you want to contribute or become a volunteer of the SHH, please visit their website: http://www.sarahheinzhouse.org/
This truly is #moneywellspent.
Follow Sarah Heinz House on Twitter: @sarahheinzhouse