Category: The Center
Like many of us, Maria and Elizabeth wanted a way to serve others during the pandemic.
Despite snow, heat, rain, and sleet, these volunteers are out every week, delivering food from the West Chester Food Cupboard and Oscar Lasko YMCA to East End residents. This dynamic duo has delivered thousands of pounds of food to Union Court, Locust Court Apartments, Apartments of Modern Living, Church Street Housing, and Denny Reyburn Apartments residents.
Because of this volunteer-led initiative, over 500 households never had to worry about feeding their families. Thank you, Maria and Liz for your fantastic work! We’d also like to thank the St. Paul’s Men’s Ministry for helping organize and pack groceries for our clients.
Baptist Church of West Chester: 221 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382. Free breakfast on Saturdays from 6:00 am – 9:00 am and on the second & fourth Sunday at 11:00 am. Open to the public. 610-696-7466
- Church of Holy Trinity: Friday Night Supper: Every Friday 4:00 – 6:00 pm. 212 S High St. 610-389-4505
- Cornerstone Christian Fellowship: Free dinners on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm. 426 W Gay St. 484-358-4983
- Meals on Wheels Agency: Deliveries available Monday – Friday to elderly and homebound individuals. 404 Willowbrook Ln. 610-430-8500
- Oscar Lasko YMCA: The Y has partnered with the Chester County Food Bank and the United Way of Chester County, to collect and distribute food to the community on Fridays from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. For donations and pick-up, you will need to pull up on Chestnut Street park in one of the meter spots near the front door and honk your horn.
- Safe Harbor: Community Lunch is served Monday – Saturday 11:30-12:30 and on Sunday’s November-March same time. 20 N Matlack St. 610-696-9016
- St. Agnes Day Room: Breakfast: Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 10:00am. Lunch: Monday – Friday: Noon – 1:30pm 233 W Gay St. 610-429-0697
- Salvation Army Community Meals: Monday – Thursday: Breakfast 7:00 am | Dinner 5:00 pm — Saturday Dinner 5:00 pm (except 2nd Saturday) Sunday Lunch 1:00 pm — Sunday Dinner 5:00 pm — No meal service on Fridays. 101 E Market St. 610-696-8746
- West Chester Area School District: Free meals are distributed every Wednesday at Henderson High School from 11:00 am -1:00 pm and at the rear of Fugett Middle School (off of Paoli Pike) from 4:00 pm—6:00 pm. Meals are pre-packaged & include a choice of two entrees, fruit, vegetable, and milk. Contact Food Service Manager,
Clare DiSabatino at 484-266-3880 for alternative meal options regarding dietary concerns.
- The West Chester Food Cupboard: If you or anyone you know needs food, PLEASE remember the West Chester Food Cupboard. It is safe, friendly and easy and you will take home a lot of good food. We’re open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 at 431 South Bolmar Street.
Since 1918, the Melton Center has provided programming to West Chester’s marginalized communities through educational, recreational cultural, and civic services. The need for resources and programs has never been greater. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to host our usual fundraising events and lost income from our regular facilities rentals. We are hosting this virtual event to continue to support needed programs.
Since March 2020, we have temporarily realigned our mission to meet the basic and intermediate needs of the community we serve. We have been able to feed over 500 families and provide safe and much needed recreational activities for the east end of West Chester and beyond. Here are a few ways we’ve served our community:
- Every week, our community volunteers have delivered hundreds of meals to nearly 100 homebound and vulnerable residences including Union Court, Locust Court Apartments, Apartments of Modern Living, Church Street Housing, and Denny Reyburn Apartments.
- Despite blistering temperatures, our volunteers completed our Outdoor Beautification Project. Throughout the fall, that was used by New Direction students and MOBBY participants. In partnership with FOSCI, The Center held our 1st “Melton Pot” Garden Party and fundraiser. We can’t wait to celebrate many occasions out there!
- Over the summer, we distributed 50 bikes to neighborhood kids in partnership with the Salvation Army, through our Giving Bikes Back Program.
- Since July, we have offered COVID-safe, in-person recovery meetings.
- The Melton Center also cultivates a community garden, cared for by volunteers. This year, more than 200 pounds of food was donated to local food banks.
- John Humanick Family Foundation awarded us a $95,000 grant to support our programs. We are proud of our long-term relationship with Chester County Adult and Juvenile Probation.
- During Thanksgiving, the Trinity AG (West Chester PA) and Brandywine YMCA distributed turkeys, outerwear and bags of food to our neighbors on the East Side.
- Mentoring Our Black and Brown Youth (M.O.B.B.Y) is a new program that focuses on young black and brown male students. Bi-weekly meetings and monthly trips provide educational, recreational, cultural and civic experiences for these youth.
- During the holidays, our generous community donated holiday gifts for our New Directions students through a toy drive organized by Limoncello West Chester, Limoncello Chester Springs, Bar Avalon, and Toys for Tots.
- The Melton Center was one of the few places where community service volunteers could do their court mandated volunteer hours.
- Construction began on The Melton Center Apartments.
- While most recreational places were closed during the pandemic, in compliance with CDC protocols, our gym has continued to offer a safe place for students to play basketball after school.
- Two donors have also offered safe gym and rec time for community members.
- In January, we hired three new staff members.
- Our New Directions Program has engaged 30 students in grades K-8 in more than 350 hours of virtual tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment to support their academic and social-emotional well-being. Thank you to the more than 50 volunteers from West Chester University, our local high schools, and our community who have made this possible!
We look forward to holding our first-ever virtual fundraiser, The Melton Center Presents: A Night for CommUnity, on Saturday, April 10 to raise awareness and support for our programs. We hope you’ll join us by purchasing a ticket or becoming a sponsor!
Please stay safe and well,
Sincerely, Charles A. Melton Arts & Education Center
All visitors must agree to the following:
- No one who is exhibiting any symptoms of illness or has knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 is permitted to enter the building.
- All patrons must have their temperature checked before entering the building. Temperature may not be 100.4 or higher. If Melton Center staff are not present for your meetings, then a member of your organization must be designated to take temperatures using a contactless thermometer. This procedure must be documented for every member of every meeting.
- Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by everyone in the building and are to be worn properly so as to cover the person’s nose and mouth.
- All visitors must sign in/sign out on the provided sign-in sheet every time they enter the building.
- Hand sanitizer must be provided upon entry to the building, and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
- All meetings must follow the CDC social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between people at all times.
- We ask rental organizations to use disinfectant to wipe down their chairs, tables, and high-touch surfaces (doorknobs, railings) after meetings. The Melton Center will thoroughly clean and disinfect rooms and bathrooms in between uses, but we ask organizations to sanitize surfaces during use as well to help protect our staff.
- The Melton Center must be notified immediately if anyone who has been in the building tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19.
- All visitors must follow all CDC, state, and local health and safety recommendations at all times.
- Anyone who does not comply with these will rules will be asked to leave.
- We will have open gym hours from Monday – Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm. The gym is closed on Fridays.
- Everyone must adhere to the rules above. If anyone is seen without a mask, the gym will close for the day.
- The capacity for the gym is 25 people. Once we have reached that, the gym will be closed to new players until current players have left.
In honor of the 2021 MLK Day of Service, the Charles A. Melton Center invites community members to support students in our New Directions Program.
New Directions is an afterschool academic and social-emotional skill building program that provides tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment for K-8 students from low-income backgrounds in West Chester, PA. Our mission is to close the opportunity gap and to give students a place to develop leadership skills to make a difference in their community.
Contribute Supplies–Contactless Donation Drop-off
- Donate healthy snacks in single-serve packages (i.e. granola bars, pretzels, whole grain crackers, fruit cups, raisins).
- Donate engaging, diverse, and culturally relevant books.
- We are offering Contactless Donation Drop-off on Monday, January 18, from 1–3pm. 501 E. Miner St West Chester, PA. Please pull into the parking parking lot through the Market St. entrance. We will collect donations from your vehicle.
Contribute Your Time–Become a volunteer!
- New Directions welcomes qualified tutors to support our students in all subject areas.
- We also invite community members to share about your profession, leadership experience, or commitment to social justice as a “Community Leader Reader,” guest speaker, or student mentor.
We are in need of financial donations that will be used to make our safe, social-distanced, afterschool and summer programming possible. Donate here.