by Sam Loth, Fund Drive Committee Member

Every year the Chestnut Hill Community Fund (CHCF) mounts a fundraising campaign to raise support dollars for other Northwest Philadelphia nonprofits that carry out worthy missions for you and your neighbors. This is one way all of us love and care for our neighborhood and each other.

I like the fact that my individual donation to the CHCF is linked to your donation and, your neighbor’s donation, and as a result, can be packaged into substantial grants that each year help these deserving Non-profit organizations.

Mt. Airy Arts Garage

My partner Louise and I attended the Mt. Airy Arts Garage Holiday Showcase last Sunday afternoon in the pouring rain. It was a classic Philadelphia early winter afternoon that made me wish for early April. When we stepped through the Arts Garage classy glass doorway I got my wish! A rush of warmth, a blast of color, smiling faces, lots of excitement and activity in a large and very open space made me feel as if it were an April day in the park.

The Mt. Airy Art Garage at 11 West Mt. Airy Avenue is a dream come true for co-founders Arleen Olshan and Linda Slodki. In 2010, establishing the new nonprofit created a home for the many artists scattered throughout Northwest Philly who lacked a collaborative voice.

One of their notable contributions to the neighborhood has been the rain barrel project. Arts Garage members organized a cooperative effort that included local school students, businesses, volunteers and the City government to acquire and decorate over 25 rain barrels to collect and store some of nature’s water faucet, all the while saving money and protecting the Wissahickon watershed. “Art for a Sustainable Future” was the project model. MAAG envisions our green city capturing and using rainwater to irrigate lawns, gardens and more while reducing the strain on our older storm water infrastructure.

By donating to the CHCF, you can continue to help nonprofit groups like the Mt. Airy Arts Garage to flourish. That’s what loving and caring for your neighborhood is all about.

You can make a contribution in person or by mail to CHCF at 8434 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia 19118 or online to or contact Noreen Spota at 215-248-8810. Thank you.