August 2018

The Provident Bank Foundation Awards $50K Signature Grant to Bucks County Opportunity Council

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The Provident Bank Foundation (PBF) has announced Bucks County Opportunity Council Inc., in Doylestown, Pa., as the recipient of the Foundation’s $50,000 Signature Grant for 2018 in the Education funding priority area.

Bucks County Opportunity Council was selected to receive this Signature Grant for its work in the Higher Education focus area. Funding will support its Economic Self-Sufficiency program, a highly effective, individualized program that addresses the root causes that keep low-income people in poverty. The goal of the program is to empower families with the education, skills and resources necessary to achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency without any future need for cash welfare subsidies.

BCOC is partnering with Bucks County Community College to enhance the program’s effectiveness in providing access to education. The two groups collaborate and jointly fundraise for the Gateway Scholarship Program allowing them to offer limited scholarships. The Signature Grant will allow them to grow the ES program and reach more people.

“The purpose of this grant is to help people support themselves and their families with sustainable wages and health benefits,” said Jane Kurek, Executive Director, The Provident Bank Foundation. “Through the Self-Sufficiency program, they will have access to tools and opportunities to improve their quality of life. We are happy to support such a life-changing initiative, aligned with the mission of the Foundation.”

The council’s research indicates that 82% of clients are successful because they pursue higher education to gain new skills for the 21st century workplace. As a result, clients move from minimum wage, part-time jobs to jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage and benefits. “The funding will help us increase access to higher education for our clients who are working with a coach on a long-term, comprehensive action plan,” said Erin Lukoss, Executive Director, Bucks County Opportunity Council. “Our focus is to create the change needed to help our clients leave poverty permanently.”

The mission of the Bucks County Opportunity Council is to reduce poverty and partner with the community at the local level to promote economic self-sufficiency. Founded in 1965, BCOC works to elevate the awareness of poverty, and to create and lead partnerships to make the community a "Bridges Out of Poverty" community. The only 501c3 non-profit Community Action Agency in Bucks County, BCOC currently operates five programs: a food program, emergency services, home energy program, volunteer income tax assistance, and economic self-sufficiency.  

The Foundation will present the check during a presentation on Monday, August 20, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. at Bucks County Opportunity Council, 100 Doyle Street, Doylestown, PA. Attending from The Provident Bank Foundation are President Christopher Martin and Executive Director Jane Kurek. Accepting the grant on behalf of Bucks County Opportunity Council are Erin Lukoss, Executive Director, and Joe Cuozzo, Development Director. On behalf of Bucks County Community College is Tobi Bruhn, Vice President of Advancement.

For more information about PBF, visit or call (862) 260-3990.


About The Provident Bank Foundation

The Provident Bank Foundation was established in 2003 by Provident Bank to enhance the quality of life in the region through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services in communities served by the Bank. Since inception, the Foundation has granted more than $23 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities.