You told us WHO you thought should win a Wawa Foundation Hero award this year and now it's time to vote!
People shared heroic stories about the work being done by Philadelphia-area non-profits and that elevated four organizations to finalists.
The winning organization gets a $50,000 grant and the three runner-ups each receive $10,000.
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Here are your four finalists in alphabetical order (and please read more about each below):
Voting opened Monday and ends June 29. CLICK HERE TO VOTE.
The winner is announced on July 4 during the Wawa Welcome America! festivities.
"All of us at Wawa were overwhelmed to have received so many incredible submissions for The Wawa Foundation Hero Award and were truly inspired to hear about the work that so many are non-profits are doing to help others and improve their communities," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "We can't wait to celebrate during the Wawa Welcome America! festivities these four non-profits who truly tell the story of what it means to be a hero."
Here is a bit more about the finalists:
Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia: The Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia is committed to helping establish youth wrestling programs in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. The organization works to foster the holistic development of student-athletes by providing the resources to support an athletic program and an academic tutoring program across a group of local schools and community programs. Beat the Streets runs programs in 22 Philadelphia-area locations, primarily in extremely under-resourced neighborhoods, and serves over 1,200 students with between 100 and 400 hours of programming on an annual basis.
Philadelphia READS: The mission of Philadelphia READS is to “raise a city of readers” through quality out-of-school-time programs focused on helping children read on or above grade level by grade 4. A proud partner of the “READ! By 4” campaign, the organization relies heavily on volunteers to serve the Philadelphia community. Philadelphia READS helps hundreds of students in the city receive one-on-one literacy tutoring and mentoring every week, and since its inception has distributed more than 100,000 new or nearly new books to hundreds of teachers each year for use in high-need schools.
SPIN: Special People in Northeast, Inc. was founded in 1970 by a group of families who wanted their children to have a summer camp experience that would not only meet their specific needs, but would allow these children the recreational activity they would have otherwise missed. Forty six years later, SPIN is dedicated to the mission of providing the highest quality people-first services and support for children and adults with intellectual, developmental, and autism spectrum disabilities so that each may achieve and enjoy a life of possibilities. Today, the organization supports more than 3,500 infants, children, and adults in the Philadelphia area.
Veterans Multi-Service Center Philadelphia: Since 1980, Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) Philadelphia has served those in the area who help preserve our freedom and each year helps more than 3,500 local veterans through their transition back to civilian life. As the only non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all veterans in need, VMC offers meals six days a week as well as services like job training and placement, benefits analysis, ongoing case management, Women Veteran programming, and a multitude of other resources to educate, inspire, and empower Veterans during their transition.