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JOHNSTOWN—A new fund has been established at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, and who it benefits will be entirely up to a group of youngsters.

The Pouring Hope Foundation was created by six donor families: Erin and Casey Craig and their children Lilly and Grant; Tori and Matt Smith and their children Ben, Cameron, and Morgan; Leigh and Zac Craig and their children Louis and Adam; Johnna and Chris Donaldson and their children Katie and Anna; Amy and Chris Runkle and their children Lily and Ella; and Allison and Scott Harbart along with their daughter Carson. The children range in age from 16-months to 11-years old.

The mission of the Pouring Hope Foundation is to raise money for less fortunate children in the Greater Johnstown area, primarily those struggling with health issues, and to encourage children to help make a positive difference in the lives of others. And, it all started with pouring a glass of lemonade.

“Our first lemonade stand was held at the Laurel Auto Group Charity Golf Classic in 2012. Erin Craig initially presented the idea to our group of friends and all the children in those families to hold the lemonade stand and raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” said Tori Smith. “Four years in a row, those same families helped organize and execute the stand at the LAG Charity tournament, collectively raising over $5,000. This past June, Matt Smith suggested we continue the lemonade stand under a new fund at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and distribute the donations to local children in need. And, that’s how the Pouring Hope Foundation was born.”

“The Community Foundation is pleased to have an opportunity to work with these families to establish a donor-advised fund that will help teach their children to be charitable and engage the children in fundraising and decision making to improve their community,” said Paula Hencel, Donor Services Officer.

“As adults, we understand the importance of giving back and sometimes in the chaos of raising young kids, we feel like that valuable lesson is sometimes drowned out by everything else going on in their lives,” said Smith. “Raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand was a wonderful way to give back, however, we feel like our children were somewhat removed from their actual impact. We hope that this new foundation will reiterate what we try to convey to them on a daily basis by allowing them to have a more ’hands on’ experience and witness how their volunteered time is making a positive difference in their own community.”

“The kids are excited to actually see their donated dollars at work this year. We plan to involve the children in deciding where and to whom the funds will go,” said Smith.

The parents hope the fund will gain brand recognition within the community as they continue their efforts each year at the LAG golf classic as well as other events in the Johnstown area.

“We would love for more families to get involved and hold their own Pouring Hope Foundation lemonade stand at any event or come out and help each year at the LAG Charity Golf Classic,” said Smith.

To donate to the Pouring Hope Fund, click here.

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