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AIU Steel Valley Family Center Receives $3,000 Grant From PNC Foundation

A group of PNC employees poses and smiles as a man hands a check to AIU employees in front of a cloud background.On a recent afternoon, PNC Senior Vice President Rick Butler deposited a $3,000 grant into the grateful hands of Holly Cherpak, Senior Site Director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s (AIU) Steel Valley Family Center.

The grant represents the fulfillment of volunteer work led by PNC Proud, an LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group. Employees from PNC Proud adopted the AIU Steel Valley Family Center and secured the grant by teaching financial literacy and management skills to families for 100 hours over a 12-month period.

“Our families absolutely love what PNC is doing with its financial literacy education,” said Cherpak. “They’re asking PNC for this help and expertise that we can’t necessarily give them. The classes include life lessons that they can carry on to their kids, too.”

The AIU Steel Valley Family Center is part of the AIU’s Early Childhood, Family and Community Services division, which provides education, services, and resources to families across Allegheny County. The AIU Steel Valley Family Center serves dozens of families in and around Homestead, Munhall, and the surrounding areas.

“We’re not just here because we can be here, we’re here because we’re starting to develop relationships with the folks here, Holly and her team,” said Butler.

During classes at the family center, PNC employees teach families everything from budgeting to common sense spending habits. Butler, who is President of PNC Proud and an Internal Audit Director at PNC, said building bonds with AIU families is just as important as teaching them financial skills.

“We’re starting to see some of the same faces in our classes, so we’re building relationships with the folks who are being impacted by what the work is,” said Butler. “When we were looking for places to adopt, we considered the AIU and the work that they do here and we thought to ourselves, ‘This is a great place for our employee resource group to land and have an impact.’”

“We couldn’t be happier with PNC’s dedication to the families we serve and to our center,” said Lorene Vollman, Program Director of AIU Family and Community Education Services, who oversees AIU Family Centers. “They are truly making a difference, and these financial education classes fit right in with our mission of serving every learner.”

PNC employees will continue to volunteer at the AIU Steel Valley Family Center throughout 2024, teaching classes every other month starting in May. The volunteer work that led to the grants is greatly beneficial to the AIU Steel Valley Family Center and its operations.

“We just bought a new deep freezer for the food donations that we receive and then give to the families,” Cherpak said. “So that money is a big help to us.”