Around the Square: A Podcast by Historic Kennett Square
By Bo Wright
Kennett’s own hyperlocal podcast reaches across our community to bring us together in these uncertain times. Around the Square features short, focused conversations with Kennett-area community leaders to bring you the helpful, accurate, and up-to-date information you need to stay safe, help others, and maintain hope for our future.
Where to listen
05. Mike Bontrager - Square Roots Collective
Around the Square: A Podcast by Historic Kennett Square • By Bo Wright • Jun 6
This week on Around the Square, HKS Executive Director Bo Wright talks with Mike Bontrager, Founder and Team Leader of Square Roots Collective (SRC). Bontrager defines SRC's mission and three areas of focus—social impact, community development, and environmental stewardship. He highlights an exciting project involving racial healing through storytelling and explains the thinking behind the Small Business Response Fund, which provides an opportunity for people to express and double their generosity to help small businesses in Kennett survive through this time.
Nate Echeverria, Economic Development Director for the Borough of Kennett Square and Kennett Township and a staff member at Historic Kennett Square, talks about Historic Kennett Square's Small Business Response Fund and what it means for local business owners and for our community.
Do you own a small, consumer facing business in the Borough of Kennett Square or Kennett Township? Apply for a grant at www.KennettSBRF.com
Do you want to help our local businesses survive this difficult crises? Donate to the SBRF at www.KennettSBRF.com
Historic Kennett Square Executive Director, Bo Wright, interviews Sara Dickens about her involvement with Casa Guanajuato and Mighty Writers. Sara is a strong, compassionate, and unstoppable woman who spearheads the local chapter of Mighty Writers and recently became the president of Casa Guanajuato. She is working tirelessly right now to meet the overwhelming and immediate need to feed children and families in our community—body, soul, and mind—with meals as well as books and other resources.
Historic Kennett Square Executive Director Bo Wright interviews Nick Winkler, the innovative entrepreneur behind Work2gether and the Kennett Strong gift card initiative. Nick shares the Kennett Strong concept and the tremendous impact it’s having for small businesses as well as for a local nonprofit.
Winkler, the newest business owner in Kennett Square, was able to open his co-working space in the iconic historic building at 120 East State Street only a few weeks before the COVID-19 shutdown. He explains how Kennett Strong is a natural extension of the Work2gether concept. “There’s power when people come together under a single mission,” he says. “We really are stronger together and it’s oddly comforting through this chaos to know that you’re not alone.”
Kennett Strong is a win-win-win for the Kennett community: for consumers, who receive $150 value in gift cards for $100; for the 20 participating small businesses, who receive much-needed funds to keep their businesses going in this difficult time; and for KACS, as those who buy Kennett Strong gift cards have the opportunity to make a donation towards helping the neediest families in our community right now.
Go to KennettStrong.org to find out how you can support, or continue to support, this important initiative.
Historic Kennett Square Executive Director Bo Wright interviews Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) Executive Director Leah Reynolds to find out the extent of COVID-19-related needs right now, how people can help, and how people who need help can access assistance.
Leah Reynolds, Executive Director of Kennett Area Community Service (KACS), explains the broad range of services that KACS offers regularly and the tremendous impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on hundreds of families in our local area.
KACS is home of the Kennett Food Cupboard as well as an Emergency Assistance Program that provides financial and housing assistance and a microloan program.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, KACS supplied a 5–7 day supply of food in an open pantry setting to 550 local families monthly (including 900 children). Over 90% of this food was donated.
With the onset of COVID-19, donations dropped off, KACS had to suspend their large volunteer corps, and the needs have increased exponentially.
KACS has now partnered with the Kennett Y so they can accept donations of food and prepack boxes. They’ve served 271 families in the last two weeks.
In the first two days of this initiative, our amazing community donated over 5,500 pounds of food.
With 63 active COVID-19-related cases and so many people out of work, the numbers of people needing emergency assistance have increased exponentially as well.
Calls to action
To help those in need:
The best way to help KACS help those in need right now is to make an online donation at www.kacsonline.net.
Drop off food donations at the Kennett Y on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 4pm. See the list of items needed at www.kacsonline.net.
Share these needs with your network of friends and neighbors and invite them to join you in helping to meet this overwhelming need right now.
For those in need:
KACS serves our neighbors living in the Avon Grove, Unionville, and Kennett Consolidated School Districts who need help.
The Food Cupboard is located at 136 West Cedar Street in Kennett Square and provides families with a 5–7 day supply of food once a month. It’s now open only on Fridays, 11am to 6pm.
The Emergency Assistance Program offers the following services for those currently living in their service area, but please note that it’s necessary to call—no walk-ins are accepted at the Resource Center at this time.
Financial assistance for rent, utility bills, and other basic living expenses, please call 610-925-3556 ext. 114.
Housing assistance for those who are experiencing homelessness or about to be homeless, please call 610-925-3556 ext. 111.
For the microloan program, please call 610-925-3556 ext. 119.
All other inquiries regarding emergency assistance please call 610-925-3556 ext. 120