With three main preserves—the Laurels, Waterloo Mills and Penguin Court—the Brandywine Conservancy seeks to protect natural resources throughout the Brandywine-Christina watershed. Founded by beloved whip, George “Frolic” Weymouth, today the conservancy works with landowners to protect their land, promotes regional and arts and culture through the Brandywine River Museum of Art, and hosts events throughout the year to further awareness and connect people to the great outdoors.
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700.
With numerous locations throughout the Brandywine Valley, the Brandywine Valley SPCA works to protect and place homeless animals. In 2019 alone, the organization has placed over 9,000 animals and spayed or neutered over 8,000.
1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, (610) 692-6113.
When his wife was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while pregnant with their second child, Paul Isenberg found great support in family and friends. Honoring her memory, today, Isenberg is the founder and CEO of this nonprofit, which has served over 4,500 families who have a loved one battling cancer. Since 2008, the organization has raised $5.5 million, which goes directly to paying household bills.
541 Swedesford Road, Malvern, (484) 580-8395.
Despite it being one of the wealthiest counties in the state, Chester County has no shortage of food insecure individuals. To help combat that divide, the Chester County Food Bank collects and donates food to address the escalating problem. Since its founding in 2009, the food bank has worked to distribute 2.7 million pounds of food to those in need. It also offers educational programs and has a raised bed garden program.
650 Pennsylvania Drive, Exton, (610) 873-6000.
Established in 1976, the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County serves all 49 municipalities, providing support services, including counseling, a safe house and legal advice, for victims of domestic abuse.
14 W. 2nd St., Media, (610) 565-6272.
Based in Exton, this nonprofit serves women and children facing homelessness in Chester County. Each year, the organization helps support 500 individuals through various programming, including supportive and shared housing, eviction prevention and pre-senior living so that like its namesake, women and children can soar again.
969 Swedesford Road, Exton, (610) 647-4940.
Urban sprawl threatens open spaces, where wildlife and native flora thrive. To combat those effects, this conservancy, which began in the 1970s, works to preserve open space, historic sites and natural resources to ensure they’re around for generations to come. Residents and visitors can take to the many trails across their preserves in Chester County or partake in a number of events, including the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.
541 Chandler Mill Road, Avondale, (610) 347-0347.
In the cold months, a coat is an essential, but many children go without. An estimated 16 million children in the U.S. live in poverty. To ensure they don’t go without a coat—and to help build their self-esteem by having something new and all their own—Chadds Ford’s Operation Warm manufacturers its own line, which it distributes to children in need throughout the country. It also works to connect children to other services like libraries and service clubs.
6 Dickinson Drive, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2500.
Studies have found that certain therapies can aid in mobility, balance, strength and self-esteem. At Thorncroft, 350 weekly students receive therapeutic horseback riding aimed at adults and children with emotional or mental struggles and physical disabilities, some of them through scholarships. It is one of the oldest such institutions in the country and over 150 volunteers help make it a success.
190 Line Road, Malvern, (610) 644-1963.
For women going through a rough patch, finding clothes that are work or interview appropriate can be finically difficult. Wings for Success prepares women with those clothes, as well as skills so they can get back on their feet. Since its inception in 1997, the organization has outfitted nearly 12,000 women.
490 Lancaster Ave., Frazer; 345 Scarlett Road, Kennett Square; (610) 644-6323.