A Giving Heart started with a dream that founder Kristee Cammack had of putting empty buildings to use to help strengthen local neighborhoods.
In 2013, she purchased an empty building that was once part of St. John Vianny church in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The space had been flooded and fallen into disrepair. Through enormous effort from her family, community members and friends, the basement was repaired, the gym floor replaced, a dance studio installed - and once again the building was put to use for the community.
Kristee's passion has always been to help families with children. A Giving Heart strives to meet some of their day-to-day challenges by providing essential services and building community, so that families and their children can thrive.
What We Have Accomplished So Far
Since it’s start less than three years ago, A Giving Heart has:
- Renovated a deteriorating building and put it back into service in the neighborhood
- Provided over 300 meals as part of their most recent summer feeding program
- Served 55 children in afterschool programming
- Provided summer recreational programming for48 elementary, middle and high school students
- Partnered with Tickets for Kids to take 30 students to cultural venues such as the Children’s Museum and Pittsburgh symphony
- Developed a collaboration with Youth Places, making it possible for middle and school aged children to access this well respected program in their own neighborhood.
- Developed a collaboration with Brashear Associations Allentown Learning and Engagement Center to provide 20 of their elementary school children nutritious dinners daily.
- Developed a collaboration with Venture Outdoors, to provide outdoor recreation and environmental awareness programs for students in the after school program
- Started the D.R.E.A.M. League for children age 5-17 from the North, South, East and West of Pittsburgh
- Started the D.R.E.A.M. Pro-Am League for professional and college basketball players.
Who We Are
Kristee Cammack- President/CEO
Kristee holds a master’s degree in Clinical Community Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations, both from Point Park University. She also holds a Food and Safety Certificate and a Childcare Director's Certificate from Community College of Allegheny county. Kristee is skilled at gathering and using data to inform program planning; working with children to enhance their academic success, truly listening to families in the community to understand what they need, planning and preparing nutritious meals, conducting community outreach; and providing behavioral support, therapy and intervention to children and their families.
Averill "Ace" Pippens - Executive Director
Ace is an inspiration to the young people participating in the program. As a young college athlete, Ace was assaulted and shot five times. He was paralyzed as a result of the attack, but has refused to let that deter him. He returned to college and went on to become the assistant and then head coach of Penn State McKeesport men’s basketball team, while earning his Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Robert Morris University. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and was the owner of the Steel City Yellow Jackets and Steel City Queens.