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In Memoriam, Mr. Chauncey Smith

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In Memoriam, Mr. Chauncey Smith

On December 30th, 2018, longtime Board Member of Sarah Heinz House, Chauncey Smith passed away.

Mr. Smith served the Members of Sarah Heinz House demonstrating the values of Character, Service & Leadership. He made our community more of a home away from home with his smile and kindness. Professionally, he had served the H.J. Heinz Company as well.

His legacy of caring for others will live on. We are grateful for his devotion to the cause of Sarah Heinz House, for the invaluable service in the development of its Members & for guidance rendered through hand & heart to the needs of youth.

We mourn and are saddened by his death. May he rest in peace. We wish his family and friends our sincerest condolences.

Bulletin, January 2019

Sneak Peek:

What’s Your Word for 2019?

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.  -Peter Drucker

As 2018 came to a close, we gathered as a staff for a moment of self-reflection and sharing.  We were charged with the difficult task of identifying ONE Word for the coming year.  We were not to consider our intent for Sarah Heinz House, but rather, for ourselves personally.

Upon reflecting and selecting our individual Word, we then forged our intent onto a piece of jewelry.  Stamping our own Word not only symbolized our commitment to live out our intent for 2019, but also served as a reminder of both the effort and focus it will take to do so effectively.

The best part of the exercise was the sharing out of each person’s Word and why they chose the Word that they did.  Each Word was wonderfully unique and tightly tied to our humanness.  It was both a moment of vulnerability and of strength.

I will not be the spoiler and share my colleagues’ Word choice. I will, however, share my own and encourage you to seek out staff members to engage in discussion about their Word.  You will get a beautiful and honest glimpse into the souls of those who devote themselves to helping our kids to laugh, learn and lead on a daily basis.  So without further ado… 

My Word was “Curious.”   The reason I chose and commit to being Curious in 2019 follows.

If I am curious, then I will keep in mind that every person has a unique path and that we all learn differently. I will meet others where they are and be open to difference.

If I am curious, then I will be open to how relationships serve as wonderful mirrors, allowing me to see myself more clearly.  I will pause in an effort to understand why I am feeling irritated and then, like an oyster, transform such irritation into a pearl of insight and wisdom.

If I am curious, then I will approach the world and life with a child-like wonder.  I will be kinder to myself and far less critical. I will not fear the unknown.  I will take risks.  I will see opportunities as opposed to challenges and will embrace failure as part of the learning process. 

So, we now challenge you to identify your ONE Word for 2019.  We look forward to hearing what you chose!

Happy New Year!

Jennifer Cairns
Executive Director

For the full January Bulletin, Click Here

Gift from The Rite Aid Foundation

This holiday season, The Rite Aid Foundation kindly donated $5,000 to help Sarah Heinz House further our programs to strengthen the emotional and physical well being of our member youth.

“The Rite Aid Foundation wants to recognize and thank Sarah Heinz House as one of our KidCents charities for making a positive impact in their communities and helping to give kids better lives and brighter futures,” said Tracy Henderson,director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives.

THANK YOU Rite Aid for our multi-year partnership in serving our community’s wonderful children.

Bulletin, December 2018

Sneak Peek at December’s Bulletin:

Basketball Leagues

The fee is only $15, for members. The fee for social members is only $30.

Practice/scrimmage times are as follows:

School League: Starters & Prep

  • December 7th – 7:15 pm – 9:00 pm

College League: Junior & Intermediates

  • December 8th – 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Pro League/”PICK-UP” Basketball (FREE): Middler, Senior Members & (Active) Adult Volunteers

  • December 8th – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Youth of the Year, Semi-Finalists

Congratulations to this year’s Youth of the Year Semi-finalists. Twelve teen candidates were selected to work with staff on their packet of obstacles and achievements they have faced throughout their lives.  The candidates will be narrowed down to 3-5 finalists over the next two months, and then one candidate will be selected to represent Sarah Heinz House at the State Competition.  Congratulations to Alicia Deets, Mary Doerfler, Victoria Fingal, Aidan Gilson, Domenic Grimm, Nicholas Guy, Achante Myles, Kevin Salipante, Jazmine Schon, Sydney Serena, and Daniel Snow!

To read about last year’s finalists and the Youth of the Year Program, Click Here

For the Full Bulletin, Click Here

Preparing Kids for Digital Futures

Article from
Posted 11/12/2018 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Partner NewsOpening Doors

Kids today are considered “digital natives” – growing up in a world infused with technology. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, many kids know how to swipe and tap a screen before they develop other essential motor skills. Yet even with all of today’s technology, and as important as digital skills are for future careers, many kids and teens from under-served communities lag behind in technical computer skills. The ability to use a touch screen, for example, does not prepare children with the technical prowess they’ll need for future success in grade and high school, and beyond.

There is a digital divide that separates young people today and it has major implications for how a young person is able to succeed in life. Boys & Girls Clubs and Comcast NBCUniversal want to close this gap by offering opportunities and experiences that can change young lives. One of those experiences is our interactive digital platform, named My.Future, launched by Comcast NBCUniversal in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs in 2014. Comcast NBCUniversal, one of the nation’s largest media and technology companies, was able to provide technology expertise combined with Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s leadership in youth development. Available at Clubs nationwide, My.Future provides access to a variety of online digital programs that encourage youth to develop a range of knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are required for success in any 21st-century career.

My.Future helps to elevate important digital and computer competencies, and it does so in a way that excites and captivates young people. With more than 125 activities, Boys & Girls Club members are able to discover new passions or view their current hobbies through a new, digital lens.

Nick G.

For another Boys & Girls Club member, Nick G. of the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh, My.Future was the gateway to photography. The platform gave Nick his first introduction to digital photography, and he was able to experiment with editing techniques using its photo manipulation software. As his digital skills improved, so did his photography. Nick has since auctioned off several of his photos at Boys & Girls Club fundraiser events, and he hopes to pursue a career as a professional photographer.

Nick G. celebrates his national photography award, thanks to photo manipulation and digital photography software available through My.Future.

My.Future has shown Nick how technology and art can come together to create something beautiful. In addition to photography, Nick now experiments with laser wood engraving, which requires sophisticated technical skills.

From advanced photo editing to web development, these two Club members embody the diverse digital skills that My.Future helps foster in our young people.

Whether kids hope to become a teacher, programmer, nurse or photographer, digital skills are essential. With screen time devoted to the development of technical competencies – and a break from the world of endless scrolling – My.Future is helping prepare our kids for successful digital futures.


For the full article, Click Here 

Bulletin – November 2018

Sneak Peek to the November Bulletin Highlights:

Re-Imagine Opportunities to Achieve & Rise (R.O.A.R.)
~ A free, day-long event open to all 5th-12th grade girls. Attendees will do a variety of STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities, earn a free t-shirt, and free breakfast and lunch.
~ Register online ASAP; only 100 spots available!

Saturday Family Sports
~ Interested in joining in with your kids? Say no more. Saturday is a family day were kids and family members can participate in the same activity it will be a sport related activities. All you have to do is sign a waiver and have fun!

Keystone Corner
~ We’d like to congratulate our officers for the 2017-2018 year!  President:  Jazmine S.; Vice President:  Ehryn M.; Secretary: Sydney S.; Treasurer: Achante M.!

For the full Bulletin, Click Here

118 Years of ‘Kids First’ Traditions

Sarah Heinz House is a Pittsburgh institution, serving the area’s youth for 118 years running. Started as the Covode House in 1901 by Howard Heinz, son of Heinz Corporation founder H.J. Heinz, the organization was an innovative recreational and social facility for boys. In 1903, the Covode House became the first organization of its kind to permit girls. By 1913, the club had become so successful that it outgrew its space. A new building was constructed and named in memory of Howard’s mother, Sarah. In the 1930’s, Sarah Heinz House became one of the first members the national Boys and Girls Clubs of America, an affiliation which continues. The building still stands at our current location and features a brick and stone exterior with stained glass windows depicting the concepts of character and virtue.

 Today SHH offers well over 100 programs for youth from age 3-18, as well as Silver Sneakers and adult fitness programs. After-School membership, for an annual fee of just $25, is available to all school-age children and teens and includes fitness and social wellness programs, free meals daily, and access to many drop-in programs and areas. Members and non-members may also sign up for electives like sports leagues, swim lessons, and robotics for low costs. We also offer robust summer programming, including at our resident camp facility near Ellwood City, where campers have enjoyed the outdoors for 90+ years.

Whether you are a teen looking for a part-time job or a cool place to hang out, a parent looking for swim lessons for a preschooler, or an adult looking for a community to connect with as a volunteer or donor, we want to invite you to our House!


Bulletin – October 2018

Sneak Peak:

And we’re off!

Our 2018-2019 program year has been in full swing for a couple of weeks and we are already creating many fond memories. We are enjoying reconnecting with familiar faces, as well as building bonds with new friends.  We are identifying and delighting in shared interests and learning from each other’s unique perspectives and differences.

This month, we will be engaging the Sarah Heinz House community in our “Be Kind” initiative.  This year long endeavor seeks to further build and strengthen our welcoming and inclusive culture.  We pride ourselves on the strong sense of belonging our youth annually report having and aspire to be a place where 100% of our youth feel accepted, valued and celebrated for who they are.  Together, we will bridge divides, foster understanding and develop empathetic, collaborative leaders who will transform our community.  This is not a simple or easy task, and candidly, we are not equipped to tackle the challenge alone.

As our valued partner, we need you to walk alongside us in solidarity on this journey.  We ask you to hold us and yourselves accountable for upholding a positive environment and kind approach to those we/you encounter within our walls.  If you see someone being unkind, say something.  If you see a person struggling, intervene.  Share your constructive feedback with us when we are the ones exhibiting contrary or inconsistent behavior.  We may be unaware of an unintended impact, or we may have just failed in a given moment.  We view your willingness to share your thoughts and perspective as a sign of trust and a belief in our willingness and ability to continually improve.

Thank you in advance for helping to position us and our kids for success in the 2018-2019 program year!

“In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind.”

For the full October Bulletin, Click Here

The Standard Charitable Foundation & SHH Alumni Support Heinz House Camp

Thank you Standard Bank for being a part of our community and your generous support to further the mission of empowering all kids to laugh, learn & lead. Special thank you to our Alumni (pictured): Dan Koller, VP & Sr. Investment Executive and Joan Schmitt for giving back to the ‘House!’

Article from Standard Bank’s website:

“Pittsburgh, Pa.  – The Standard Charitable Foundation, with support from Standard Bank, has awarded a $10,000 grant to Sarah Heinz House, a non-profit serving children through after-school programs in the Pittsburgh area. Sarah Heinz House offers more than 100 quality, after-school and summer programs for children from first-grade through twelfth-grade. The grant awarded will provide funding to support their summer camp program, which is eleven days long and includes swimming, boating, hiking, arts and crafts, and environmental education.

Jennifer Cairns, Executive Director of Sarah Heinz House, comments, “The youth at Sarah Heinz House depend on the generosity of strong corporate citizens, like Standard Bank, to subsidize life-changing opportunities they would not otherwise have. Escaping the urban setting; swimming in a pristine waterway; being active and well fed; and sleeping under the stars, all while being unplugged from technology for 11 days at time, is one such transformative experience.  We are grateful for this partnership that will enable youth to explore and respect nature, push beyond their perceived limitations and make lifelong memories.”

Dan Koller, VP and Senior Investment Executive at Standard Bank (and former Sarah Heinz House camper), adds, “I know firsthand the importance of Sarah Heinz House to the community and the long lasting impact they make on the young lives they touch. I am gratified and proud that my bank, Standard Bank, recognized the importance of the programs provided by the Sarah Heinz House. Over seventy years ago, my mother was fortunate that someone stepped in and paid her way so she could attend Heinz House Camp; now, because of this generous gift, over twenty young people, who would otherwise be unable to afford to go to camp, can experience it.”

As a community bank that believes in making a difference, Standard Bank keeps money local by deriving its funds and lending to the communities in which it operates–ultimately helping to grow the local economy. To further support their dedication to community growth, the bank helps provide financial assistance to local non-profits via the Standard Charitable Foundation. For more information about the benefits of community banking and the Standard Charitable Foundation, visit Standard Bank’s website at

Sarah Heinz House welcomes new participants and are open after school, in the evenings, and on Saturdays. A membership fee of just $25 a year gives a child access to a variety of educational, health, and fitness programs. Additional programs like robotics, dance, and media production are available for a low fee. For younger children, tot and preschool classes are also available. To support or learn more about Sarah Heinz House, visit”


Bulletin – August 2018

Sneak Peek:

Congratulations Laniya & Charlie! Read more about our SAR Award Winners and the full August Bulletin: Click Here

Program Year Begins September 17th!!!


  • Membership is the best way for kids and teens to experience all that SHH has to offer! For a low fee, members gain access to the largest single unit Boys and Girls Club facility in the country.
  • In addition to our free traditional programs and many low cost electives, members can play traditional and video games in our Gamesroom, explore technology and build the future in our Robotics Lab, take swim lessons and scale our climbing wall in our Pool, or run off their energy and work on their jump-shot in our Open Gym. We also have many regular and free special programs available to members and families.
  • Finally, members are eligible for our free dinner and snack, offered daily.
  • The Program Year runs from September 17- April 27th and is divided into 3 trimesters (Fall, Winter, and Spring)

How to Register?

  • On the registration page, click the correct grade level for your child and fill out the forms within.
    • Sign up for electives (extra programs), all while registering for membership!
  • Within three business days, you will receive a confirmation letter confirming that we have processed your membership registration and that you may come down during our program hours and join us at
    1 Heinz St!

    • Please understand that your members’ application has not been finalized until you have received your confirmation email. It is only after a confirmation email has been sent and received that your member may attend afterschool programming as a member.
  • Families that wish to pay cash or check will need to register onsite at Sarah Heinz House
  • If anyone would like to register in person, that option is available as well during normal business hours. If outside of business hours is needed, please call to set up an appointment.