Community Impact

Community Impact

“As a child, I did not have the chance to try new things. I was forced to grow up early. I was the mother figure to my siblings. I was really excited to learn about Sarah Heinz House. I had never dreamed of so many opportunities being available to someone like me. Sarah Heinz House saved my life!”
- Haley Lex, 2016 Sarah Heinz House Youth of the Year

Since beginning in 1901, Sarah Heinz House has been a caring and welcoming place for kids. Today, we annually serve more than 1,000 youth who attend 90 different schools and live in every part of Pittsburgh and in surrounding townships. We are recognized regionally and nationally as a top youth development organization for our success in positively impacting the lives of our region’s children and teens.

As times change, Sarah Heinz House remains committed to instilling its core values via innovative programs. Today, we offer our members more than 100 affordable, quality programs to develop a joy of learning, develop healthy habits, build character, leadership and respect for others, while having fun, making friends and benefitting from the guidance of caring adults.

Members attend our programs afterschool, in the evenings, on Saturdays and during the summer:

Healthy Choices for Life are developed through programs that encourage kids to make healthy choices and become physically active. 100% of our members participate in weekly fitness programs; many adopt habits that promote sound nutrition and engage in regular weekly activity beyond their time at Sarah Heinz House. To assure that every child eats a nutritionally sound dinner, the members of Sarah Heinz House receive a free meal each evening and a snack on Saturdays and during summer camp.

By the Numbers

Over 50%

of our youth are physically active 5 or more days a week


of members improved their Presidential Fitness test scores in one or more areas


free meals & snacks provided annually

Educational success is critical for each child. Our Education Nation Program provides daily homework help and regular access to educational games. Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based educational programs further support school achievement, skill development and raise awareness of career paths.

By the Numbers


on-time grade progression


of our high school seniors continued on to post-secondary education

Over 90%

of members surveyed feel that staff have high expectations of them

Life Skills and social skills develop through regular participation in our age specific, weekly club programs where kids learn to work together to accomplish projects, discuss challenges facing youth today and develop meaningful relationships with adult and peer mentors.

By the Numbers

Nearly 90%

of members surveyed feel a sense of belonging at Sarah Heinz House


of members surveyed expressed having connections to caring adults at Sarah Heinz House

Nearly 60%

of members surveyed have developed conflict resolution skills

Character and Service are key components of all our programs. We help youth become responsible, caring citizens by engaging them in service activities, such as raising funds to help other children around the community and modeling positive behavior and decision making. We recognize and reward our youth to reinforce their development, as well as give them opportunities to volunteer in our programs and serve as peer mentors.

By the Numbers

Over 80%

of our teens surveyed engage in volunteerism

Nearly 90%

of our teens surveyed exhibited civic responsibility via a concern for others

Over 80%

of our teens surveyed exhibited civic responsibility via concern for the community

Youth Reached

Through numerous partnerships with educators, donors, and other nonprofit organizations, we are able to reach even more youth by hosting educational and fitness events like robotics tournaments, sports competitions, community days and health fairs.

By the Numbers


school aged youth participate in our afterschool and summer programs


additional youth served via our pre-school programs and community events each year

Haley’s Story

Picture a kid coming home from school. She is embarrassed by the dirty clothes she had to wear all day. She pulls out food that she had to steal from the cafeteria, in order to feed her brothers and sisters. In another room her mother is with her junkie friends, ignoring the needs of her children. This kid spends her evenings taking care of them because her mother will not. Later, she has to jump in front of her siblings to protect them from her mother’s abuse. In the process she gets hit countless times. She goes to bed without dinner because she gave her portion to her brothers and sisters so they would not go hungry. Falling asleep is hard because she knows this is going to be a day to day routine.

Haley will be the first to tell you that Sarah Heinz House helped her overcome these personal challenges through the support of caring adults. She is now a volunteer, active in robotics and is also a member of the teen leadership group, Keystone. Haley has experienced the good in people through her participation in Sarah Heinz House, and it has motivated her to look for ways to impact and empower others in the same way.

Another Amazing Story

Sarah Heinz House has had one National Youth of the Year, chosen from 4,000 youth nationwide, 3 Regional Youth of the Year and 3 State Youth of the Year. Listen to the 2011 National Youth of the Year, Nick Foley, tell his story here.

View Our Annual Report for More Info