About Us

About the 21st Century Fund

Art classes, guitar lessons and a bicycle helmet are just a few examples of the small gifts at-risk youth are receiving thanks to generous donors and a new fund entitled the 21st Century Fund for Delaware's Children, Inc.

The 21st Century Children's Fund was created through personal and corporate philanthropy to assist in meeting basic desires of Delaware's most vulnerable kids. Grants awarded through the fund are intended to lessen the effects of poverty by providing individualized financial support to children and youth for activities and items that will maximize their self-esteem and help them achieve their potential.

"Poverty continues to plague the lives of thousands of children in Delaware," said State Senator Margaret Rose Henry. "Approximately 11% of all children under the age of 18 live in poverty throughout our small state, with higher concentrations in the City of Wilmington and Kent and Sussex Counties. Poverty in childhood is directly linked to lower school achievement, impaired cognitive development, and increased behavioral and emotional problems. The 21st Century Fund seeks to support these vulnerable children."

The 21st Century Fund is currently accepting applications for mini-grants of up to $100. Applications must be submitted via a social worker associated with a State Social Service Center, a State agency, a community-partnering agency, or a faith-based organization. Applications will be accepted at Children & Families First, located at 2005 Baynard Boulevard in Wilmington. As the 21st Century Fund grows, larger grants of $500 will be provided.

The 21st Century Fund was spear-headed by Cari DeSantis, cabinet secretary of the Delaware Children's Department, to respond to the needs of children served by the Department.

“Often, a child would show an interest in art or music or sports, but neither the State nor the child's family or foster family would be able to afford the fees for lessons or team participation," explained Secretary DeSantis. "The 21st Century Children's Fund is intended to support those activities and items that will improve self-esteem and give a sense of hope to children for whom such opportunities would otherwise be non-existent.”

The Delaware Community Foundation, a nonprofit, philanthropic community organization created by and for the people of Delaware, provides administrative support to the 21st Century Fund. Donations to the 21st Century Fund for Delaware's Children will be accepted by the Delaware Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1636, Wilmington, DE 19899.