The Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation was created in 1997 in memory of John E. Andrus and enhances the Andrus family's longstanding commitment to Westchester County, New York. Taking into consideration the family's roots and charitable activities, the Foundation determined that the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation would focus its grantmaking on older people living in Westchester County, with a special interest in the City of Yonkers.

The Benedict Foundation is committed to creating good places for people to grow old while maintaining the maximum possible levels of independence. An important component of such an "elder-friendly" community is the opportunity for older people to remain actively engaged in the life of their communities. Research confirms that remaining socially connected and productively engaged promotes older adults' physical and mental health.

The Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation views older people as assets to their communities, an essentially untapped resource of time, talent, and experience with potential to benefit neighbors and neighborhoods.

Not only are "elder-friendly" communities good places for people to grow old, but they are also good places for children - and, in fact, good places for people of any age to live. From its inception, the Benedict Foundation has used intergenerational strategies to help strengthen Westchester neighborhoods and communities, as well as to increase the number of meaningful opportunities for older people to volunteer their time and talents.

To help build a sense of community among its grantees and to encourage collaboration, several times a year the Foundation gathers grantees for educational seminars highlighting nationally-recognized cutting-edge programs and emerging issues.

Since November, 2000 when the Foundation approved its current grantmaking strategy, more than $5.2 million in grants has been awarded to nonprofit organizations. Grantmaking in the coming years is expected to be approximately $700,000 each year.

Grants are targeted primarily to Westchester County, New York, with special attention to the City of Yonkers. In addition to grants to local nonprofit organizations, the Foundation makes "field-building" grants to nationally-recognized organizations for projects designed to advance policy and practice while directly benefiting Yonkers and Westchester County. Additional information can be found by visiting The Foundation Center's information page at: http://www.HABF.org

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