The Gismondi Family Foundation
Created by John Gismondi and his wife Lisa, The Gismondi Family Foundation is a private charitable foundation which provides grants to organizations that help those in need in the Pittsburgh region. Quite appropriately, the Foundation’s slogan is “Lending a hand in our community.”
John Gismondi explained the motivation for creating the Foundation, “My wife and I have been very fortunate in our lives and when you are in a position to help those in your community who have not been so fortunate, you should do so.”
While the Foundation provides grants to all types of non-profit organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania, it tends to focus on programs which support the basic necessities in life: food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care.
These are just some of the non-profit organizations for which The Gismondi Family Foundation has provided significant grants:
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – An endowment to fund a customized van that can travel into the community and teach parents of young children how to avoid common household hazards such as fire, poisoning, fall downs, electrocution, drowning, choking, etc.
- Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh – An endowment to fund a new program known as “The Family Christmas Plan” which helps needy families with children plan and pay for a meaningful Christmas.
- Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank – An endowment to fund a system-wide review of how effective the organization is in fulfilling its mission throughout their 11-county service area in western Pennsylvania.
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – A grant to support the “Books for Babies” program which encourages new parents to read to their babies and toddlers, and provides books and other support to the parents.
- The Uniontown Public Library – A grant to create the “James F. Gismondi Learning Center”, a multi-purpose room outfitted with computers and other equipment to facilitate childhood education. A separate endowment fund was also created to provide operational expenses for year-to-year updates to computers and software throughout the entire Library.
- Fayette County Meals on Wheels – A grant to support operating expenses to this broad-based program that provides food to the elderly, sick and other shut-ins.
- Pittsburgh CLO – An endowment to support high school musical theater for schools having financial difficulty in funding this most popular student activity.
- University of Pittsburgh School of Law – An endowment to fund and staff a broad-based curriculum of several courses designed to train law students who are interested in becoming courtroom attorneys.
- The Allegheny County Bar Foundation – An endowment to hire and pay for four to six law students each Summer to work at public interest legal clinics that serve the under privileged such as Neighborhood Legal Services, the Public Defender’s Office and others.
- The Pittsburgh Promise – A grant to support the overall mission of the organization to provide scholarship aid to students who graduate from a City of Pittsburgh high school and are continuing their education at a college or trade school.
- Uniontown Area Senior High School – A grant to create “The Gismondi Media Arts Center,” a facility equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and two recording studios, all for the purpose of allowing students to create audio and video material to incorporate into their school assignments or extra-curricular activities.
- Fayette County Branch of the American Heart Association – A legacy grant to support a wide-ranging health care program designed to improve the overall quality of health in the Fayette County region.
As John Gismondi emphasizes, “The work of the Foundation is not over. I look forward to many more years of providing grants to organizations that help those in need in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and my wife and I anticipate that our children will carry on the Foundation’s tradition of lending a hand in our community.”