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West Philly Forward!

November 10, 2020

UPDATE (11/10/2020): Now you can support even more local organizations through University City District’s West Philly Forward campaign. Legendary local dance group PHILADANCO is now part of this fundraising campaign. Visit the West Philly Forward webpage to donate directly to PHILADANCO or any of the other participating businesses and organizations. University City District (UCD) is offering more support to small local businesses and organizations trying to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. UCD has announced a new fundraising initiative, West Philly Forward, which will help many small businesses, non-profits and cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic.  A new website,, has been created as part of the campaign. The website serves as a repository for individual fundraising campaigns so that community members can give directly into the hands of businesses and organizations seeking support. Through this campaign, you can help several local businesses – restaurants and eateries (Aksum, Renata’s Kitchen, Lee’s Deli and more), food trucks, hair salons, yoga studios and more. You can also support such organizations as Walnut Street West Library, Curio Theatre, Calvary Center, Children’s Community School, Shakespeare in Clark Park and more. Community members can choose between donating directly to local businesses and organizations or to donate to UCD, who will then split 100 percent of funds raised evenly between everyone participating. UCD has already secured $4,000 before the campaign officially launched, and has pledged $50 in seed money to the first 30 participants to sign on. “We have so many beloved small businesses, non-profits, and arts organizations who are having a hard time staying afloat, and we wanted to come up with another way to help them keep going,” says Chris Richman, University City District’s Director of Marketing and Communications. This fundraising campaign, which is the first initiative under the newly created West Philly Forward moniker, will run through mid-December, and replace UCD’s typical fundraising asks to support their own operations. West Philly Forward will grow as additional initiatives are developed and launched.


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