Cristo Rey High Outfitted With New Science Lab

The VWR Foundation scratched a mark into the wall for its 50th grant this week with $131,000 to Cristo Rey High School.

VWR funded the construction of a new science lab of the North Philadelphia high school that will ideally "foster exploration among students during their high school years" and "inspire them to become the science leaders of tomorrow," VWR Foundation President James Bramwell said in a press release. Replete with glass cabinets and custom workstations, the lab is geared specifically toward chemistry and physical science. (See Grants for K-12 Education).

In addition to the grant for the science lab, VWR Foundation also plans to donate backpacks to the school filled with crucial school supplies. The foundation participates in a work-study program with Rey through the City of Philadelphia, as well.

VWR Foundation is the kind-hearted altruist manifestation of the Radnor-based VWR, a $4.1 billion global distributer of laboratory supplies that traces its roots back to the UK. The VWR Foundation describes their investment priorities as drug and pharmaceuticals research, health care provisions, and science education.

Reporting just under $1.5 million in ending assets, The VWR Foundation is by no means the largest contributing entity in the sciences, but it does some cool stuff, nonetheless.

They recently gave to Junior Achievement of Delaware, an organization that provides support and encouragement for younger people  toward career success "through work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy" training.

Indiana's JRSI Foundation also received money from The VWR Foundation to fund research into improving procedures for the replacement of arthritic knee and hip joints. VWR money helped JRSI open an internship program for students to pursue the "investigation of clinical biomechanics and orthopedic surgery for the improvement in long-term treatment of arthritis-associated disorders."

In addition to traditional one-shot grants, VWR Foundation also introduced a grant-matching program this year. Applicants can apply to one of six other foundations listed on their website and VWR will match the money these other groups agree to contribute.

To date, the VWR gave a total of $400,000 to charity. It is, however, a nascent foundation that is still concerned with finding its footing; more gas on VWR's philanthropic is sure to arrive in coming years.