In the News

SOWN in Philadelphia Health Partnership's Publication

Read about the GrandFamily Resource Center in "Integration of Care and Services in Practice: GrandFamily Support". . May 2019

SOWN in PCA Milestones

Read about Healthy Lives Community Groups in "Togetherness is key at Southwest Senior Center: 'Everyone's welcome'". . September 2018

SOWN on WURD Radio

Listen to Arlene Segal, Coordinator of Philly Families Connect, discuss the program on 900 AM WURD Radio. August 2018


Read about SOWN's latest grant from the Digital Literacy Alliance in "These 12 projects just got funding from the Digital Literacy Alliance". August 2018

SOWN in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read about the GrandFamily Resource Center in "When their children get hooked on opioids, more ‘grands’ stepping up to raise their grandchildren". July 2018

SOWN in Green Tree Community Health Foundation's Publication

Read about SOWN's multi-generational programming in "Across Generations with SOWN". . March 2016

SOWN on 6ABC Actions News

Watch a segment on the GrandFamily Resource Center in "Art of Aging: Grandparents raising children". . August 2014

SOWN in Penn Medicine's Publication

Read about Philly Families Eat Smart in "Encouraging Healthy Relationships Between Kids and Grandparents". . August 2014

SOWN in The PEW Charitable Trusts' Publication

Read about SOWN in "Help Across Generations". . July 2013

SOWN in PCA Milestones

Read about the GrandFamily Resource Center in "Love motivates them; courage keeps them going". . April 2013

SOWN in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read about SOWN, Penn's Village, and Ralston Center in "Help Phila.'s aging population combat loneliness". December 2019

SOWN in The PEW Charitable Trusts' Publication

Read about SOWN's new data collection tool in "Pew Fund Grantees Work to Improve Programs Through Better Use of Data". November 2019

News From SOWN's Board President

SOWN's Board President, Karen Hanson, Ph.D., released the following statement today:

"It is with sadness that SOWN's Board of Directors announces the resignation of our Executive Director of 35 years, Merle Drake, due to family health issues.

The resignation of a long-time leader presents a challenge to any organization, but this is especially so when the leader is also the founder. We are pleased that Marypat Tracy, SOWN's long-standing Director of Programs, will lead SOWN as Interim Executive Director. SOWN couldn't be in better hands during this transition period.

The organization is strong. With knowledgeable leadership and a committed staff, an engaged Board of Directors actively committed to charting the future, and your ongoing support, SOWN will continue to serve the needs of older women and their families long into the future."

February 21, 2020

SOWN in Manayunk Magazine

Read about SOWN in "How Manayunk's Very Own SOWN has Helped Philadelphia's Older Adults for 35 Years". March 2020

SOWN in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read about Philly Families Connect in The Philadelphia Inquirer's front page article, "No internet. No backup plan: What happens to seniors raising grandkids in the pandemic?". April 2020

SOWN in Brookdale RAPP Site Bulletin

Read about how the GrandFamily Resource Center is responding to the COVID-19 crisis in "Supportive Older Women's Network (SOWN), GrandFamily Resource Center". September 2020

SOWN in American Society on Aging's Generations Publication

Read "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and COVID-19: Overlaying Risks, Uncertain Outcomes", which lists Philly Families Connect as a resource. September 2020

SOWN in GSK Press Release

Read about SOWN's latest award in "GSK awards Greater Philadelphia nonprofits making a powerful IMPACT on health outcomes now more than ever". November 2020

News from SOWN's Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of SOWN is pleased to announce that effective February 15, 2021, Marypat Tracy accepted the role of Executive Director. Previously, Marypat held the position of Interim Executive Director and worked at SOWN for many years as Director of Programs. Marypat earned a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW) at Rutgers University and is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Marypat lives in Philadelphia with her husband and is the mother of two sons and grandmother of two boys.
The Board and Marypat look forward to working together to lead SOWN forward to impacting the wellbeing of older adults and their families in the Philadelphia region. February 2021

SOWN on WHYY's Instagram Live

Watch Lori Latimer, Director of Programs, Jessica Begley, Family Literacy Educator for Philly Families Read Together, and Jill Smith, Newsletter Coordinator for SOWN Together, give a live interview with Eric Marsh, Sr, Community Outreach Organizer of WHYY's N.I.C.E program. April 2021

SOWN on Uptown Radio's The Talk to Reebs Show

Watch Arlene Segal, Coordinator of Philly Families Connect, give a live interview with E. Marie Lambert, host of Uptown Radio's The Talk to Reebs Show. May 2021

News from SOWN's Board of Directors

Effective July 1, 2021, The Board of Directors of SOWN have elected a new slate of officers as well as welcoming two new members. Denise McKnight, CPA, was elected to a two-year term as Board Chair. Denise is a Partner at Friedman LLP, a regional CPA firm, with close to 25 years’ experience in working with businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area. She has been a member of SOWN’s Board since 2012 and has previously held the positions of chair of the Finance Committee, Treasurer and Vice-Chair. Denise remarked at the annual meeting, “I am honored to continue to serve SOWN and to aid its mission of supporting older adults and their families in the Greater Philadelphia area”. Julie Howard Taylor was elected as Vice Chair of the Board. In mid-July she will assume the role of Director of Individual Giving at the Philadelphia Zoo. With more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector, Julie has held significant fundraising roles at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Della Lazarus was elected as Board Secretary. Della is a longtime SOWN Board member and supporter and a licensed Social Worker. She greatly enjoys sharing her knowledge and contacts to support SOWN and its work. Jane Hadley was elected as Board Treasurer. She is a Manager at Your Part-Time Controller and has been working in the field of nonprofit finance for over fifteen years. SOWN also welcomed new Board Members Morgan Gans and Claire Bocage. Morgan is an Associate in the Trusts and Estates Group with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. Claire is the Community Engagement Project Manager for the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. “This Board brings strong, timely assets to help SOWN navigate the aging world” said Marypat Tracy, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director. “Together with our continuing Directors, I am pleased that SOWN has access to such deep knowledge and expertise.” July 2021

A Letter from SOWN's Executive Director

Thank you for partnering with SOWN to support vulnerable older adults and children. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year and half has been staggering, yet in some ways it is still difficult to calculate. Vast sectors of the economy were initially paralyzed and are now limping along at best. Millions of Americans applied for public benefits for the first time. Many families who were able to make ends meet before the pandemic are now facing poverty. Our society’s fault lines of race, class, and gender have been so vividly exposed that “getting back to normal” clearly isn’t the solution. And with the emergence of new variants, any type of normalcy seems very far away. I know this is as true for you as it is for us at SOWN. Throughout this difficult period, you have partnered with SOWN. With your generous support, not only were we able to continue our services, but we reached older adults who were newly isolated by Covid-19 and frightened for their lives. The vital information and support your donations made possible are making a difference for older adults every single day. And because of you, the children SOWN’s grandparents are raising developed the skills and obtained the equipment they needed for remote learning. Currently they are adjusting well to attending school in-person. The connection that we humans crave is what SOWN is all about. Our grandparents who are raising their grandchildren can now stay in touch with SOWN’s new mobile app. Meanwhile, our experience with teleconference group counseling continues to serve us well as we navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic with our vulnerable older clients. None of our work would be possible without your support. Thank you again for all that you have done for the most vulnerable among us. Thank you for supporting SOWN.

Sincerely, Marypat Tracy, LCSW
Executive Director