Southern Chester County is blessed with an amazing array of non-profit organizations that work for the betterment of the community.

The Kennett Food Cupboard helps feed the hungry and the Oxford Neighborhood Services Center provides clothing and other basic needs to the poor. Oxford and Kennett Square have top-notch senior centers that plan many activities. Youngsters can turn to the Garage Community & Youth Center in Kennett Square and West Grove or the Lighthouse Youth Center in Oxford.

The Historic Kennett Square and Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. organizations work to promote the business districts of those two towns. The businesses that they serve, in turn, support many different community activities.

Volunteers work tirelessly for the Mushroom Festival and the Kennett Run, and those two Kennett Square-based organizations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each over the years. That money is then poured right back into the local community with contributions to non-profit organizations. The United Way of Southern Chester County is able to provide more than $1 million annually to local non-profits.

Southern Chester County is unquestionably stronger because of the presence of all these organizations. In the midst of all these benevolent community partners is the Tick Tock Early Learning Center in Avondale, which is very quietly celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Tick Tock is one of those special places that makes the community around it better. It has remained true, for five decades, to the original mission of providing low-income families with access to high-quality, low-cost daycare and early-education services.

Reaching the 50-year mark is an impressive milestone for any business or organization. The fact that Tick Tock is still changing and growing and improving after five decades is a testimonial to the skill and dedication of its supporters. There's no way to accurately quantify Tick Tock's impact on the community, no way to calculate how much of a difference a teacher or staff member made on any youngster's life. There's no way to tell how many children were positively affected when they learned to read better at Tick Tock. It's safe to say, however, that from the first seven children who went there in 1964 to the hundred or so children who go there today, the Tick Tock Early Learning Center has created a lasting legacy by helping to strengthen families—and a community.