By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s “Project Home” and several other charitable and community groups got an early Christmas gift today, with Wells Fargo bank officials in the role of Santa Claus.

Mayor Nutter was more than happy to host the announcement as local Wells Fargo officials presented a check for $1.35 million, to be divvied up by six local nonprofits.

“We know that these dollars will be well spent,” he said.  “They will go where they need to be, and, more importantly, where they can best be used.”

All the recipients are groups that help Philadelphians cope with the turbulent housing market.   Among them is the homeless advocacy organization Project Home, led by Sister Mary Scullion (far left in photo), who says this sort of private sector funding is more crucial than ever.

“Government resources, especially for people who are poor and in need, continue to dwindle and be cut,” she said, “so that’s why this gift is even more significant this year than ever.”

Scullion says only one-quarter of Project Home’s budget last year was from governmental sources, the lowest in that group’s history.  She said Project Home will receive approximately $100,000 from the Wells Fargo grant, to be used for its health care services.

“It’s something many people wouldn’t even know Project Home does, but we have a small, free health care clinic.  We provide healthcare, in partnership with Jefferson (Hospital), to people without health insurance,” Scullion said today.

Other recipients getting a slice of the bank donation include the Philadelphia Mortgage Foreclosure Program, the TreePhilly program, and the Salvation Army.