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Fair To Discuss "All Things Home" March 17, 2018

"This event truly is a one-stop shop for anything related to purchasing or maintaining a home, and this year, we've incorporated a renters' segment, as well as invited some nonprofits that specialize in promoting livability in Lancaster County," said AJ Eckman, co-chair of the All Things Home Fair that Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) will hold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Bright Side Opportunities Center, 515 Hershey Ave., Lancaster. "Having all the players at the table is important when investing in something as big as a home, and we want attendees to feel engaged," he added.

The topics planned for the event are based on what the organizational committee feels people need.

"Many people want to buy a home, but maybe their credit is not quite there to be able to purchase, so that topic will be covered by a representative of Tabor Community Services," remarked co-chair Carole Kirchner. "'Ten Secrets to Homebuying' will educate people on the process and things to prepare for. 'How to Become a Real Estate Investor' was chosen because we also want to reach people who have an interest in being a landlord and building wealth through owning real estate."

The various sessions will be taught by LHOP staff members and industry professionals. Additionally, attendees will be able to meet representatives from a variety of home-related businesses, including mortgage lenders, banks, attorneys, home inspectors, home security firms, pest control companies, real estate companies, rental companies, and insurance brokers.

"My goal is for people attending to realize that many of these vendors are here to help you," Kirchner commented. "If you want to become a homeowner, we can help you achieve that dream and provide you with the information to start that process. Never be afraid to ask for help."

Helping with housing is LHOP's purpose. LHOP director of development Laurie Moir noted that the organization's mission is to cultivate partnerships and resources to increase the availability of quality, fair, and affordable housing throughout Lancaster County. LHOP offers monthly classes in English and Spanish to help folks gain an in-depth understanding of the homebuying process. It also offers down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and aims to empower residents who rent their homes. Additionally, LHOP offers loans for the purchase and rehabilitation of blighted properties into affordable housing, and it has facilitated county-wide housing studies and promoted the urgent need for quality affordable housing.

"LHOP is dedicated to the belief that all families deserve a quality, affordable home, either to purchase or rent, with a continuum of choices in housing sizes, types, locations, and prices," Moir said.

Everyone is welcome to attend the All Things Home Fair free of charge. Attendees may enter to win door prizes, such as a drill, gift cards for groceries and local restaurants, and event tickets. Aspects of the fair will be offered in Spanish as well as English.

For more information about the All Things Home Fair, readers may call LHOP at 717-291-9945, email, or visit


Watershed Alliance Receives Donation March 16, 2018


SECA Will Offer Free ESL And GED Classes March 16, 2018

The Southern End Community Association (SECA) has offered various sports and recreation activities for years. Now, it is adding something less physical to its offerings. In conjunction with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) and the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, SECA will offer adult educational classes free of charge. All classes will be held at the SECA building, 299 Park Ave., Quarryville.

"We want to offer more programs for the community," explained SECA executive director Nicole Luecker, noting that the idea for the classes came from a Solanco Family Life Network meeting. "If they go well the first time, we will have them again."

Literacy Council instructor Linda Cullen will teach English as a Second Language (ESL) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April 10 to June 28. Interested students must attend one of the information sessions, which will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 27 and April 3, and on Thursdays, March 29 and April 5. Participants do not have to know any English to join the class, and those with high proficiency may be referred to volunteer tutors.

Cullen enjoys teaching ESL classes and appreciates diversity in the classroom, as she says that her students do better in that environment. "It's a better class with lots of languages," she said. "Participants can't (resort to) their own language."

Cullen said that many of her students have taken her class in order to improve their job status. Helping folks find and maintain sustainable jobs is one of the goals of the Literacy Council. In addition to employment assistance, the Literacy Council provides individualized services and programs to help adults to achieve their goals, whether they are transitioning to job training or secondary education, acquiring skills to function in their communities, or supporting their children's educational success.

"Our name is a bit of a misnomer," Literacy Council program director Jenny Bair commented. "We go beyond basic reading."

IU 13 instructor Laura Binkley will lead the GED/high school equivalency class. Interested individuals must attend an information session on either Monday, March 26, or Wednesday, March 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from April 4 to June 11 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Binkley's goal is to help students acquire the skills they need to pass subject tests. She will teach group lessons and offer independent work. While Binkley will not offer GED testing, she will provide information about exams that will be held in Lancaster in the coming months.

There is no cost to attend the classes, and course materials will be provided. Students must be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in high school. Child care will not be offered during the classes.

For more information, readers may contact Teresa Dolan at or 717-786-4308.


Support Group Meetings Set March 15, 2018

The Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, will offer support groups that are open to the community. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are requested.

The Dementia Caregiver Support and Education Group will meet on Tuesday, April 17, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Masonic Village's Health Care Center Courtyard Conference Room. This meeting will be an open forum. For directions and to register, readers may call 717-367-1121, ext. 33764.

Anyone who has lost a loved one is invited to attend the monthly Bereavement Support Group on Thursday, April 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the large recreation room in Sycamore North, located on the first floor. Refreshments will be served. For more details, readers may contact Heidi Young at 717-367-1121, ext. 33576.


Experience The Flavors Of Ethiopia March 15, 2018

Hope Within Sets Annual Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 14, Hope Within Ministries will host its annual Flavors of Ethiopia dinner at Mount Joy Church of God, 30 E. Main St., Mount Joy. The food will be freshly prepared by Ethiopian cooks and served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

"This event came about as the Ethiopian community in our care wanted to do something special for Hope Within as a way to raise awareness and give back," shared Donita Sturgis, president of Hope Within Ministries. "We could not be more thrilled to care for these individuals and now to work alongside them to prepare this succulent and satisfying authentic culinary feast.

"It truly is an honor and a privilege, and we know our guests will not be disappointed," added Sturgis.

Foods will include siga wat, misir wat, atikilit wat, mike alicha, injera and Ethiopian bread. The authentic Ethiopian dishes will feature a variety of spicy and mild options. Hope Within Ministries office manager Anne Marie McAlester said that the Ethiopian chicken, beef, and vegetable dishes are prepared similarly to a stew.

A variety of fresh baked goods from regional bakeries as well as homemade treats will be served for dessert. Coffee, tea, and water will also be available.

African-themed crafts and other items will be available for folks to bid on in a silent auction throughout the evening.

There is no charge for the event; however, interested individuals must register in advance to allow organizers to plan accordingly. To register, readers may fill out a form at or contact McAlester at 717-367-9797, ext. 303, or The deadline to register is Friday, April 6.

A freewill offering will be received that evening, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Hope Within Ministries, which provides medical and counseling services to individuals in need in Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lebanon counties.

According to the organization's 2017 Annual Report, the Hope Within Community Health Center hosted a total of 1,742 medical visits in 2017 and Hope Within Counseling Services served 49 unique individuals through a total of 537 counseling visits. Eight staff members and more than 80 volunteers work together to serve patients. Hope Within Ministries' mission, as stated in the Annual Report, is "to show God's love through the provision of high-quality professional health care, sound counsel, and related education."

Hope Within Ministries is located at 4748 E. Harrisburg Pike, Elizabethtown. To learn more, readers may visit or


Support Group Meeting Posted March 15, 2018

The Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania (EFEPA) will sponsor a support group meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, at Park City Center, 142 Park City Center, Lancaster, in the Community Meeting Room, located in the Kohl's wing. Brian Long from Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon LINK to Aging and Disability Resources will discuss available local resources.

The next meeting, set for Tuesday, April 17, will feature Jessica Dyrek from Canine Partners for Life, who will discuss the benefits of seizure alert dogs.

Meetings are free and open to the public. Registration is recommended for proper planning. For more information or to register, readers may contact Kerri Michnya at 717-449-1872 or For a complete list of support group dates, readers may visit


GriefShare Session Posted March 14, 2018

Gateway Church, 160 Cowan Road, Parkesburg, will present GriefShare sessions on Tuesdays, March 27 and April 3, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The topic on March 27 will be "Grief and Your Relationships." The topic on April 3 will be "Why?"

The spring session of GriefShare, a support group for those dealing with the death of a loved one, will be held on Tuesdays through May 15. Each session is self-contained, so individuals do not have to attend in sequence. The group leaders are Paul and Twila Ranck.

For more information or to register, readers may visit or email


YWCA Seeks Nominations For Award March 14, 2018

YWCA York is accepting nominations for the Dorrie Leader Advocacy Award, which each year recognizes a woman in the community who is making a difference in the lives of others.

Nominees must live or work in York County; support advocacy for racial justice, civil rights, empowerment for women and girls, or health and safety for women and girls; actively engage in the community through volunteerism or their profession; and promote YWCA York's mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, strengthening families, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Nominees may not be currently employed by YWCA York.

To nominate someone for the Dorrie Leader Advocacy Award, readers may visit to obtain a form and instructions. The deadline for all emailed submissions is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 22.

YWCA York's board advocacy committee will make the final selection, and final notification of the decision will be made to all nominating individuals by the end of March. The honoree will receive the award at YWCA York's Lessons From My Mother Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22, at the Country Club of York.

YWCA York created the Dorrie Leader Advocacy Award in 1995 to honor women advocates working to bring about change in York County. Dorrie Leader dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, the empowerment of women, and advocating for social justice. Leader was present in 1963 at the March on Washington, accompanied by her two oldest daughters, to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak of his dream for America. She was commited to helping achieve that dream nationally and in York. Leader served as YWCA York's president in the early 1950s before going onto serve on the national board of the YWCA from 1958 to 1976.

Past honorees include Meg Brubaker, Carla Christopher, Ruthe Craley, Cynthia Dixon, Helen Elfner, Traci Foster, Deborah Gable, Genevieve Ray, Delma Rivera, Stephanie Seaton, Doris Sweeney, Jane Zarfoss, and Jerri Zimmerman.


Bereavement Group To Meet March 14, 2018

St. Benedict Church's Bereavement Support Group for those grieving the death of a loved one will meet on Wednesdays, April 4 to May 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Family Life Center, Room 1, 2020 Chestnut Hill Road, Mohnton.

The meetings are free and nondenominational. To register or for more details, call Judy Campion-Burns at 610-775-7782 or the church parish office at 610-856-1006.


GHF Upstream Grants Open March 14, 2018

The Greater Harrisburg Foundation (GHF), a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC), announced a new competitive grant opportunity available to area nonprofits on Sunday, April 1, called GHF Upstream. The GHF Upstream grant opportunity seeks to improve area communities by supporting new or existing "upstream" systems, interventions, programs, or projects that attempt to create positive social change by addressing a problem at its source rather than managing its "downstream" symptoms.

This grant opportunity is open to singular or collective nonprofit organizations whose proposals serve to address community needs of one or more counties within the GHF service region of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry counties and the Dillsburg area of York County. Over $250,000 may be awarded and grant awards will range from $500 to $10,000. GHF Upstream encourages applications that focus upon education, environment and parks, health and wellness, homelessness and hunger, mental health, seniors, and more.

To announce this new opportunity to the community and to share information about TFEC grant making, TFEC invites nonprofit representatives and interested community members to attend one of three information sessions to take place on Wednesday, March 28, in Camp Hill; on Thursday, March 29, in Chambersburg; and Thursday, April 5, in Annville.

Attendance is free, but seating is limited, and registration is required. For more information and to register, readers may visit

The GHF Upstream grant application will be released on April 1 and is due by Wednesday, Aug. 1. Proposed projects may take place at any time from Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, through Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. Eligible applicants must have 501(c)(3) status or demonstrate nonprofit status as a church or school.

TFEC grant making does not fund individuals, capital campaigns, religious organizations for the propagation of religious doctrine, advertising, direct lobbying to influence legislation, or retroactive projects. Interested applicants may learn more about the parameters of this and other TFEC grant opportunities at Questions about grant eligibility may be directed to Jennifer Strechay, program officer for community investment at TFEC, at 717-236-5040 or


Organizations Donate Items To Food Bank March 14, 2018

SpiriTrust Lutheran Senior Companion Program volunteers and staff organized a food collection service project in conjunction with RSVP of the Capital Region in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. More than 340 pounds of food were collected throughout January and February before being donated to the York County Food Bank. The initiative was Senior Companion Program's annual service project for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Through the Senior Companion Program, volunteer companions provide 15 hours per week of vitiation and support for individuals in York County. The program is designed for financially qualified individuals age 55 or older with access to transportation. Volunteers receive a stipend, mileage reimbursement, vacation and sick leave, 40 hours of paid orientation and training, and monthly in-service trainings. The program is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is locally provided by SpiriTrust Lutheran.

For more information or to become a volunteer or client, readers may contact Lambrini Nauss at 717-843-2677 or


Softball Players Complete Service Project March 14, 2018


Organization Receives Funding March 14, 2018

David's Drive 831 (DD831), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting homeless and hospitalized veterans, will receive $15,000 in state funding through the Pennsylvania Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF).

The program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), is funded by Pennsylvania residents who voluntarily make a donation when applying for or renewing their driver's license or photo ID and also through renewing a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, proceeds come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate and private donations.

David Turner Sr., who with his family founded DD831 in memory of his late son, said the funds will support the organization's annual Christmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza, during which volunteers wrap 1,000 gifts containing socks, snacks, puzzle books, and personal care items for homeless and hospitalized veterans.

Turner Sr. also thanked the many patrons, volunteers, and donors who have supported the organization's efforts over the years.

Turner and his family started DD831 following the sudden passing of David Turner Jr. from a suspected cardiac arrhythmia in December 2009. Turner Jr. worked at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

That May, the Turner family held a cookout at their home to celebrate what would have been David's 21st birthday. Guests were invited to bring new packages of socks, underwear, and T-shirts - the items most in demand by veterans at the Coatesville VA. That day, the Turner family collected thousands of items and was nearly overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity. From there, DD831 was born.

This year, DD831 will hold its 9th annual "Show Us Your Underwear Drive" on Sunday, May 20, at noon. Anyone who donates new men's or women's socks, underwear, or T-shirts will receive a free catered lunch.

Turner Sr. also discussed the group's effort to expand and assist veterans in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties who are transitioning to independent living through the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

DD831 works closely with case managers and social workers to identify veterans through this program and provide them with a "starter kit" that contains living essentials like a bed, bedding, personal care products, housewares, small appliances like a vacuum and microwave, and other necessities for the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

Earlier this year, in recognition of their work, Turner and DD831 received the George Washington Award at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge 2018 Local Hero Gala.

DD831 was one of 18 charitable and veterans services organizations statewide to receive $650,000 in total funding through the Pennsylvania VTF this year. Funding priorities for grants in this category were veterans' programs focused on transitional housing/community living, unique veteran health services or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.

Since the VTF grant program began in 2013, a total of $2,832,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.

For more information on David's Drive 831, readers may visit


Aaron's Acres Marks 20th Anniversary March 12, 2018

On Feb. 15, Aaron's Acres kicked off a year of special events to mark its 20th anniversary with a concert in downtown Lancaster sponsored by Music For Everyone. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, Aaron's Acres has planned a special fundraising event for each month. "We tried to have a spread of different events, with some that would be focused on our families and others on our donors. The idea is to get all of these groups together," explained Alexander Gawn, communications coordinator. "We want to thank the central Pennsylvania community for helping us reach this milestone."

Gawn recounted that Aaron's Acres began as "a tiny organization" running out of people's homes. "The idea was that we saw a gap in recreation programs for children of different abilities," noted Gawn. Today, Aaron's Acres is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves children and young adults with developmental disabilities through year-round, therapeutically based recreation and socialization programs, with offices at 1861 Charter Lane, Suite 114, Lancaster.

Aaron's Acres' summer camp takes place annually from June to August at the Manheim Community Pool, 504 E. Adele Ave., Manheim. The camp has grown from serving 11 campers in 1998 to more than 200 campers in recent years, Gawn said. Youths participate in games, crafts, and activities such as swimming, music therapy, horseback riding, and more with the support of professional staff.

This summer, Aaron's Acres will offer transportation for participants for the first time as a way to bridge the geographical gap for participants. In recent years, the camp consolidated from three locations in Berks, Dauphin, and Lancaster counties to one main site in Manheim. "We are excited to be able to assist families by offering transportation in Berks and Dauphin counties," said program director Elaine Burnett. Buses will run from Denver and Swatara. Each bus will be staffed with two professionally trained staff members to assist participants during the commute. Registration is now open for Aaron's Acres summer camp at, where applications for counselors are also available.

The next Aaron's Acres anniversary event will be a sensory-friendly fundraiser on Wednesday, March 21, at Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 1701 Hempstead Road #102, Lancaster. Individuals and families are invited to jump from 5 to 7 p.m. Interested individuals may print a form available at to bring along to show so that a portion of the entry fee will benefit the work of Aaron's Acres.

Additional events will include the Hershey 10K on Saturday, April 7, when Aaron's Acres will be one of three nonprofits that runners may direct their contributions toward, as well as a sensory-sensitive movie showing at Penn Cinema, 541 Airport Road, Lititz, at 10 a.m. on April 7. A complete schedule of events is listed online.

Aside from the yearlong event series, Aaron's Acres has set a goal of raising $20,000 online to support its year-round programs through a #20for20 campaign. Gawn said that Aaron's Acres supporters are encouraged to share stories about the organization on social media and use the hashtag #20for20. The total amount will be revealed at the Aaron's Acres 20th anniversary gala set for Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Emerald Foundation, 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster.


5K Fundraising Total Announced March 7, 2018

As part of Chester County's collaborative approach to fighting opioid and heroin addiction, District Attorney Tom Hogan and members of the Chester County Drug Overdose Prevention Task Force provided an update for the county commissioners at the Feb. 28 sunshine meeting work session. The presentation noted the progress made in Chester County's battle against opioid and heroin addiction since the formation of the task force, and it was followed by an announcement by commissioner Michelle Kichline that the November 2017 Chester County Color 5K event raised $38,000.

The 5K's purpose was to raise awareness and money for actions recommended by the Drug Overdose Prevention Task Force. The second Color 5K event brought in 50 percent more money than the previous year's event. More than 900 people took part, and the money will be used to fund the county's new Community Outreach and Prevention Education (COPE) initiative.

The COPE program's purpose is to better ensure opioid overdose survivors being treated in local emergency departments are personally encouraged to enter treatment. An on-call engagement team that includes a project coordinator and certified recovery specialist will provide one-to-one support in the hospital emergency department and after emergency department discharge for opiate overdose survivors and their family or friends. COPE will also provide overdose prevention information and outreach to first responders, hospital staff, and the survivors' family and friends. It will begin as a pilot in Brandywine Hospital and Chester County Hospital later this year.

Chester County's Overdose Prevention Task Force includes representatives from the commissioners' and district attorney's offices, as well as the county's Health Department and Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, law enforcement and community organizations. The task force approach includes arresting and prosecuting drug dealers, diverting addicts into treatment and counseling through Drug Court, educating children and their parents through the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) program, taking drugs off the streets through the drop box initiative, working with doctors and health care providers on opioid prescribing practices, and operating the COPE program.

Hogan announced that more than five tons of drugs were deposited in the drug drop boxes located in Chester County police stations during 2017. He also noted that, for the first time in the last 20 years, the number of opioid prescriptions is down nationwide, and the number of pills per prescription has decreased.


Caregivers Support Group Scheduled March 7, 2018

A caregivers support group meets on the first Friday of each month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the conference room at the WellSpan Neurology Office, located at 228 Saint Charles Way, York.

Dr. Ann Stipe of Behavioral Health Services facilitates the meetings.

Partcipants may talk, vent, ask questions, offer advice, laugh, and offer support to each other. There is a fee for the group.


Women's Shelter Opens Campaign March 6, 2018

YWCA Lancaster will sponsor a fundraising campaign to cover the operating costs for the Women and Children's Winter Shelter for the entire 2017-18 season. The funds will be used for typical operating costs, unexpected expenses related to use of the building's plumbing, and unanticipated vandalism expenses resulting in the need for security services. The campaign goal is $22,000.

The Women and Children's Winter Shelter operates as one of the area's primary shelters for the homeless population during the coldest months. The shelter runs from December through March and is open daily from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

YWCA Lancaster provides a warm and safe place for single women and children to sleep, as well as access to showers and lockers. Lancaster County Council of Churches, the shelter's organizer, staffs it with volunteers and also provides snacks and beverages.

To support the campaign, readers may visit Readers may also contact Michelle McCall, CEO, at or 717-393-1735.


YWCA Sets Free Legal Clinic March 6, 2018

YWCA Lancaster, along with Ceiba Philadelphia, will host a free legal clinic at YWCA Lancaster, 110 N. Lime St., Lancaster, on Thursday, March 15, beginning at 3 p.m. The clinic will seek to help Puerto Rican evacuees secure disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Attorneys, law students, and paralegals will run a pop-up pro bono legal clinic to help Puerto Rican evacuees register with FEMA, submit claims to FEMA, appeal FEMA claim denials, and address other legal matters.

The legal clinic is organized by the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Toll Public Interest Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, The Vanguard Group, Santander Bank, Unidos PA'PR, and Ceiba.

Evacuees interested in receiving assistance to connect with FEMA and secure disaster relief through the free legal clinic must register by visiting, emailing, or calling Ceiba at 215-634-7245. Victims of Hurricane Maria have until Tuesday, March 20, to file a claim with FEMA and 60 days to appeal a denial by FEMA if they filed a claim and were denied disaster relief.

For more information about the legal clinic, readers may contact Ceiba. To learn more about Ceiba, readers may visit


Bereavement Group To Meet March 2, 2018

Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, invites anyone who has lost a loved one to attend its monthly Bereavement Support Group on Thursday, March 15. The group will meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the large recreation room in Sycamore North, located on the first floor.

Refreshments will be served, and there is no cost to attend. For more information, readers may contact Heidi Young at 717-367-1121, ext. 33576.


Quilting Group Seeks Members March 2, 2018

GAiN (Global Aid Network) invites members of the public to join the Quilting for Refugees quilting circle, which meets on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 1506 Quarry Road, Mount Joy. Non-sewing jobs and at-home projects are available.

For more information, call GAiN at 717-285-4220 or email

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