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A Woman's Concern - New Location, Expanded Services January 21, 2019

A Christmas postcard sent out by A Woman's Concern shows a photo of double purple doors decorated with holiday wreaths and an "open" sign. "Our purple doors mean 'love, compassion, and support,'" said Jill Hartman, executive director of A Woman's Concern, which relocated from Duke Street in Lancaster city to 1102 Millersville Pike, Lancaster, in July 2018. "We painted the doors purple so our clients could find us."

These clients are the more than 600 women who benefit from A Woman's Concern services each year. Those services include pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, and education on healthy relationships, pregnancy, parenting, and more. "We create a loving, compassionate, nonjudgmental environment for clients, so they get all the support they need," explained Hartman.

The move nearly quadrupled the space that A Woman's Concern could utilize, and staff and volunteers are planning to offer more services in the future by partnering and collaborating with other community organizations. Among those services are a program called Redefined, which will aid in healing for women, and a fatherhood mentoring program called The Fatherhood Journey. Matthew Neff of Family of Restoration Ministries has already run a fatherhood workshop, and Neff will soon become the first volunteer male client advocate for A Woman's Concern. "I think that will make a huge difference in reaching the boyfriends, fiances, and husbands," added Laura Kline, marketing and communications director.

Other services that the organization will offer will include working with a local market to provide dieticians to teach prenatal and postnatal nutrition to clients. In addition, a volunteer will help the organization expand lactation services, and the Knights of Columbus has funded a part-time medical position for 24 months, along with purchasing materials to expand the CPR program, which is a family safety initiative A Woman's Concern provides.

Offering services in both Spanish and English has been an important goal for the organization. One paid and one volunteer staff member are bilingual, and Kline has reworked the website, www.pregnancylancaster.com, to include basic information in Spanish as well as English.

Of course, more space means more opportunity to offer clients medical services as well. A room to conduct ultrasounds and space for client advocates, along with meeting and business space and offices wer all made possible by the larger, new facility.

According to Hartman, the nonprofit has been available to local women facing unplanned pregnancies since 1972, when it opened as Birthright. As A Woman's Concern outgrew its Duke Street location, an East Chestnut Street facility was opened, but in July 2017, Harvest Bible Chapel offered its administrative offices, including two buildings on Millersville Pike to the organization. A successful 2018 capital campaign provided funds to renovate the main building. A grant from the High Foundation will help remodel the carriage house, called Hope House, which is located behind the building, for meetings and classes.

Hope House also offers large items that clients may need, such as cribs and strollers. A boutique for smaller items is found in the front foyer of the main building. Hartman explained that as a "hand-up" organization, allowing clients to work with client advocates and receive points, which they can redeem for items they need for their babies. "Many of the items come from (area) church (members) who hold baby showers (for us)," explained Hartman. "We have a wish list on our website."

The baby items are one more way A Woman's Concern aims to create a welcoming and positive atmosphere for clients. "What we give here is knowledge and empowerment and love and compassion," said Hartman. "

A Woman's Concern will hold its annual banquet featuring Dr. Ron Archer at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster, on Thursday, April 11.

Readers who would like more information about the ministry may visit the website or call 717-394-1561.

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Education Job Fair Scheduled January 16, 2019

The Education Job Fair will be held at the IU 13 Lancaster Office, 1020 New Holland Ave., Lancaster, on Monday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free to the public.

Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with many school districts and even apply for positions right on the spot. Vendors will also be on-site. To learn more, readers may visit www.iu13.org/edjobfair2019.

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Aaron's Acres Gears Up For Summer Camp January 16, 2019

Aaron's Acres is recruiting campers and staff for its 2019 weekday summer camp at the Manheim Community Pool and Memorial Park. The camp has programs for children, adolescents, and adults ages 5 to 21 with developmental disabilities.

The first session will run from Monday, June 17, to Friday, June 28, and session two will be held on Monday, July 8, to Friday, July 19, both with options of half-day hours from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and full-day hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A third session scheduled for Monday, July 22, to Friday, Aug. 2, will offer half-day hours only. "That third session is usually made up of new families who want to try it out for the first time," noted Aaron's Acres executive director Risa Paskoff.

Interested individuals may register at www.aaronsacres.org by Sunday, March 31. Scholarships are available. New families will be scheduled for a face-to-face meeting in order for everyone to get acquainted and for staff to become familiar with the camper's strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities.

Having professional staff, including special education teachers and a nurse, as well as a 1-to-1 or 1-to-2 staff-to-child ratio, enables Aaron's Acres to accept any child, regardless of medical or behavioral challenges. "Having that individualized attention makes for a great relationship and experience for the child," Paskoff stated.

Counselors are needed, and interested individuals age 18 and over may apply at www.aaronsacres.org by March 31. Paskoff noted that serving at Aaron's Acres summer camp is great for undergraduate and graduate students studying subjects such as social work, special education, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, but the organization is also thrilled to have anyone with a heart for the campers.

"We love when people without those majors do it and get comfortable interacting with our campers," added Paskoff. "It's great hands-on experience for people who want hands-on experience, and they're always supervised by professionals."

Unpaid positions are also open to high school students age 14 and up who would like to volunteer as buddies at camp. Buddies act as positive role models for campers under the supervision of the group leader.

Activities at camp include swimming every day, music therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, arts and crafts, group games, and sports. "The staff give 200 percent, and they always say they feel like they learn more than they feel the campers do," Paskoff stated. "They are really energetic, passionate people who will do whatever it takes to make (camp) an exceptional experience."

"We take every moment, and even though you think of it as just camp, we're working on socialization and other skills at all times," added Paskoff.

Special activities, theme days, and community service are other significant aspects of camp. Through the Aaron's Acres Acts of Kindness Program (AAAOK), campers ages 13 to 21 have the chance to take part in community service projects such as running an Alex's Lemonade Stand, playing bingo at Pleasant View Retirement Community and Danner Home, and having a car wash to raise funds to donate to a local nonprofit selected by the campers. Optional programs for parents are also offered during camp, ranging from guest speakers to pampering days with manicures, pedicures, and massages.

Aaron's Acres has hosted its summer camp in Manheim since 2013. It merged its Dauphin County camp site with Manheim in 2017 and its Berks County site in 2018. Transportation to camp from Dauphin and Berks counties is available.

Aaron's Acres is currently in the process of looking for a property or space to purchase as a permanent centralized facility for its offices, summer camp, and year-round programming.

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CASA Posts Information Sessions January 15, 2019

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will hold two information sessions on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the York County Judicial Center on North George Street in York. The sessions will take place from noon to 1 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The presenters will share information about the upcoming spring training and how to become a volunteer. CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children. New volunteers were sworn in on Nov. 13, 2018.

For more details, readers may email casa@yorkcountypa.gov or call 717-771-9754. More information about CASA is also available by searching for "York County CASA Program" on Facebook.

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CASA Volunteers Sworn In January 14, 2019

A total of 12 new volunteers with Lancaster County's Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program were sworn in on Nov. 19, 2018, at the Emerald Foundation in Lancaster. More than 40 family members, friends, and CASA supporters were in attendance.

The 12 new volunteers are Jason Burkholder, Lititz; Diane Gottlieb, Lebanon; Teresa Caruthers, Ephrata; Bev Kennel, Willow Street; Adele Ruszak, Lancaster; Jordan Schonhaut, Millersville; Sherri Stauffer, Manheim; Terri Small, Lancaster; Sophia Wanner, Lancaster; Liz Yocum, Millersville; Linda Williard, Lancaster; and Lisa Wood, Lancaster.

CASA of Lancaster County trains community volunteers to be qualified, compassionate advocates for abused and neglected children within the court system. Advocates fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family. CASAs are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child's life, such as social workers, attorneys, and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.

Over the course of 2018, CASA volunteers advocated for 325 children, and 92 children are now with their forever families.

Information sessions have been set for Monday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. at United Disability Services, 2270 Erin Court, Lancaster, and Thursday, March 14, at noon at New Joy Church, 35 New Joy Drive, Ephrata. Each program will not exceed one hour. The sessions are free and open to the public, but preregistration is required due to limited seating.

Additionally, the next advocate training session will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 20. To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer or to preregister to attend an information session, readers may contact CASA by calling 717-208-3280 or emailing casa@casalancaster.org.

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Organization Seeks Land, House Donation January 9, 2019

Sparrow Place is currently seeking a donation of land or a house in York County for use as a safe home for survivors of sex trafficking.

Sparrow Place is a local nonprofit looking to provide a house with some acreage as a voluntary, long-term-stay residential restorative program for survivors of domestic sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation. The organization believes that county living environment and a supportive community are key to the trauma-informed care needed for this population.

For more information, readers may call 717-347-7176, email info@sparrowplace.org, or visit www.sparrowplace.org.

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DMVA Offers Assistance To Veterans January 9, 2019

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) encourages veterans to review their benefits with a professional to ensure they are receiving the benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice. All veterans should occasionally check with a veterans service officer to see if changes in a veteran's circumstances or changes to benefit policies may have modified the programs a veteran may be eligible to receive.

Safeguarding military paperwork, especially the DD-214, which is used to verify military service, is an important first step. The easiest way to manage military documents is to make sure they are filed in a safe place immediately when an individual leaves the military. Veterans often find that filing their documents for free at their county courthouse of record is an easy way to secure them until needed, which can often be decades into the future. Anyone needing assistance locating their military documentation can call 717-861-8910 or email RA-REQ@pa.gov.

Another key step is for veterans to apply for federal health care and state benefits by visiting their local county director of veterans affairs or area accredited service organizations to take a look at what benefits they may be eligible for and to get help applying for those benefits. A complete list of county directors and their contact information can be found at www.dmva.pa.gov.

In addition to connecting with a county director or an accredited service organization, veterans should sign up for the DMVA Veterans Registry, an extremely helpful, free tool that electronically delivers timely information about the many state benefits, programs and services available to veterans. Veterans, family members and people who work with veterans can sign up at www.register.dmva.pa.gov.

Veterans and their dependents should never pay for help to apply for veterans' benefits. There are about 200 veterans service officers in Pennsylvania who work with organizations such as the DMVA, county Veterans Affairs offices and several veterans service organizations. They are experienced, trained professionals who provide veterans with advice and assistance at no cost.

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Top Innovator To Speak At MLK Breakfast January 4, 2019

American Banker magazine's 2016 Innovator of the Year, John Hope Bryant, will give the keynote address at the 31st annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Breakfast, which will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, by the Crispus Attucks Community Center.

The event will take place at Millersville University's Marauder Court at the Student Memorial Center, 21 S. George St., Millersville. Coffee and conversation will be offered from 6:30 to 7 a.m., and the meal and program will run from 7 to 9 a.m.

For more than 30 years, the MLK Breakfast has aimed to bring members of the community together in a time to reflect and commit to being agents of change and to remember the life and legacy of its namesake.

This year's theme, "Why We Can't Wait: Achieving Economic Equity," will be championed through Bryant's address. Bryant is the founder of Operation Hope, a nonprofit financial inclusion organization, and he was previously named one of Time magazine's "50 Leaders for the Future." He is an entrepreneur, an author, and a philanthropist.

"The 2019 MLK Breakfast Committee, chaired by Phil Wenger of Fulton Bank and composed of local businesspeople, nonprofit partners, and community volunteers, felt that John Hope Bryant's passion for achieving economic equity would be impactful for the 31st annual breakfast," said Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County chief development officer Kristy Aurand. Crispus Attucks is a program of CAP, and it strives to be a leader in efforts to ensure equity for all people who call Lancaster home, Aurand said.

"As we honor and celebrate the great achievements of Dr. King, we recognize our responsibility to live his legacy," Aurand continued. "We are looking forward to (hearing) a message (from Bryant) that encourages urgency in eliminating barriers to economic equity in our community, along with guiding principles on creating systems change. We hope attendees will walk away enthusiastic about continuing this important conversation and ready to roll up their sleeves and work with us toward advancing economic equity."

There is a cost to attend the MLK Breakfast, and reservations are required. Folks may purchase tickets by calling 717-394-6604, ext. 125, or searching for the event at www.eventbrite.com.

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Columbia Creative Factory Launches Building Campaign January 3, 2019

The Columbia Creative Factory has begun a campaign to raise funds to purchase the building that it currently occupies at 247 Locust St., Columbia. A nonprofit organization geared toward cultivating creativity through shared arts experiences, the Columbia Creative Factory is an offshoot of the Lancaster Creative Factory and has been offering art classes and programming for children, youths, and adults since 2016.

Mychal LaVia, who facilitates workshops at the Columbia Creative Factory, said that the use of the space had been donated to the organization for the past two years, but the building went up for sale in 2018. The Creative Factory team decided to begin the process of fundraising in hopes of purchasing it as a permanent location. Otherwise, the group will need to find a new location when the building sells.

According to Andrea Campbell of the Columbia Creative Factory, the cost to purchase and make a few needed upgrades to the building will be $425,000, which means that the organization must raise $275,000 by Wednesday, May 1. "We will then be able to get a mortgage for $150,000," Campbell stated. "The income from studio rentals will cover the mortgage payments." Thus far, the organization has obtained pledges for $55,000 toward the project.

The approximately 11,000-square-foot space currently has a first-floor gallery and a community space that is utilized for programming, as well as basement storage and two levels of upstairs studio space that can be rented out to artists. Upgrades to the building will include making the space ADA-compliant and adding new ADA-compliant restrooms.

Weekly art programs for students at the Columbia Boys and Girls Club - which is conveniently located right across the street at 248 Locust St. - are offered at the Creative Factory on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Writeface, another nonprofit group that offers creative expression workshops for veterans and their family members at no charge, also meets at the site.

The Columbia Creative Factory frequently partners with the Columbia Borough School District (CBSD), Our Lady of the Angels School, and other local businesses and community groups.

Kevin Lehman, founder and director of the Lancaster Creative Factory, located at 580 S. Prince St., Lancaster, said that continuing to offer community work space and programming is a major part of the plans for the Columbia Creative Factory as the team dreams of owning its current operating space. Team members also hope to offer even more programming for adults and families in the Columbia area.

LaVia said that seeing the difference the Creative Factory has made in the community during the past two years has been exciting, and he hopes to see the positive effect continue to gain momentum going forward.

"We're really interested in creativity and what it can do for people, even as far as its healing potential," Lehman said. "People can use creativity, so wherever we can help them to do that we'd like to bring more opportunities. We've got ideas (for programming and other events), but it's really flexible and based on what the community needs."

"It's really a community space, and we really feel like we're here for the community," said Lehman, adding that the team members at the Creative Factory believe they can be a part of the spark that draws more people to Columbia for all that the borough has to offer.

To donate to the Columbia Creative Factory building campaign, interested individuals may visit https://columbiacreativefactory.org/. A short film detailing the building campaign and the organization's community efforts may also be viewed at the website, as well as information about fundraising events that are currently in the planning stages.

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David's Drive Wraps Gifts For Veterans January 2, 2019

David's Drive 831 (DD831), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of veterans, held its ninth annual Christmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza on Dec. 14 at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

During the event, approximately 200 volunteers wrapped 1,000 gift boxes containing personal care items, snacks and more. The Christmas gifts were distributed to veterans who reside at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, as well as to veterans at other facilities.

DD831 is named after David Turner Jr., who died at the age of 20 on Dec. 16, 2009. At the time of his death, David was employed at the VA center, and afterward, his family members started the David's Drive charity to benefit veterans by providing much-needed goods and services. The 831 symbolizes the phrase "I love you," because it contains eight letters and three words that have one meaning.

During the event, in an assembly line fashion, volunteers packed the boxes with the individual items that were purchased in advance with donated funds. Each box contained deodorant, lotion, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a pen and pencil, chocolates, mints, socks, a hat, a scarf, gloves and a puzzle book, among other items. "Each box also (contained) a holiday card, including homemade ones," explained David Turner Sr., founder and president of David's Drive 831. "There were 25 items total in each box."

Boxes were then wrapped in white paper. The wrapped boxes were given to volunteers who decorated them with various designs. "Anybody that wanted to color the boxes was (invited)," said Turner. "There were Girl Scout troops there and church groups and (representatives) from some of the veterans' service organizations."

Turner noted that many of veterans who receive the boxes carefully remove the wrapping paper and hang it on their walls as a decoration.

Special guests at the wrapping event included state Sen. Andy Dinniman, who presented the volunteers with citations, and singer Jess Zimmerman. "We hired the Jess Zimmerman Band (to perform) a country music concert during Veterans Week at the VA," Turner explained. "Right in the middle (of the gift-wrapping event), Jess Zimmerman stopped volunteers in their tracks with a beautiful rendition of our national anthem."

Jenn Lilly, chief of voluntary service at the Coatesville VA, was also on hand at the event. "She had the idea to place all the (wrapped and decorated) boxes in the shape of 831," Turner noted. "It worked out really well."

The Christmas boxes were distributed to veterans at the Coatesville and Lebanon VA medical centers, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Veterans Center in Spring City and the Delaware County Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Broomall.

Turner noted that fundraising efforts are held year-round to purchase gifts and wrapping materials for the project, which costs approximately $25,000. "We got grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation and a grant from the Veterans Trust Fund," he pointed out. "There are also companies in the area that always help us out. A local company donated 25 pizzas for the volunteers."

The Christmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza is one of DD831's many efforts that benefit veterans. The charity collects socks and underwear throughout the year and also offers assistance to previously homeless veterans by helping them with transitional housing and by purchasing new beds and household items for them.

Turner said that the various projects not only provide comfort to his family but also honor David Turner Jr. In a post at www.facebook.com/davids.drive, Turner wrote, "Thanks to the love from the community we get to honor him - to ensure he is not forgotten. We feel close to David as it keeps his memory alive."

For more information about David's Drive, readers may visit the Facebook page or www.davidsdrive831.org.

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Advoz Posts Upcoming Programs January 2, 2019

Advoz: Mediation and Restorative Practices will sponsor various upcoming programs. Registration and fees apply unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, readers may visit www.advoz.org or call 717-397-2404.

Lunch and Learn will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, at Benjamin Roberts, 240 N. Prince St., Lancaster. Advoz will hold this free session to share its work in mediation and restorative justice and how people can get involved, including as volunteer peacemakers. The session will feature interactive discussion, testimony, and a question-and-answer time with Advoz staff and volunteers, as well as lunch. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Learn to Facilitate Restorative Justice: Victim-Offender Conferencing will be held over six weekday evenings and two Saturdays from March 11 through 30 at HACC Lancaster, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster. Volunteers are needed to convene dialogue between young offenders and those they have harmed. Using role plays, discussion and presentation, attendees will learn about dialogue methods, youth development, victimization, trauma and ethics. Scholarships are available. The registration deadline is Monday, March 4.

Train to Resolve Conflicts: Basic Mediation Training will be offered from Thursday, April 11, to Saturday, April 13, at the Mennonite Central Committee's Welcoming Place, 21 S. 12th St., Akron. This intensive training will prepare participants to apply more effective and compassionate communication in their personal and professional lives. CLEs are available for attorneys, with CEUs for social workers, professional counselors and marriage/family therapists. Scholarships are available, with an early bird discount for those who register by Friday, March 22.

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Informational Session Set January 2, 2019

A free informational session about providing child foster care and adoption will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Diakon Adoption and Foster Care, 836 S. George St., York.

Diakon staff members will explain foster parenting as well as the processes involved in adopting a child. Attendees also will learn about children available for adoption as well as the foster-to-adopt concept. The program recently added foster care for medically fragile children.

People interested in attending the session should call 717-845-9113.

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Manatee Adoptions Available December 31, 2018

Animal advocates and environmentally conscious shoppers are invited to "adopt" real, living manatees from the Save the Manatee Club. The Adopt-A-Manatee program was started to raise more awareness of Florida's imperiled marine mammals.

For a donation, the Save the Manatee Club will send a personalized adoption packet, which includes an adoption certificate, a photo and the life history of a real Florida manatee, and a membership handbook. Manatees like Rocket, Howie, Ariel, and Gator are all popular adoptees, and a new female manatee, Moo Shoo, has been added to the Adopt-A-Manatee program at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Fla.

Save the Manatee Club is an nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat for future generations. Through increased public awareness, habitat protection, and enforcement of boating regulations, the organization hopes to ensure manatees survive for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Manatee adoptions and a variety of manatee-related merchandise are available by visiting www.savethemanatee.org. To adopt a manatee, readers may also call 800-432-JOIN (5646).

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Students Accept "Rachel's Challenge" December 27, 2018

Rachel's Challenge is a nationally acclaimed program that aims to further strengthen schools' efforts to eliminate bullying and violence while replacing them with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion. To accept the challenge, Solanco students have signed their names to an "I Accept Rachel's Challenge" banner that will be displayed in the high school cafeteria.

Rachel's Challenge encourages individuals to do the following: look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness, and start their own chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

Rachel Joy Scott died during the Columbine School tragedy nearly 20 years ago. During assemblies at Solanco High School attended by students, teachers, staff, and Solanco school board members, Rachel's uncle Larry Scott spoke about how her diaries and everyday actions demonstrated her commitment to supporting and uplifting others. She especially focused on reaching out to and being kind to three specific groups of students: students with special needs, students that were being picked on, and new students in school. Larry also addressed the similarities in the lives and legacies of Rachel Scott and Anne Frank, who died in a German concentration camp.

Rachel's Challenge began a few weeks after Columbine, when Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, addressed a Congressional House Judiciary Committee about the issue of school violence. Since then, Rachel's family and certified presenters for Rachel's Challenge have appeared on various national news programs.

In addition to the assemblies, Larry has also provided Rachel's Challenge training to students and staff. The program strives to provide a sustainable, evidence-based framework for a positive climate and culture in schools. When the program is fully implemented, partner schools have been shown to achieve statistically significant gains in community engagement, faculty/student relationships, leadership potential, and school climate, along with reductions in bullying and alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

Rachel's Challenge will align with Aeveidum, the Link Crew freshman transition program, the Renaissance Program, and the Solanco High School anti-bullying program - "Solanco Stands Together" - that are already in place to support students at the high school.

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CVC Receives Donation December 26, 2018

Local supporters of the Crime Victims' Center of Chester County Inc. (CVC) once again came together to make the holidays brighter for local victims of crime and violence in Chester County.

The Friars' Society and the Abbe Society at West Chester University worked with agency advocates to coordinate a sizable stack of gifts for two specific families in need this holiday season. The Friars have a commitment to serve not only the university, but also surrounding community, which includes CVC at a half-mile away.

Additional support came from CVC's annual Mrs. Claus Fund, which began years ago as a collaborative effort between CVC and Detective Dave Maurer of the West Goshen Police Department. The idea originally stemmed from a client need for essential winter clothing; it then developed into raising necessary funds.

Each year the Mrs. Claus Fund raises money and secures gift cards for clients who need a little extra help, especially around the holidays. The fund assists with essentials like filling up the car with gas, buying snow boots and coats, or making sure that children have a gift to open on Christmas Day.

Maurer, a longtime supporter of CVC, spearheads the Mrs. Claus effort each year and joined the agency's board of directors in November.

The largest donations of gift cards and cash came in through coordinated efforts from the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court, coordinated by Samantha Cole, Esquire; Automated Financial Services Inc., coordinated by Erica Bruckus; Christ Community Church; West Goshen Police Department; and Kimberly Metcalf.

Those interested in contributing to the agency's year-round efforts can do so by making a donation. The agency is currently in the midst of its "Annual Giving Campaign: Help Give Victims Hope," in which the agency is celebrating its 45th anniversary. To learn more about the campaign, readers may visit www.cvcofcc.org/donate.

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Awareness Month Set December 24, 2018

January has been declared National Glaucoma Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness, a volunteer eye health and safety nonprofit organization, along with other leading eye health groups, in an effort to educate the public on the disease, including risk factors and treatment options. Prevent Blindness offers a dedicated web page providing patients and their caregivers with additional free information at www.preventblindness.org/glaucoma.

For more information on glaucoma or other financial assistance programs, including Medicare coverage, readers may call Prevent Blindness at 800-331-2020 or visit the website.

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DVGRR Slates Meet-And-Greet December 24, 2018

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) will hold its monthly "Meet and Greet the Goldens" on Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at its Golden Gateway facility, 60 Vera Cruz Road, Reinholds. Dogs will be available for adoption, staff members will be on hand to answer all questions, and food will be available for purchase.

There is no admission charge, and photography is not permitted. For more information, readers may call 717-484-4799 or visit www.dvgrr.org/adopt/meet-greet-2.

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North Star Will Accept Donations December 12, 2018

North Star Initiative has posted several ways to donate during the holiday season.

One is to purchase gift cards from Walmart, Target, Kohl's, A.C. Moore, Giant, Weis, Aldi's, and Community Aid.

Another is to prepare freezable casseroles that will feed six to eight people.

A third is to donate items. Items currently needed include hand soap, bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, hot tea, resealable bags, cereal, healthy snacks, socks, sneakers (women's sizes 8, 9, and 10), bras and underwear, and swimsuits (large to XXXL).

To set an appointment to drop off donations, readers may contact info@northstarinitiative.org. Readers may also donate financially by visiting www.northstarinitiative.org.

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CASA To Benefit From Fundraiser December 12, 2018

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County will benefit from the Share the Love Campaign.

Customers who purchase or lease a new Subaru through Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, at Lancaster County Motors Subaru in East Petersburg will be able to have $250 donated to their choice of charities. An additional $50 will be donated to CASA for each sold or leased vehicle, up to $2,500 in total.

For more details about CASA, readers may contact 717-208-3280 or casa@casalancaster.org or visit www.casalancaster.org.

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Community Invited To Support Veterans December 12, 2018

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) encourages Pennsylvanians to give to programs that support the commonwealth's veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families. The four tax-deductible programs administered by the DMVA are the Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP), the Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF), Residents' Welfare Funds and the Pennsylvania Veterans' Memorial Trust Fund.

Donations are accepted online or by mail. When an online donation is made, donors may choose to enter honoree information, and a plaque in their honor will be displayed on the Virtual Donor Wall. Online plaques will show that donations have been made in honor of, in memory of or on behalf of someone. To make a donation online or by mail for any of the four programs or to learn more about each one, readers may visit www.donate.dmva.pa.gov.

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