Group Sponsors Service Dog July 12, 2018
"Isn't he handsome?" Erika Herold practically gushed. Herold's praise was not for a significant other or family member. Rather, it was bestowed on 6-month-old yellow Labrador named Woody who was happily rolling in the grass at Herold's feet.
Herold, a logistics analyst at Woodstream Corporation in Lititz, and other Woodstream employees raised $5,000 to sponsor Woody to become a United Disabilities Services Foundation (UDS) service dog. Woody is several months into the BARKS Prison Program, through which he is being trained by an inmate at Moshannon Valley Correction Center in Phillipsburg. While at the prison, Woody is living with his inmate handler around the clock. The inmate training program has proven to be successful. Normally, inmates teach puppies up to 50 commands, but many dogs are reaching that goal ahead of schedule.
On June 8, Woody, accompanied by UDS staff accountant Mary Langton, visited Woody's sponsors when the corporation held a company picnic at its facility. Langton said that Woody will spend a total of 18 months working with a designated inmate. "Woody will come back to us for (his) final six months of training to refine the skills he will need to (work with) the client he is chosen (to serve)," explained Langton. Langton is pleased with Woody's progress so far. "He is very smart, and he seems to bond quickly," she said. As Woody lolled in the grass and employee sponsors rubbed his stomach, Langton noted, "He is not afraid of crowds."
Herold met Woody for the first time when UDS held a sponsor meet-and-greet event just before Woody left for Moshannon. "This is the first time we have sponsored a service dog," said Herold, adding that the idea was brought to the company by an employee whose spouse is associated with UDS. During the training period, Herold receives updates concerning Woody, which she passes along to employees.
One of the privileges sponsors appreciate is the honor of helping to choose a moniker for their designated pup. "We had a company contest to name him," said Herold, who passed along the three suggestions that received the most votes to UDS. "(Because UDS staff members) don't know what disabilities the person he is matched with will have, they consider names for how easily they can be pronounced, so his name will work with anyone who is assigned to him," Herold said, adding that she was glad "Woody" was chosen because it reflects the company name.
Herold said that when company staff first heard about the service dog sponsorship program, they were intrigued. "We said, 'Wow, this is something we want to do,'" she shared. "It's a win-win." Herold explained that the employee sponsors were happy to know they are helping the inmate who is training the dog because that person receives the opportunity to become certified as a trainer and gain competence in an area. "When he comes out (of prison, the inmate) has training to (work with) service dogs. It gives him a niche skill," said Herold.
Of course, Herold is most excited about the chance Woody has to positively affect the life of a person with a disability. "He is going to be a lifeline," said Herold. "(Woody) will affect not just the person, but their whole family, and he can give someone their life back. That gives me chills."
Herold is looking forward to the road ahead as Woody grows and learns the skills he will need to be a service dog. "Our sponsorship is for two years, and at the end we get to go to his graduation," said Herold. "What really touches me is that it is a long program that will have an effect for years down the road."
Readers who would like to learn more about UDS may visit www.udservices.org.
GateHouse Board Honors Employees July 11, 2018
The board of directors of The GateHouse recently held its annual appreciation dinner for the staff of The GateHouse at The Emerald Foundation Community Center in Lancaster. Each year, members of the board honor employees who have reached new heights through education and certificate advancement that focus on drug, alcohol and opioid addiction recovery.
This year, the board honored Casey Ellis, director of human resources; Lori Fallon, REI coordinator; Tim Gageby, AAC; Alejandro Galarza, recovery specialist; Fran Halligan, counselor; Kristi Martarano, Leadership Lancaster; Kysha Payne-Word, AA Human Services; Brandi Simone, counselor assistant; Brook Turnbull, case manager; Dr. Verlina Velazquez-Millings; and Jessie Zebold, CAAC. Jim Marshall, director of facilities, was awarded the honor of 2018 Employee of the Year.
The board of directors also voted to re-elect John Conahan as president. Mark Walmer has changed to the role of vice president from secretary. Ken Falk remains as treasurer. Amanda Mellinger was nominated and voted in as secretary. Ryan Vandenberg, Laurie Bodisch, Bri Callahan, Susan Deely, and Greg Funk were nominated to the board for the first time.
The GateHouse, founded in 1972 and located in Lancaster County, is an organization that offers programs licensed by the state of Pennsylvania to provide residential and outpatient drug, alcohol and opioid addiction treatment.
Organization Selected To Implement Program July 11, 2018
The Children's Aid Society was one of two organizations selected by York County Children and Youth and Penn State to implement the Incredible Years series of evidence-based programs to prevent child abuse in York County. The Children's Aid Society will implement the new program in York County alongside community partner Holcomb Behavioral Services.
The Incredible Years Series is a set of interlocking, comprehensive, and developmentally based programs targeting parents, teachers and children. The training programs that compose the Incredible Years Series are guided by developmental theory on the role of multiple interacting risk and protective factors in the development of conduct problems. The programs are designed to work jointly to promote emotional, social, and academic competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioral and emotional problems in young children.
The Children's Aid Society Southern PA District Church of the Brethren is an organization with centers located in Chambersburg, New Oxford and York. The organization provides child-centered art and play therapy, individual counseling for children and adolescents ages 2 to 18, referral services, community education, support groups, the God's Closet free children's clothing bank, emergency respite care for children ages 2 to 6 in a 24-hour crisis nursery, family advocacy, and parent support groups.
DVGRR Posts Contest July 11, 2018
Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) is participating in the Bissell Pet Foundation (BPF) Support the Shelters Sweepstakes. The foundation will award a total of $50,000, with the grand prize of $30,000 going to the shelter or rescue that garners the greatest number of online votes. The contest will end on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
To vote, supporters may visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org/sweepstakes, answer a few questions and select the rescue by entering PA under State and then selecting Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue from the alphabetical list of shelters. Only one vote per valid email address is permitted.
At the conclusion of the contest, BPF will hold a random drawing, including two $5,000 prize winners, two $2,500 prize winners, and five $1,000 prize winners.
Easterseals Staff Members Attend Training July 3, 2018
The York Division of Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania held its annual staff training at the York Alliance Church in York on May 31 and June 1. Therapeutic recreation staff members participated in adapted daily living skills training and behavior management training. The two-day training session is designed to help staff members improve their communication with and compassion for individuals with disabilities and to help staff members provide an enjoyable and safe environment for their campers and community-based program participants.
Guest speakers included Greg Anderson, a local principal with expertise in behavior management, and Regi Theodore-Wise, a local adult who has autism. Theodore-Wise shared about her own challenges and perspective.
The York Division of Easterseals specializes in therapeutic recreation camping programs and community-based programs for individuals with any disability or special need. The camp offers a sense of independence while helping participants improve their social, emotional, and physical well-being. The annual two-day event provides comprehensive training, and routine training sessions are held throughout the year for incoming staff and volunteers.
For information about becoming a therapeutic recreation staff member or volunteer, readers may contact Virginia Anderson, director of therapeutic recreation, at 717-741-3891 or email@example.com.
The Arc Recognizes Donors July 3, 2018
The Arc of York County recently recognized a new class of donors who have contributed significantly to its efforts of bringing respect and independence to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The donors were invited to a reception on June 21 at The Arc of York County's Camp Pennwood, where each selected a leaf on the Philanthro-Tree mural. The name of each donor was permanently placed on the selected leaf to commemorate contributions made during the 2017-18 program year.
This year's leaves were claimed by various businesses and groups, including Members 1st Federal Credit Union, South End Democratic Club, and the Walmart Foundation. One leaf was claimed in memory of Dudley and Sylvia Kramer. Present for the reception were representatives from Members 1st Federal Credit Union and PCBH, along with members of the staff and board for The Arc of York County, including executive director Josh Leik and board president Ray Kraft. In order to receive a leaf on the mural, businesses, organizations or individuals must contribute $1,000 or more in a program year.
The Arc of York County is dedicated to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families by promoting and providing supports and services. The organization also fosters research and education regarding the prevention of intellectual disabilities in infants and young children.
For more information on The Arc of York County, readers may call 717-846-6589 or visit www.thearcofyorkcounty.org.
Children Graduate From Program June 26, 2018
The Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster held its 14th annual Celebration of Achievement on June 3 in the Johnston Auditorium of the Lancaster Masonic Center. A total of 10 children were graduated from the program. This year marked a total of more than 100 graduates from the program.
Heather Hinkel, director of the center, addressed the graduating students, returning students, tutors, and governing board, thanking them for the work each provides to the program. Each graduate was given an keepsake autograph bear, as the bear is the Children's Dyslexia Centers Inc.'s mascot. Students thanked their tutors and the board of governors for the service they received.
The Center, sponsored by the Lancaster Lodge of Perfection of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons, is one of eight centers in Pennsylvania that provides tutoring at no charge to children from elementary through high school who fit a dyslexic profile. Children are eligible regardless of economic status or Masonic affiliation. The Orton-Gillingham approach is used as the basis for tutoring and tutor training. The method is a sequential, multisensory, phonetic approach to language.
The Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster opened in 2002 and has served nearly 200 children. Between 25 and 30 children receive tutoring throughout the year, and nearly as many children are on the waiting list. Funding for the program, which averages $6,000 per student per year, comes in large measure from the local fundraising efforts undertaken by the Lancaster Lodge of Perfection and the board of governors that oversees the program. Some of the fundraising efforts include holiday pie sales, apple dumpling and chicken corn soup sales, the annual Lancaster W. Scott Stoner Memorial Children's Dyslexia Center Walk, and the Extraordinary Give. Dates for these events are available by visiting http://childrensdyslexiacenteroflancaster.org or searching for Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster on Facebook. Readers may call 717-481-5680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Center.
CASA Organizations Post Information June 26, 2018
Two organizations known as CASA, both operating in York County, have posted information to help members of the public distinguish between the organizations.
The York County Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA) is an agency of the York County Court of Common Pleas. It is a volunteer-based program that trains citizens to speak for abused and neglected children in the court system. The agency is located in the York County Judicial Center, 45 N. George St. For more information about the organization, readers may call 717-771-9754 or visit https://yorkcountypa.gov/courts-criminal-justice/court-courtrelated-offices/court-appointed-special-advocates.html or https://www.facebook.com/YorkCountyCASA/.
A separate and unrelated organization, CASA, is an immigrant rights advocacy organization. This organization has a York city location at 225 E. Princess St. More information is available by calling 717-219-7974 or by visiting https://wearecasa.org/, https://www.facebook.com/CASAforAll/, or https://twitter.com/CASAforall.
Both organizations are part of larger national CASA organizations.
Veterans Invited To Combat Recovery Course June 25, 2018
The James A. Danner VFW Post 537, 1095 Pines Road, Etters, will host a 12-week REBOOT Combat Recovery course beginning on Thursday, Aug. 30. The training focuses on healing the spiritual and moral wounds of war and is led by combat veterans. The course is free to combat veterans, along with spouses and partners. Free child care and dinner are included, as well.
Created to aid service members and their families in working through their post-traumatic stress, REBOOT offers a blend of clinical insight and faith-based support in the form of weekly classes that include topic-based instruction, class discussions, homework, group exercises, and a family-style meal.
VFW Post 537 received positive reviews from the combat veterans and their spouses who graduated from its recent classes. Etters course leaders include Doug Wahl, Robert Reiner, Dennis Ross, and Sheldon Kauffman.
Registrations may be made at www.rebootrecovery.com. For more information on REBOOT, readers may contact Doug Wahl at email@example.com or 717-649-4479.
CCFWG Awards Grant June 20, 2018
Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children received a grant award from the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls (CCFWG). The grant will be used for direct program expenses for the three programs in the Homeless to Independence Initiative. Friends Association helps each family build on its existing strengths and helps it identify education and services it needs to successfully transition from poverty and homelessness to permanent housing and financial self-sufficiency.
Friends Association works with all families in Chester County in accessing emergency benefits, permanent housing, education and assistance. A case manager immediately begins working with families to assist them in accessing emergency benefits, housing coordination and employment assistance. The $10,000 grant will be used for direct expenses in support of the three programs: Emergency Family Shelter, Homeless Prevention (including the new long-term case management program) and Outreach to Homeless Families.
CCFWG was started in 1996 in response to the vital needs and issues that affect women, girls and their families in Chester County. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $3 million in grants to 71 organizations addressing critical needs.
Through grant making and educational programs, CCFWG strategically works to foster the economic freedom, well-being and security of women and their families who live and work in the diverse communities throughout the county. The CCFWG aims to lead and unite the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have the opportunities and resources to thrive.
Friends Association promotes the independence of families with children by providing shelter, programs and services in Chester County. In 2017, Friends Association assisted more than 124 families and 247 children.
School Supplies Collection Planned June 20, 2018
CrossNet Ministries will collect new backpacks and school supplies, including pens, pencils, folders, and binders, to support children in need in the ELANCO School District.
Items may be dropped off at Ten Thousand Villages at Kitchen Kettle Village or Rockvale Outlets, CrossNet Ministries, YMCA at New Holland, or the Eastern Lancaster County Library through Wednesday, Aug. 8.
WIC Location Extends Hours June 19, 2018
The Community Progress Council Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, the WIC Program provider for York County, has extended its hours at the Red Lion location, located at Golden Connections Community Center, 20C Gotham Drive, Red Lion. The newly expanded hours will be as follows: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding a closure for lunch from noon to 12:50 p.m.; the second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., excluding a closure for lunch from 1 to 1:50 p.m.; and the fourth Thursday of each month from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
WIC provides supplemental food and nutrition education for pregnant and breastfeeding women, mothers who have given birth within the past six months, infants, and children up to the age of 5. Eligibility for WIC is based on income, residency, and medical and dietary-based conditions. Community Progress Council serves nearly 5,600 women and children across York County through the WIC program. Pennsylvania WIC is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Anyone interested in joining the WIC program may start a pre-application by visiting www.pawic.com. Any current WIC participant may transfer locations by calling the main office at 717-843-7942.
Food Drive Launched June 15, 2018
The Lancaster Barnstormers are holding a protein food drive for the Power Packs Project. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, June 22, readers may bring donations to the box office, located at 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster.
The protein drive will help save a significant amount of money that would otherwise come out of the Power Packs annual budget. While many food items are purchased at significant savings from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Power Packs purchases protein items weekly at close to full price.
Fans, friends, family, sponsors, and partners may participate. For each that individuals donate, they will receive a Lawn Pass for a July 2018 game of their choice. Persons who already have tickets may simply ask for an upgrade.
The Power Packs Project is a nonprofit organization that provides nutritious meals over weekends when school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable to students. The organization is in 14 school districts, has more than 450 volunteers, and serves more than 2,000 families in the Lancaster and Lebanon area.
Organization Posts Fundraiser Results June 13, 2018
Big Brothers Big Sisters of York and Adams Counties has announced that this year's Bowl for Kids' Sake campaign raised more than $109,000. The proceeds will go toward the organization's mentoring programs.
Bowl for Kids' Sake featured eight events, 49 sponsors, hundreds of bowlers, and countless donors.
Summer Lunches Available June 13, 2018
Middletown Area School District participates in the Summer Food Service Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Free lunches will be provided rain or shine on Mondays through Fridays to youths age 18 and under. All locations will be closed on Wednesday, July 4.
Locations are as follows: cafeteria at Middletown Area High School, 1155 N. Union St., from Monday, June 11, through Friday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Fink Elementary School, 150 N. Race St., at the War Memorial Field concession stand, from June 11 through Friday, Aug. 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 121 N. Spring St., Middletown, from June 11 through Aug. 10 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
There is no need to register; instead, youths can simply arrive at the location of their choice to enjoy a nutritious lunch. To view the menu, visit www.raiderweb.org/blog/2018/05/31/free-summer-lunch-program-2/.
REYS Gets Ready For Backpacks To School June 8, 2018
Rainbow's End Youth Center (REYS) executive director Joel Hughes says that research shows that students who start school with a positive perspective are more likely to have success throughout the year. For those distracted by the fact that they do not have a normal backpack or access to school supplies like the rest of their peers seem to, that can be an automatic setback. To counter that barrier and help area students to start each school year on a good note, REYS will once again host its annual Backpacks to School donation drive this summer.
The goal of the program is to help students by providing an age-appropriate backpack and school supplies at no cost. A record-breaking 622 backpacks were distributed to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in 2017, and Hughes is anticipating another busy year for Backpacks to School. Families may sign up at www.reys.org by clicking on the Events tab and completing the "Request a Backpack" form. REYS staff members will then schedule an individual appointment and pickup time for each family. Distribution will take place beginning on Monday, Aug. 13, at REYS, 105 Fairview St., Mount Joy.
Area residents are encouraged to get involved by donating new backpacks, as well as school supplies that will be included in each backpack to correspond to the grade level. The following items are needed: three-inch binders, folders, pencils, pens, scissors, two-pocket folders, index cards, markers, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, composition notebooks, graph paper, calculators, and highlighters. The items may be dropped off at REYS through Aug. 7. Financial donations are also welcome and will be used for staff members to purchase backpacks and supplies in bulk.
New for this year will be a Packing Party in the REYS gymnasium on Tuesday, Aug. 7, which will allow individuals and groups that have donated toward the project to be a part of helping to pack the backpacks with supplies and organize them for pickup. More details about that event will be released closer to the date.
According to Hughes, nearly 40 percent of students in the Donegal School District qualify for free and reduced lunches. "Some of these students are in poverty situations, and others are in families that are just barely getting by," Hughes shared. He went on to explain that oftentimes simply having a new backpack can help students to reframe their situations and how they view themselves amidst their peer group.
While the majority of the students who utilize Backpacks to School live in the Donegal School District, REYS also works with guidance counselors and social workers from the nearby Manheim Central School District. Additional recipients come from the Hempfield, Elizabethtown, and Columbia Borough school districts.
The unique nature of Backpacks to School and its rapid success earned widespread recognition this spring when the program was named a finalist in the 2018 Nonprofit Innovation Awards. Hughes said that scheduling private appointment times is different from typical donation drives because it allows for privacy and gives students the chance to pick out the backpack of their choice. REYS staff members also use that time to share with the family about the free after-school programs available at the youth center. "(Backpacks to School) is a major time for new students to learn that the center is here," noted Hughes.
For more information about REYS and the Backpacks to School program, interested individuals may call 717-653-9511 or visit https://reys.org.
Organization Moves, Plans Open House June 5, 2018
The Arc Lancaster Lebanon has moved to a new location at 116 W. Airport Road, Suite A, Lititz. An open house will take place on Wednesday, June 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., giving community members opportunities to tour the facility, meet the staff and board of directors, and learn about The Arc Lancaster Lebanon's programs. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are requested by emailing info@TheArcLancLeb.org or calling 717-394-5251.
Programs were previously offered at the Health and Welfare Foundation on Janet Avenue. The move gives the agency more space, allowing it to offer programs from its own location. Additionally, The Arc Lancaster Lebanon recently expanded its area of support to include Lebanon County, and the new location allows the organization to serve both counties from one location.
The move and the expansion were catalysts for the organization's rebranding as The Arc Lancaster Lebanon. A new website is under construction and will be available on approximately Sunday, July 1, at www.TheArcLancLeb.org. Staff at The Arc have rebranded their emails to the new web address. The team consists of Maureen Westcott, executive director; Keren Acosta-Davis, family support and advocacy; Peggy Bare, IM4Q coordinator and fiscal; and Camille Mule, administrative assistant.
The Arc Lancaster Lebanon provides advocacy, support and trainings for people with disabilities and their families, as well as for service providers, businesses, and other community benefit organizations.