LHOP Hires McDevitt, Thorsen May 23, 2018
The Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) has announced the hiring of two new management staff members. Kim McDevitt has joined LHOP as chief operating officer, and Jake Thorsen is the new SoWe neighborhood director.
McDevitt comes to LHOP with more than 20 years of executive and management leadership experience, including her most recent position, executive director at Power Packs Project. While there, she oversaw the growth of the organization, which under her leadership had programming in two counties and served more than 2,400 families. At LHOP, McDevitt will have operational oversight and responsibilities in team and program development, project management, fundraising, and marketing.
On May 7, Thorsen took over as SoWe neighborhood director after the retirement of Jim Shultz. Thorsen graduated with a bachelor's degree from SUNY Buffalo and a master's degree from Syracuse University. He has experience in community and neighborhood development through service as an AmeriCorps volunteer and having served with a land bank and neighborhood organizations.
SoWe is a resident-driven organization in the southwest community of Lancaster and is under the umbrella of LHOP. In 2016, the Southwest Lancaster Revitalization Strategy was developed and implementation funds awarded by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. In his new position, Thorsen works with SoWe residents and stakeholders.
LHOP has 11 full-time and two seasonal part-time staff. It has offices in Lancaster, York and the SoWe neighborhood. LHOP also operates an eight-county regional loan fund known as the Local Housing Investment Fund and Trust (LHIFT) of South Central PA.
Fundraiser To Benefit Four Diamonds May 23, 2018
Four Diamonds at Hershey Medical Center will benefit from a fundraiser on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Paradise Park, 6 Londonvale Road, Paradise. Live music by the Allen Fisher Band, Victory Express, and Call of Grace and Levi King will begin at 4 p.m. Children's activities, a bounce house, a candy drop, coed softball and volleyball tournaments, food, entertainment by comedian Amos Fisher and Sons, and a stilt walker will be featured. Attendees are encouraged to bring seating.
Four Diamonds helps families with children who are battling cancer. For more information, call Lydia at 717-701-3645 or Abner at 717-701-1643.
HOPE Program Schedules Events May 22, 2018
The Hounds of Prison Education program (HOPE) will have representatives available to answer questions about the program and about adoptable dogs at two upcoming events.
HOPE representatives will visit Sam's Club, 2801 E. Market St., York, on Sunday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
HOPE will also attend HoneyFest at Shelly Park, 248 N. Highland Ave., York, on Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awareness event will include food, giveaway drawings, music, multiple vendors, rescues, adoptables, and the guest of honor, Honey, a rescued dog. Event attendees may meet HOPE volunteers, learn about the program and adoptable dogs, and purchase HOPE T-shirts and hoodies, and furry friends may receive free dog biscuits.
The HOPE program of the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance (CPAA) pairs rescued dogs with carefully screened inmates at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill for training, socialization, and love. The dogs receive assistance of professional trainers and their inmate handlers. Once adopted, the dogs receive free training assistance for life. More information on HOPE can be found at www.hopedogs.org.
School Fundraises For Organization May 18, 2018
York Suburban Middle School concluded its Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraising campaign by honoring top performers and Big Brothers Big Sisters during its Pride Assembly on May 2. Every year, hundreds of students, staff, and families work together to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of York and Adams Counties. In 2018, the campaign raised $21,561 through students' individual efforts, cookie sales, and school support. To reward the students for their hard work, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted bowling events at Laser Alleys in February, providing prizes, food, bowling, laser tag, and spirit contests for more than 330 bowlers on 64 teams.
York Suburban Middle School is part of the York Suburban School District. Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts its School Mentoring Program at several schools throughout the district.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported one-to-one relationships intended to change their lives for the better, forever. More information is available at www.bbbsyorkadams.org.
Hummelstown Hunger Run Supports Food Pantry May 17, 2018
The 5K Hummelstown Hunger Run was recently held for the fourth consecutive year.
A total of 256 participants took part. The overall male winner was Alex Pearson of Hummelstown with a time of 16 minutes, 8 seconds, and the overall female winner was Michelle DeStefano of Harrisburg with a time of 19:52.
Through the event, more than $20,000 was donated to the Hummelstown Food Pantry. The food pantry also received two truck beds full of nonperishable food items donated by participants, volunteers, and vendors, along with fresh fruit, water, and snacks from the event day.
A total of 124 local businesses and a number of individual donors supported the event. Local businesses provided lunch, sweet treats, water, bananas, chocolate, snack crackers, coffee, and other beverages. Health fair vendors were also involved in the event.
The 5K was also supported by Hummelstown Borough staff; the volunteer fire police, who provided traffic control; and the Lower Dauphin baseball team and staff.
The fifth annual 5K Hummelstown Hunger Run is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Workcamp Scheduled May 16, 2018
The Home Helps Faith Beyond the Pews Workcamp will take place from Monday through Friday, June 11 to 15.
Home Helps aims to serve local low-income homeowners by repairing homes, painting, building wheelchair ramps, raking yards, mowing grass, and performing other repairs. Individuals with carpentry, gardening, painting, or cooking skills are invited to volunteer for one day or five days. Home Helps will provide volunteers with a hot breakfast, a packed lunch, and a hot dinner at Chapel Church. Participants may volunteer with friends, family, youth groups, or Sunday school classes.
The workcamp is sponsored by Servants Inc. of Red Lion and Bethlehem United Methodist Church of Dallastown.
To register, readers may complete a Workcamp Volunteer application at www.servants.org/home-helps or contact Alisha Crooks at 717-378-0336 by Friday, May 25. Donations can be made at www.servants.org/support-servants.
Free Workshops Planned May 16, 2018
CrossNet Ministries, 127 W. Franklin St., New Holland, will hold free informative workshops from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. on Mondays, June 4, 11, 18, and 25. COBYS will present the workshops.
Workshops will include "Anger and Temperament (Managing Your Emotions)," "Healthy Lifestyles (Making Changes That Make Change Happen)," "Taking Care of Yourself (Self-Renewal and Stress Management)," and "The Five Love Languages (Speaking in the Way Someone Is Listening)."
To register, contact CrossNet Ministries at 717-355-2454.
Student Helps Create New Food Pantry May 11, 2018
Lititz Christian School fourth-grader Autumn Mertz recently took part in starting a new food pantry called Autumn's Pantry. The new ministry opened its doors on March 7 at the Emerald Building on Oregon Pike. All of Autumn's fourth-grade classmates were able to support her at the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony, which included the other sponsors of the pantry and philanthropists from across the county.
The new ministry is the result of Autumn's continuing desire to help provide food for people in need in her community. For her last three birthdays, Autumn has had nontraditional parties. Instead of asking for presents for herself, Autumn asked her friends to bring change to be donated to Project Backpack. The United Way organization aims to improve the mental and physical health of children by helping their parents provide nutritious meals over weekends when the school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable.
In support of Autumn's Pantry, Lititz Christian high school students recently held a Snow-Ball Dance, raising $418. All proceeds benefited Autumn's organization.
Lititz Christian School, founded in 1978, is a private, college preparatory school serving infants through 12th-grade students. The school is located at 501 W. Lincoln Ave., Lititz.
Reaching The World May 11, 2018
"Friends in Action's mission is to accelerate the Gospel to the unreached in the different regions of the world," explained project and team coordinator Paul Brosey. Friends in Action (FIA) International, which has its headquarters in Middletown, assists in facilitating and equipping mission work by partnering with Christian believers around the world. Currently, more than 10 construction projects are underway in six nations: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Moldova.
According to communications manager Shannon Medich, FIA formed in 1992, when missionaries serving with New Tribes Mission had a desire to meet more of the tangible needs of the people living in their communities. Friends of New Tribes Mission, which later changed titles to FIA, became an outgrowth of that.
Construction projects make up a bulk of FIA efforts, such as building a 300-foot radio tower in Bolivia, adding roadways and air strips in Papua New Guinea, and drilling for clean water in Burkina Faso. Medich shared a story from a contact in Bolivia who said that a native pastor was traveling by boat to remote areas to share the Gospel message when he pulled the boat to shore to take shelter from a storm. To his surprise, the people on shore recognized his voice immediately and said, "We came to know Jesus because of you!" The pastor's radio program, which was broadcast throughout the jungle, had been made possible thanks to the radio tower built by FIA.
Medich emphasized that the building projects are done in conjunction with missionary organizations or indigenous people groups already located on the project site who request FIA's help. "We want to meet people's spiritual needs but also the physical and economic needs," shared Medich. "We're honoring who they are." Teaching life skills and educating is another a core part of the organization's efforts - whether that be showing people how to build bricks that are more hurricane-resistant or providing vocational training for mechanics, welding, and woodworking.
"Our focus is on the remote areas. If it's hard to get to, we're probably there," Brosey noted. For that reason, some people are surprised when they learn that FIA is working in the eastern European country of Moldova. "(Moldova) is urban comparatively to the other countries that we're in, but they are remote in the sense that you can't easily get the Gospel in," he said.
On a recent trip to a university the organization supports in Moldova - first through building new dormitories and now in working with students - Brosey asked one student how he could pray for her. The student shared two things: that she was tired from her busy course load and that she was in need of money to pay for an upcoming course. "I sat and prayed with her on a Tuesday and when I saw her two days later she was all smiles and said she wanted to thank me. I said, 'Thank me for what?'" recalled Brosey. She reported that her energy had increased and someone had paid for her course in full. "She asked me if I had paid for it, and I said no because I hadn't. I said, 'That's God at work.' That's encouraging to me - that God reaches into the hearts and lives of these students," Brosey said.
On Saturday, June 9, FIA will host a yard sale at its headquarters at 3950 E. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown. Vendors are welcome to rent a space with a table for a set fee. Interested individuals may email firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, June 2. Proceeds from the sale of vendor spaces will help to support the operating costs of the office headquarters.
Folks are also invited to support the work of FIA by participating in a service trip. "As long as a person understands our mission, we can work with anybody," said Brosey with a smile. Readers may learn more about upcoming trips and projects by visiting www.fiaintl.org.
Navy Club To Collect Food May 10, 2018
The Navy Club of Lancaster will collect nonperishable food at the Lancaster Barnstormers' stadium, 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster, on Saturday, May 19, during the Salute to Veterans Program. No glass containers will be accepted.
The collection is part of the MilitaryShare program, which is run by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to help veterans. The motto of the collection is "Fill the Boat for the Vets." A boat will be located near the main entrance to the stadium.
The Salute to Veterans Program is free for veterans and a guest. Tickets must be ordered prior to the game by calling Rep. Steven Mentzer's office at 717-626-1776 or registering at www.repmentzer.com and clicking on the Salute to Veterans banner.
The gates at the stadium will open at 4 p.m. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 5:15 p.m., with the game starting at 6 p.m.
The Navy Club meets at Oak Leaf Manor North, 2901 Harrisburg Pike, Landisville, on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. All Navy veterans are welcome to attend.
For more information, readers may call William Terry at 717-435-6095 or search for "Navy Club Ship 166" on Facebook.
Organization Will Collect Umbrellas May 9, 2018
During May, Bell Socialization Services is collecting umbrellas to be distributed to service users in all of its service departments.
Readers may drop off umbrellas, either new or in good used condition, at Oasis House, 751 S. Queen St., York, on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Bell Family Shelter, 850 E. Market St., York, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or the Bell main office, 160 S. George St., York, on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, readers may call the main office at 717-848-5767.
Food Bank Director Receives Recognition May 8, 2018
Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, was named the 2018 Network Leader of the Year during Feeding America's annual conference in Tampa in late April. The honor was one of Feeding America's 2018 Hunger's Hope Awards. The award recognizes Arthur and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for their advocacy for people facing hunger and their commitment to providing fresh and nutritious food to key populations.
Under Arthur's leadership, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank started several new programs, including MilitaryShare, a program that has served more than 14,000 families whose members include veterans or active-duty military personnel. Through MilitaryShare, fresh food distributions are made at American Legions, VFWs and other military organizations.
The food bank has also expanded its Fresh Express Mobile Pantry program, which delivers fresh, nutritious food to the areas that need it most, including rural areas and food deserts. Programs for youths and seniors also continue to grow and change under Arthur's leadership. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank partners with more than 1,000 local agencies and distributes more than 50 million pounds of food each year to people struggling with hunger in 27 counties across Pennsylvania. Arthur is part of the National Council for the Feeding America network.
For more information about the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, readers may visit www.centralpafoodbank.org or www.facebook.com/centralpafoodbank, call 717-564-1700, or follow @centralpafb on Twitter and Instagram.
Feeding America is a domestic hunger relief organization that distributes food and groceries to more than 46 million low-income people each year through a network of 200 food banks that serve 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across the country.
Mobile TNR Clinic Planned May 3, 2018
Pet Pantry of Lancaster County will launch its first Mobile TNR (trap, neuter, return) clinic for feral cats on Friday, May 18, in the parking lot of Weis Markets on Columbia Avenue in Columbia.
The mobile van will participate in a day celebrating animals with the support of the grocery store's Paws for Pets Campaign, which is held annually in May at all of the store's locations in Lancaster County. In addition, the Furever Home Adoption Center will hold an Adoptathon, and a hot dog sale will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Donations of wet and dry cat food will be appreciated and can be dropped off at the mobile van throughout the day.
Surgeries will be done by appointment only for a low fee. To make an appointment to have feral cats fixed on May 18, readers may call 717-983-8878. Space in the clinic is limited.
CCWS Holds Grand Opening At New Location May 2, 2018
Chester County Women's Services (CCWS), a nonprofit pregnancy care medical center, recently held a grand opening celebration to mark the relocation of its West Chester office to 139 W. Market St. in West Chester.
More than 100 people from the community attended the event, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a prayer offered by Peter Drinkwater from Hopewell Christian Fellowship in Elverson and a Scripture reading by board member the Rev. Dale Van Ness, pastor of Olive Street Presbyterian Church in Coatesville. During the event, guests were able to mingle with staff, board members and volunteers and were given an opportunity to tour the facility.
The center was formerly located at 27 S. Church St., but the new site is more centrally located. "It's larger in size and gets a lot more foot traffic passing by," said Michelle Maloney, development director. She noted that unlike the previous West Chester location, the office is situated on one floor. "Everything is on the first floor, which makes it easy for moms who have strollers," she said.
"By positioning CCWS in the heart of West Chester, our footprint is more visible," added CCWS executive director Myriam Ruager.
CCWS is a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry that has been serving county residents as a pregnancy resource center since 1985. In addition to the West Chester location, it has offices at 1028 E. Lincoln Highway in Coatesville and at 645 E. Baltimore Pike in Kennett Square.
CCWS offers medical services, including pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins and limited ultrasounds, which provide a new mother with an opportunity to see her baby and confirm pregnancy viability and the expected due date. All services are free and confidential.
"We have an ultrasound machine (at each location), so we're able to do pregnancy tests and give (expectant mothers) prenatal vitamins throughout the course of the pregnancy," Maloney stated.
Maloney reported that in 2017, CCWS served more than 2,000 women and families in Chester County. Families are supported physically, emotionally and financially through basic pregnancy care, peer counseling, a homeless prevention program and community referrals.
The center also offers educational classes for expecting parents. Those who take classes at the center are eligible to receive items from a parenting closet that contains maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby food, diapers, wipes and formula. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
Maloney explained that mothers and fathers are welcome to take part in the classes. "Some classes are offered before the baby comes, and then we have parenting classes for (parents of) newborns all the way up to teenagers," she noted.
Board president Ken Hunt pointed out that CCWS is 90 percent volunteer-based and operates 100 percent on donations from individuals, churches and businesses.
"There are many opportunities for anyone and everyone to get involved here," he stated. "We are always looking for nurses, administrative help, cleaners, handymen, social media assistance, counselors and more."
Maloney added that volunteers are invited to tour the center and then will be trained for the specific area they are interested in.
For more information about CCWS, readers may call 610-383-0930 or visit www.ccwsmedical.org or www.facebook.com/ccwsmedical.
Tabor Receives PHARE Funding May 2, 2018
Tabor Community Services recently announced it was named a 2018 recipient of $125,000 in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) funding. Managed by Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, PHARE funds are generated from impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state, as well as a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. PHARE grant funds support housing and community development initiatives across Pennsylvania.
Tabor will use the $125,000 to establish a new service to prevent eviction from rental housing and prevent the long-term housing and financial instability eviction may create for affected households. The new service will be provided at Tabor's Ann B. Barshinger Financial Empowerment Center in Lancaster city and at Tabor's satellite centers throughout the county. At these centers, Tabor provides financial counseling and education in partnership with other human service providers.
The new service will aid low- and moderate-income residents of Lancaster County who are struggling to pay their rent and are at risk of losing their housing through eviction. Participants will receive one-to-one housing counseling and financial coaching to restore and maximize their financial and housing stability and, when needed to maintain housing, one-time financial assistance to pay rental arrears if clients can continue paying on their own. As appropriate, staff will also confer with landlords on behalf of their clients.
For more information on the PHARE awards, readers may visit https://www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx.
Information about Tabor and the Ann B. Barshinger Financial Empowerment Center for Lancaster County is available at www.tabornet.org.
Former Mission Worker Provides Scholarships May 2, 2018
For Miriam Eberly, a former Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker in Belize, providing scholarships for Belizean secondary students is a way to invest in the future of the country that captured her heart more than 50 years ago.
The Belize Evangelical Mennonite Church Scholarship Fund, founded by Eberly in 2014, provides $200 to $250 scholarships - the equivalent of 400 to 500 Belize dollars - to secondary students who attend Mennonite churches. Secondary education is not free or compulsory in Belize. The cost of high school varies widely, from approximately $300 per year to $3,000, as measured in U.S. currency.
When evaluating applications, Eberly, a member of Witmer Heights Mennonite Church in Lancaster, considers financial need, Mennonite church attendance and participation, leadership potential, and educational excellence. Scholarships are distributed through EMM. The number of students who receive scholarships varies each year; in the 2017-18 school year, it is 20.
At first, the scholarships came entirely from Eberly's personal savings. In 2016, three of her siblings - Bob Eberly, Ruth Harnish, and Naomi Gochenaur - were also inspired to begin contributing to the fund after a group visit to Belize.
In 1964, Eberly was working as a nurse in Strasburg when she was invited to a missionary training institute in Philadelphia to prepare her for overseas missions. She was asked to serve in British Honduras, which was then eight years away from being renamed Belize during the process of gaining independence from Britain.
She served two terms in Belize between 1965 and 1976. Her first assignment in Orange Walk Town was at a 12-bed hospital. After a few interim years in the U.S., where she first studied the Bible and theology at Eastern Mennonite University and then became a certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP), Eberly returned to Belize and practiced nursing at a San Felipe clinic with a two-bed maternity ward.
Life circumstances brought Eberly back to Pennsylvania in 1976, where she continued working as a CRNP for more than 25 years. Her scholarship fund and periodic visits to Belize are ways to express her lifelong love for the country and its people.
One of the scholarship recipients is a female student who was accepted to the University of Belize to study math, physics, and architecture. Another recipient is studying at a Bible school in Guatemala. Eberly noted, however, that not every student is financially able to further his or her education after high school. During a 2016 trip to Belize, Eberly met several of the scholarship recipients at New Jerusalem Mennonite Church in Duck Run, Belize.
For more information about the Belize Evangelical Mennonite Church Scholarship Fund, readers may email email@example.com.
Williams Joins Board Of Directors May 2, 2018
The American Heart Association, a voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, recently announced the appointment of Lindsey Williams to its Lancaster Division board of directors.
Williams currently serves as assistant director for Visiting Angels Homecare of Lancaster. Williams holds a bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin and is a member of the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. In addition to her service to the American Heart Association, she is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association and Manheim Soccer Club. She lives in Mount Joy with her husband, Austin, and two daughters.
For more information about the American Heart Association, Lancaster Division, readers may visit www.heart.org/lancaster or www.facebook.com/ahalancasterpa.
Donegal HUB Slates Poverty Workshop April 27, 2018
The Donegal HUB, formerly the Donegal Cold Weather Collaborative, will hold a community event in the cafeteria at Donegal High School, 1025 Koser Road, Mount Joy, on Tuesday, May 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. The free event will be a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop presented by Chuck Holt.
Attendees will be presented with an overview of what poverty looks like in the local community. Attendees will investigate mental models of class, learn hidden rules of class, discover four causes of poverty, and understand the resources needed to overcome poverty. The goal of the training will be to create a new mental model of what life is like for those in poverty and begin to evaluate policies and procedures in how community members interact with underresourced individuals and their families.
The Donegal HUB encourages everyone in the Mount Joy, Marietta, and Maytown area to attend. For more information or to preregister by Monday, May 7, readers may email DonegalHUB@gmail.com.
Leaders Honor Local Volunteers April 25, 2018
National Service Recognition Day was celebrated on April 3 in the SpiriTrust Lutheran Glatfelter Center at The Village at Sprenkle Drive. RSVP of the Capital Region, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions were among the honored organizations. York County volunteers were recognized in proclamations presented by York Mayor Michael Helfrich and York County Commissioner Chris Reilly. A ceremonial check in the amount of $168,426 was presented; it represented the value of volunteers' services for calendar year 2017.
On National Service Recognition Day, thousands of local leaders across the country take time to honor AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers by participating in recognition events, issuing official proclamations, and showing appreciation on social media. The sixth annual initiative was led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Cities of Service.
CNCS is a federal agency that sponsors the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund service programs. It engages more than 325,000 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers in national service at more than 50,000 locations each year. Through partnerships with schools, faith-based groups, nonprofits, and local agencies, national service members are embedded within the communities they serve, using their ingenuity and training with the purpose of making a tangible, lasting impact. Volunteer activities include responding to natural disasters, addressing the opioid epidemic, educating students for the 21st-century workforce, and supporting veterans and military families.
For further information about senior volunteer opportunities in York County, readers may contact Scott Hunsinger at 717-893-8474 or email YorkAdamsFranklin@rsvpCapReg.org.
VEP Sets Tutor Training Workshop April 25, 2018
The Volunteer English Program (VEP) in Chester County will conduct a three-session, nine-hour training workshop for individuals who wish to tutor English as a Second Language (ESL) to an adult immigrant or refugee. The workshop will be held at the Chester County Financial Stability Center - PA CareerLink Building, located at 479 Thomas Jones Way, Suite 500, Exton, on Tuesday, May 15; Wednesday, May 16; and Tuesday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
For more information or to register for the workshop, contact the Volunteer English Program in Chester County at 610-918-8222 or visit www.volunteerenglish.org.