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Mentoring Organization Receives Donation January 15, 2019


ESL, Citizenship Classes Slated January 11, 2019

Elizabethtown Alliance Church, 425 Cloverleaf Road, Elizabethtown, has slated its second semester of English as a Second Language (ESL) and citizenship classes. The classes were scheduled to start in January and will continue on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. through May 8.

New students are encouraged to come for the new semester, sign up for a class, meet teachers, visit classrooms, and look at materials. There is a registration fee for first-time enrollees. Returning students need only report to their classes as before.

In the ESL classes, students will be placed in class levels in which they are comfortable. Vocabulary building and conversational English will be emphasized at all levels.

In addition to ESL instruction, a class will be offered in citizenship covering the U.S. Constitution and American history. This class is open to anyone interested in preparing for the American Citizenship Test. It will be held at the same time and place as the ESL classes.

For more information, readers may contact Kara Werner at 717-769-1579 or the church office at 717-367-2995.


Master Naturalist Training Set January 9, 2019

Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is partnering with Green Valleys Watershed Association to prepare citizens to become volunteer leaders in their communities through natural resource conservation education, citizen science and stewardship. Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is a citizen volunteer initiative with three key components: an initial 55-hour volunteer training, annual volunteer service, and continuing education in the natural sciences.

Master Naturalist volunteers design and pursue a wide variety of service projects, including habitat restoration, native plantings, nature walks, interpretative displays or publications on natural history, water quality monitoring, and support of the natural resource conservation efforts of partnering organizations. Since 2010, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist volunteers in Pennsylvania have engaged in more than 25,600 hours of conservation service, contributed $587,000 in conservation value and impact to numerous regional partners, reached more than 20,000 people through education and outreach initiatives, and improved more than 9,700 acres of habitat through stewardship service.

Once accepted into the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program, participants begin by attending an initial intensive training. This natural history training includes 50 hours of classroom (weekday evenings) and field sessions (Saturdays). Following this training, participants engage in 30 hours of service in the first year and eight hours of continuing education in order to become certified as a Master Naturalist Volunteer. Participants also complete annual service and continuing education hours to maintain their status as Master Naturalist Volunteers.

Spring training for Green Valleys Watershed Association will begin on Wednesday, April 3, and run through Wednesday, June 12. The finalized training schedule along with the application and information about training can be found at under "Become a Master Naturalist."

The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 1. For additional information, readers may contact Ellyn Nolt at or 717-368-4899.


Pantry Distributes Food And More January 9, 2019

Throughout the year, the Honey Brook Food Pantry provides food for those in need throughout the Twin Valley community. In December 2018, families served by the pantry were also presented with winter outerwear and toys in time for Christmas. In addition, clients received turkeys and fixings for their holiday dinners.

According to Ken Ross, the pantry's board chairman, coats were available during three distribution days in December. The garments were donated through coat drives held at Hopewell United Methodist Church in Downingtown, St. Peter Catholic Church in West Brandywine and the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department.

"Most of the coats were new, and some were gently used," Ross said, noting that more than 150 coats were given out.

In addition, clients of the pantry received hats, scarves and gloves that were donated by residents of the Tel Hai Retirement Community in Honey Brook and the LifeGroup at East Brandywine Baptist Church in Downingtown.

Gift stockings and 600 toys provided by individuals, a local business and the Toys for Tots program were also made available on the three distribution days for families served by the pantry. Ross noted that about 550 toys were given out in December. The remaining 50 toys were available to clients during the Jan. 9 distribution. "All the toys were new," he pointed out.

The turkeys were distributed on Dec. 2, 2018. Young women from the Pegasus Fastpitch Softball team of Exton provided assistance in packing the holiday food boxes. "Our regular food assortment was greatly enhanced as 251 turkeys were distributed (along with the toys and coats) - all making for a happier holiday season for those we serve," said Ross.

Ross recently issued his year-end report for the pantry, noting that December's distribution was the largest one to date. "Although we saw some slight reductions in need at times throughout 2018 and more local families achieving food independence, those seeking help in December exceeded any other time in our five-year history," Ross stated.

According to the report, a total of 1,450 individuals were served through nearly 500 family visits in 2018, which represents a 10 percent increase in the number of families served and 160 more people. "In all, over 20,000 pounds of food passed through the pantry," Ross reported.

Ross credited the local organizations, churches and individual donors for their generosity in providing the children's items, holiday food items and coats. He also thanked the volunteers for their efforts. "Although you do it all year long, the work this December seemed extra special, and without the donation of your time, there is no Honey Brook Food Pantry," he told them.

Ross added that goals for the pantry in 2019 include offering more initiatives that promote food independence, offering access to employment resources and developing a nutrition program for children under age 3.

The pantry is located at Door 8 at the Good Food Inc. Distribution Center, 5064 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook (across from Wimpy and Dee's Diner). Distributions are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the fourth Wednesday of the month from 4 to 6:30 pm.

For more information about the pantry, readers may visit or search for "Honey Brook Food Pantry" on Facebook. For up-to-date information about food distributions, readers may call 610-273-6102. Those interested in volunteering, donating food or conducting a food drive are asked to contact Ross at


CATRA Plans Volunteer Orientation January 9, 2019

The Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association (CATRA) in Grantville is looking for volunteers, and a volunteer orientation is set for Sunday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. Attendees at the 90-minute program will learn about the concepts and benefits of therapeutic riding as well as volunteer opportunities.

CATRA welcomes volunteers age 13 and older with parent or guardian permission. Anyone under age 13 may volunteer with a parent or guardian. Volunteer positions include therapeutic riding assistants, barn managers, maintenance workers, animal caretakers, and gardeners.

CATRA offers therapeutic riding for special-needs children, adolescents, and adults. CATRA is a working horse farm and is home to a number of other animals. The organization is volunteer-run.

For more information, contact CATRA at 717-469-7517 or or visit


Friends Association Receives Grant January 9, 2019

The Home4Good Program has awarded a $40,000 grant to Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children to expand the Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) in collaboration with local partners Open Hearth and Kennett Area Community Services. The grant will be used by the three agencies to help HPP families build on existing strengths and identify education and services they need to successfully transition from poverty/homelessness to permanent housing and financial self-sufficiency.

The grant will be used for direct expenses in support of the HPP, including long-term case management. Direct benefits to families will include rent or utility assistance, eviction prevention, transitional housing and other supportive services.

Home4Good helps those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by channeling dollars to local service organizations that know how to help. Funding is offered annually by FHLBank Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. This year, FHLBank Pittsburgh provided $3 million toward the effort and PHFA provided $1.5 million, for a total contribution of $4.5 million.

Friends Association promotes the independence of families with children by providing shelter, programs and services that seek to prevent and end homelessness in Chester County. In 2018, Friends Association saved more than 120 families and 270 children from homelessness.


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

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

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

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.


Basketball Players Aid CrossNet Ministries January 3, 2019

Garden Spot boys' basketball players recently gave back to the community by helping CrossNet Ministries with its Christmas gift-giving program. The effort provides an opportunity for community members to come together to make sure needs are met and families are empowered and loved during the Christmas season. All recipient families participate in a one-day gift pickup event CrossNet Ministries. Families may pick up their gifts, wrap the items themselves, talk to volunteers, eat cookies and drink hot chocolate, pick out stocking stuffers, and take their gifts home to give to their children on Christmas Day.

Garden Spot boys' basketball parent and student advocate Donna Snader was involved with CrossNet before her death in August 2018.

CrossNet is also involved in other community outreach programs throughout the year. For more details, readers may visit


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, 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


Local Ministry Offers Help January 2, 2019

New Hope Ministries is a resource in southcentral Pennsylvania that helps people during a time of crisis. The organization has posted information about basic-needs service for people who have experienced job loss. When facing times of financial uncertainty and personal stress, people who come to New Hope can find help with food, heat, utilities, and housing, as well as support to get through a time of crisis.

New Hope encourages people to use PA 211, a statewide collaborative for health and human service information for Pennsylvania residents. People may call 2-1-1 to be linked with human service organizations. CONTACT Helpline is another local source of help, offering 24/7 listening, health and human service information, and referrals. This service is available by calling 800-932-4616. PA 211 and CONTACT Helpline provide information about where Pennsylvania residents can find help with food, paying heat and electric bills, and housing needs.

For more information, readers may visit or call 717-432-2087.


Organization Holds Celebratory Event January 2, 2019

CHI St. Joseph Children's Health recently held a celebratory pancake breakfast to show appreciation of its patients and their families, volunteers, and staff members. The holiday breakfast featured Santa and children's activities.

CHI St. Joseph Children's Health is a community-based organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children throughout Lancaster County.


Power Packs - Serving And Growing December 26, 2018

Back in 2004, Joan Espenshade noticed the large number of children waiting for breakfast outside a Lancaster city school on a Monday morning. Recognizing that these children may not be receiving adequate nutrition over the weekend, she founded Power Packs Project to help meet the nutritional needs of those children between Friday and Monday over the school year. The project sought to educate families as well by providing a recipe using low-cost ingredients that they could learn to replicate.

Today, Power Packs Project has grown to help feed 1,600 families weekly 32 weeks per year by distributing ingredients for one low-cost meal in most Lancaster County school districts, but Jennifer Thompson, who became executive director in May, has identified several challenges Power Packs faces going forward. Among these are the need for volunteers, the need to add food sourcing resources, and the ability to provide nutritious food that can be utilized by families from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Volunteers are needed both at the Power Packs warehouse, located on Walnut Street in Lancaster, and at the schools and other sites where food is distributed. "We need volunteer drivers to deliver food to schools, and we need volunteers at the schools for packing," said Thompson, who noted that because of a rotating schedule, volunteers can serve as little as once a month. She added that certain volunteer positions can be physically demanding. Volunteers who work at the warehouse or drive vans should be agile and able to lift up to 40 pounds. At the school sites, packing the bags is not as physically demanding. Thompson said that she has special appreciation for the organization's volunteer base. "We are trying to grow our volunteer base and learn from the volunteers who have been with us for many years," she stated.

Finding food that is nutritious, rather than processed or high in sugars, is always a challenge for Power Packs, according to Thompson. "We would love to have more connections for food sourcing," said Thompson, who noted that tortilla shells and fresh fruits and vegetables like broccoli, green peppers, bananas, grapes, and oranges are on her wish list.

Thompson said that the organization is aware of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the population it serves and that steps are being taken to meet those specific needs. "We are learning about those families and what they eat," she said. "We have to source foods that are different. We need rice, and we need foods that are kosher (or) if (a family doesn't) eat meat, how do we (meet) their (nutritional) needs with foods they will eat? We want to make sure we send home food families will recognize and try to cook and eat."

In addition to working with school social workers to learn how to better educate and empower families, Power Packs has partnered with a team at Georgetown University for a research project focused on the importance of nutrition in early childhood development. "We are looking forward to having our program evaluated and really learning," said Thompson.

Thompson comes to the position with experience in both food service and directing nonprofit organizations. She oversaw St. Joseph's Children's Health Foundation and also worked at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md. During that time, she ran a catering service and sold gourmet soups. In 2010, she realized her dream of owning a cafe in Lancaster, a place she called "homey and comfortable" that was open for nearly five years.

Power Packs' signature fundraiser is a spring Stay-at-Home Gala, which encourages families to stay home and donate the funds they would have used to attend an event. This year, the organization took part in the Extraordinary Give in November, ranking in the top 25 recipients by raising nearly $75,000. Power Packs welcomes both online and traditional donations year-round.

Readers who would like to learn more about the program or sign up to volunteer may visit the organization's redesigned website at


Foundation Presents Scholarships, Makes Donation December 24, 2018

The Sweet Jane's Wish (SJW) Foundation recently awarded two $3,000 scholarships to senior members of the tennis teams from Downingtown high schools. The Downingtown High School West award was presented to Allie Campbell, and Grace Yatcilla was the scholarship winner from Downingtown High School East.

The SJW Foundation, a fund of the Chester County Community Foundation, honors the memory of Jane Gerlach Booge, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2012 at age 47. Booge attended Downingtown High School from 1981 to 1984 and played on the girls' tennis team.

In addition to the tennis scholarships bestowed in the fall, the SJW Foundation presents two additional scholarships to senior members of the Downingtown high school ice hockey teams every spring. This year, the scholarship awards have been increased from $2,500 to $3,000.

Board member Alexandra Grigson explained that students must apply for the scholarships, with the process including writing an essay. Their coaches submit recommendations as well.

"They have to be good students, and they have to show compassion, empathy, determination and kindness - some of the same traits that Jane demonstrated," said Grigson. "That is judged from the essays and what the coaches say about the kids."

She noted that Jane's father, Jerry Gerlach, SJW president, sends out scholarship applications to the coaches. "The coaches distribute (the applications), and the students (complete them)," Grigson said. "We go through and read them; we assess who really sounds like they are representing Jane."

In the applications, students are invited to write about their experiences playing sports and their extracurricular activities. Grigson said that she was especially impressed with the essays written by this year's scholarship recipients.

"(The students) talked about their community service and what they have tried to do to change their culture," Grigson said. "We are all capable of generosity of spirit, and these two young women demonstrated this daily. We are honored to have them join the previous 18 recipients of this award."

Representatives of the board present the scholarships to the students at their schools' sports banquets. To date, SJW Foundation has awarded $50,000 in scholarships to seniors who have participated in the student tennis and ice hockey programs and are furthering their education at a university, college or trade school.

In addition to the scholarships, the SJW Foundation provides financial support to Living Beyond Breast Cancer's (LBBC) Cis B. Golder Fund, which provides small grants to local women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are experiencing overwhelming out-of-pocket health care costs. LBBC in partnership with Bringing Hope Home, offers grants to breast cancer patients to help with rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, child care and the costs associated with physical therapy, fitness and nutrition management programs.

Chester County resident Diane Hagar is a local recipient of a grant. The grant allowed her to pay her oil bill balance in time for the winter season. "The support from my family and friends and the organizations like LBBC are truly what gets me through each day, especially the dark ones," Hagar sated. "I am blessed despite cancer."

More information about the grant program is available at

SJW Foundation scholarships and donations are funded by an annual golf outing, dinner and auction. This year's event will be held on Monday, Sept. 9, at Whitford Country Club in Exton.

For more information, readers may visit or


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

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.


Toys For Tots Receives Donation December 19, 2018

Members of the Wrightsville Social Club presented a donation to Toys for Tots during the WSOX Holiday Crusade on the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The Holiday Crusade collected more than 7,000 toys to support the activities of Toys for Tots programs in York and Lancaster counties.


Program Aids Local Pets December 18, 2018

Henry's Helping Paws Program, the initiative founded by state Sen. Andy Dinniman and his wife, Margo, to keep people and their pets together, is now delivering free dog and cat food, along with vital veterinary medical services, to more local senior citizens in need and their pets. Recently, Dinniman was joined by his rescue poodle, Jagger, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF) to make the first delivery of dog and cat food to the Coatesville Area Senior Center.

Named for Henry, the Dinniman family's standard poodle that died in December 2014, Henry's Helping Paws Fund was launched in conjunction with Meals on Wheels of Chester County in 2016. Dinniman said he came up with the idea for a mobile food pantry when he heard about senior citizens and disabled residents on low or fixed incomes who are homebound and struggle to afford adequate food, pet care items, and veterinary medical services for their pets. According to Dinniman, besides keeping people and their pets together in their homes, the program also aims to take the burden off rescue organizations that are overwhelmed with surrendered animals. Dr. Tom Garg of Hope Veterinary Specialists worked with Dinniman to develop the program and assists the PVF in running the program.

Henry's Helping Paws Program currently delivers pet food to several dozen senior citizens who are homebound or lack transportation. The program is administered by the PVF with the help of donations from PetSmart Charities. Last year, the program began deliveries of pet food and care items to the Phoenixville Senior Center to meet the need of local seniors in feeding and caring for their dogs and cats. Pet health care events are scheduled to take place in the 2019 in both Coatesville and Phoenixville.

This year, Dinniman and PVF announced they are not only expanding Henry's Helping Paws to serve additional senior centers in Chester County, but they are also expanding its scope to include health care vouchers that can be used at designated veterinary hospitals and mobile veterinary practices. Seniors in need, identified by the senior centers and/or Meals on Wheels, will be eligible to receive a voucher, valued at $250, to cover costs for their pet's health care at Pennsylvania Veterinary Association designated hospitals. Participants whose pets require more extensive medical treatment can have their veterinarian request additional assistance from PVF's Last Chance program.

Pet food, care items, and veterinary services for Henry's Helping Paws Fund are funded by private and corporate donors through the PVF, the charitable arm of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association. Both Meals on Wheels and the senior centers distribute the food to the participants. In addition, representatives from local senior centers, senior housing facilities, and other nonprofits identify eligible homebound pet owners in need.

To learn more about Henry's Helping Paws Fund, readers may visit


Successful Toy Drive Held December 14, 2018

Thanks to donors in its service area, Northwest EMS (NWEMS) filled three ambulances and a transit van from Pleasant View Retirement Community with toys that it delivered to the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse, the empty Bon-Ton store at Park City.

The NWEMS staff members who delivered the toys included EMT Darren Martin, EMT Kenny Barton, paramedic Erle Smith, and EMT Lori Shenk, along with Pleasant View Retirement Community sales and marketing manager Amanda Hall and grounds/facility maintenance employee Jason Hallet.

The donated toys were collected in NWEMS stations in Elizabethtown, Maytown, Manheim, and Brickerville, as well as in the East Donegal Township Municipal Office, Brickerville Fire Company, Esbenshade's Garden Center, Pleasant View Retirement Community, Masonic Village Farm Market, Manheim Library, and Two Cousin's Manheim. They were also accepted at the Manheim Lions Club Santa Run and the Manheim Borough tree lighting ceremony.

More than 2,000 families from Lancaster County have signed up for assistance from the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.


Baseball Team Posts Clothing Drive December 12, 2018

The York Revolution has announced that it is collecting new and gently used winter clothing items through December to benefit Community Aid, a nonprofit organization that supports local schools, churches, synagogues, temples, and nonprofit charitable organizations.

Items may be dropped off at the ticket office at PeoplesBank Park, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York, on Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Saturdays before Christmas from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The first 100 people who drop off items will receive a free pair of undated ticket vouchers to use for any game in the 2019 Revolution season.

For more information about the York Revolution, readers may call 717-801-HITS (4487) or visit


Organizations Receive Grants December 12, 2018

To address health issues of the residents of York and its surrounding communities, Memorial Health Fund, a supporting organization of the York County Community Foundation, recently awarded a total of approximately $228,160 in grants to 13 York County organizations.

Memorial Health Fund awarded $3,580 to SpiriTrust Lutheran to provide vulnerable older adults with music therapy; $7,239 to Golden Connections Community Center Inc. to create an advanced cardio, balance, and strength training program specifically for older adults in York County; $30,000 to the York County Literacy Council for Healthcare Career Entry Level Training; more than $19,845 to Susquehanna Valley Community Mental Health Services for human trafficking education, as well as training and treatment; $25,000 to Gaudenzia Inc. for Gaudenzia Delta Outpatient Services; and $25,000 to the York County Department of Veterans Affairs for the Higher Standard Project, a recovery home for veterans.

Also, $50,000 to the City of York, Bureau of Health for Health Moms Healthy Babies - Mind Matters; $10,000 to Normandie Ridge for West Manchester Senior Life Trail and Nature Park; $7,000 to Susquehanna Area Senior Center for Spectrum Fitness Program 60-100; $15,000 to Communities in Schools of Pennsylvania for Hannah Penn Communities of Hope, which will connect students, parents, families, and community members in the Hannah Penn area and beyond with resources; $10,000 to ALS Association Great Philadelphia Chapter for the South Central Region Care Services Enhancement Program; $22,946 to YWCA York for Protect Love Expansion, the expansion of a multi-level dating violence prevention program; and $2,280 to York Suburban Communities that Care for Wellness Yoga for Students.

Memorial Health Fund works to transform the way the community addresses compelling health issues to improve the complete physical, mental, and social well-being of the residents of York County. Memorial Health Fund became a supporting organization of York County Community Foundation in 2015. Previously, Memorial Health Fund was a supporting organization of Memorial Hospital. For more information about Memorial Health Fund, readers may visit


Ministry Will Provide Christmas Gifts December 12, 2018

Emmanuel's Closet, a Dallastown ministry that provides food, clothing, and other services free of charge to those in need, has resumed its Christmas gift giveaway program. Through this program, new clothing items wrapped with Christmas paper are provided to clients for gifting to their families. This year, 467 items of clothing will be distributed.

The gifts are provided by Shirley Bowers of York Township. Bowers collects unsold and overstock clothing from several York-area consignment shops and other sources throughout the year. She sets aside the best-quality new items for the Christmas gift program. Bowers also provides free clothing for Emmanuel's Closet's regular Saturday giveaway, for the all-week clothing program at Catholic Harvest, and for monthly giveaways at two local nursing homes. In the course of the year, she provides approximately 25,000 items of free clothing to those in need. In 2017, Bowers was designated a Hero of York County by the American Red Cross for her work.

Emmanuel's Closet is a ministry sponsored by the following seven Dallastown-area churches: Adamsville United Methodist, Bethlehem United Methodist, Christ Lutheran, Christ United Methodist, St. John's Blymire's United Church of Christ (UCC), St. Joseph's Roman Catholic, and St. Paul's UCC. The ministry serves 293 client families every Saturday morning through its location in the basement of St. Paul's UCC. Tammy Krebs of Emmanuel's Closet works with Bowers to coordinate the free programs.

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