Fair To Discuss "All Things Home" March 17, 2018
"This event truly is a one-stop shop for anything related to purchasing or maintaining a home, and this year, we've incorporated a renters' segment, as well as invited some nonprofits that specialize in promoting livability in Lancaster County," said AJ Eckman, co-chair of the All Things Home Fair that Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) will hold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Bright Side Opportunities Center, 515 Hershey Ave., Lancaster. "Having all the players at the table is important when investing in something as big as a home, and we want attendees to feel engaged," he added.
The topics planned for the event are based on what the organizational committee feels people need.
"Many people want to buy a home, but maybe their credit is not quite there to be able to purchase, so that topic will be covered by a representative of Tabor Community Services," remarked co-chair Carole Kirchner. "'Ten Secrets to Homebuying' will educate people on the process and things to prepare for. 'How to Become a Real Estate Investor' was chosen because we also want to reach people who have an interest in being a landlord and building wealth through owning real estate."
The various sessions will be taught by LHOP staff members and industry professionals. Additionally, attendees will be able to meet representatives from a variety of home-related businesses, including mortgage lenders, banks, attorneys, home inspectors, home security firms, pest control companies, real estate companies, rental companies, and insurance brokers.
"My goal is for people attending to realize that many of these vendors are here to help you," Kirchner commented. "If you want to become a homeowner, we can help you achieve that dream and provide you with the information to start that process. Never be afraid to ask for help."
Helping with housing is LHOP's purpose. LHOP director of development Laurie Moir noted that the organization's mission is to cultivate partnerships and resources to increase the availability of quality, fair, and affordable housing throughout Lancaster County. LHOP offers monthly classes in English and Spanish to help folks gain an in-depth understanding of the homebuying process. It also offers down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and aims to empower residents who rent their homes. Additionally, LHOP offers loans for the purchase and rehabilitation of blighted properties into affordable housing, and it has facilitated county-wide housing studies and promoted the urgent need for quality affordable housing.
"LHOP is dedicated to the belief that all families deserve a quality, affordable home, either to purchase or rent, with a continuum of choices in housing sizes, types, locations, and prices," Moir said.
Everyone is welcome to attend the All Things Home Fair free of charge. Attendees may enter to win door prizes, such as a drill, gift cards for groceries and local restaurants, and event tickets. Aspects of the fair will be offered in Spanish as well as English.
For more information about the All Things Home Fair, readers may call LHOP at 717-291-9945, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lhop.org.
SECA Will Offer Free ESL And GED Classes March 16, 2018
The Southern End Community Association (SECA) has offered various sports and recreation activities for years. Now, it is adding something less physical to its offerings. In conjunction with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) and the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, SECA will offer adult educational classes free of charge. All classes will be held at the SECA building, 299 Park Ave., Quarryville.
"We want to offer more programs for the community," explained SECA executive director Nicole Luecker, noting that the idea for the classes came from a Solanco Family Life Network meeting. "If they go well the first time, we will have them again."
Literacy Council instructor Linda Cullen will teach English as a Second Language (ESL) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April 10 to June 28. Interested students must attend one of the information sessions, which will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 27 and April 3, and on Thursdays, March 29 and April 5. Participants do not have to know any English to join the class, and those with high proficiency may be referred to volunteer tutors.
Cullen enjoys teaching ESL classes and appreciates diversity in the classroom, as she says that her students do better in that environment. "It's a better class with lots of languages," she said. "Participants can't (resort to) their own language."
Cullen said that many of her students have taken her class in order to improve their job status. Helping folks find and maintain sustainable jobs is one of the goals of the Literacy Council. In addition to employment assistance, the Literacy Council provides individualized services and programs to help adults to achieve their goals, whether they are transitioning to job training or secondary education, acquiring skills to function in their communities, or supporting their children's educational success.
"Our name is a bit of a misnomer," Literacy Council program director Jenny Bair commented. "We go beyond basic reading."
IU 13 instructor Laura Binkley will lead the GED/high school equivalency class. Interested individuals must attend an information session on either Monday, March 26, or Wednesday, March 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from April 4 to June 11 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Binkley's goal is to help students acquire the skills they need to pass subject tests. She will teach group lessons and offer independent work. While Binkley will not offer GED testing, she will provide information about exams that will be held in Lancaster in the coming months.
There is no cost to attend the classes, and course materials will be provided. Students must be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in high school. Child care will not be offered during the classes.
For more information, readers may contact Teresa Dolan at email@example.com or 717-786-4308.
Experience The Flavors Of Ethiopia March 15, 2018
Hope Within Sets Annual Fundraiser
On Saturday, April 14, Hope Within Ministries will host its annual Flavors of Ethiopia dinner at Mount Joy Church of God, 30 E. Main St., Mount Joy. The food will be freshly prepared by Ethiopian cooks and served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
"This event came about as the Ethiopian community in our care wanted to do something special for Hope Within as a way to raise awareness and give back," shared Donita Sturgis, president of Hope Within Ministries. "We could not be more thrilled to care for these individuals and now to work alongside them to prepare this succulent and satisfying authentic culinary feast.
"It truly is an honor and a privilege, and we know our guests will not be disappointed," added Sturgis.
Foods will include siga wat, misir wat, atikilit wat, mike alicha, injera and Ethiopian bread. The authentic Ethiopian dishes will feature a variety of spicy and mild options. Hope Within Ministries office manager Anne Marie McAlester said that the Ethiopian chicken, beef, and vegetable dishes are prepared similarly to a stew.
A variety of fresh baked goods from regional bakeries as well as homemade treats will be served for dessert. Coffee, tea, and water will also be available.
African-themed crafts and other items will be available for folks to bid on in a silent auction throughout the evening.
There is no charge for the event; however, interested individuals must register in advance to allow organizers to plan accordingly. To register, readers may fill out a form at www.hopewithin.org or contact McAlester at 717-367-9797, ext. 303, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to register is Friday, April 6.
A freewill offering will be received that evening, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Hope Within Ministries, which provides medical and counseling services to individuals in need in Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lebanon counties.
According to the organization's 2017 Annual Report, the Hope Within Community Health Center hosted a total of 1,742 medical visits in 2017 and Hope Within Counseling Services served 49 unique individuals through a total of 537 counseling visits. Eight staff members and more than 80 volunteers work together to serve patients. Hope Within Ministries' mission, as stated in the Annual Report, is "to show God's love through the provision of high-quality professional health care, sound counsel, and related education."
Hope Within Ministries is located at 4748 E. Harrisburg Pike, Elizabethtown. To learn more, readers may visit www.hopewithin.org or www.facebook.com/HopeWithinMinistries.
Organizations Donate Items To Food Bank March 14, 2018
SpiriTrust Lutheran Senior Companion Program volunteers and staff organized a food collection service project in conjunction with RSVP of the Capital Region in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. More than 340 pounds of food were collected throughout January and February before being donated to the York County Food Bank. The initiative was Senior Companion Program's annual service project for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Through the Senior Companion Program, volunteer companions provide 15 hours per week of vitiation and support for individuals in York County. The program is designed for financially qualified individuals age 55 or older with access to transportation. Volunteers receive a stipend, mileage reimbursement, vacation and sick leave, 40 hours of paid orientation and training, and monthly in-service trainings. The program is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is locally provided by SpiriTrust Lutheran.
For more information or to become a volunteer or client, readers may contact Lambrini Nauss at 717-843-2677 or email@example.com.
Organization Receives Funding March 14, 2018
David's Drive 831 (DD831), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting homeless and hospitalized veterans, will receive $15,000 in state funding through the Pennsylvania Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF).
The program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), is funded by Pennsylvania residents who voluntarily make a donation when applying for or renewing their driver's license or photo ID and also through renewing a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, proceeds come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate and private donations.
David Turner Sr., who with his family founded DD831 in memory of his late son, said the funds will support the organization's annual Christmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza, during which volunteers wrap 1,000 gifts containing socks, snacks, puzzle books, and personal care items for homeless and hospitalized veterans.
Turner Sr. also thanked the many patrons, volunteers, and donors who have supported the organization's efforts over the years.
Turner and his family started DD831 following the sudden passing of David Turner Jr. from a suspected cardiac arrhythmia in December 2009. Turner Jr. worked at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
That May, the Turner family held a cookout at their home to celebrate what would have been David's 21st birthday. Guests were invited to bring new packages of socks, underwear, and T-shirts - the items most in demand by veterans at the Coatesville VA. That day, the Turner family collected thousands of items and was nearly overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity. From there, DD831 was born.
This year, DD831 will hold its 9th annual "Show Us Your Underwear Drive" on Sunday, May 20, at noon. Anyone who donates new men's or women's socks, underwear, or T-shirts will receive a free catered lunch.
Turner Sr. also discussed the group's effort to expand and assist veterans in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties who are transitioning to independent living through the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.
DD831 works closely with case managers and social workers to identify veterans through this program and provide them with a "starter kit" that contains living essentials like a bed, bedding, personal care products, housewares, small appliances like a vacuum and microwave, and other necessities for the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Earlier this year, in recognition of their work, Turner and DD831 received the George Washington Award at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge 2018 Local Hero Gala.
DD831 was one of 18 charitable and veterans services organizations statewide to receive $650,000 in total funding through the Pennsylvania VTF this year. Funding priorities for grants in this category were veterans' programs focused on transitional housing/community living, unique veteran health services or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
Since the VTF grant program began in 2013, a total of $2,832,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
For more information on David's Drive 831, readers may visit www.davidsdrive831.org.
5K Fundraising Total Announced March 7, 2018
As part of Chester County's collaborative approach to fighting opioid and heroin addiction, District Attorney Tom Hogan and members of the Chester County Drug Overdose Prevention Task Force provided an update for the county commissioners at the Feb. 28 sunshine meeting work session. The presentation noted the progress made in Chester County's battle against opioid and heroin addiction since the formation of the task force, and it was followed by an announcement by commissioner Michelle Kichline that the November 2017 Chester County Color 5K event raised $38,000.
The 5K's purpose was to raise awareness and money for actions recommended by the Drug Overdose Prevention Task Force. The second Color 5K event brought in 50 percent more money than the previous year's event. More than 900 people took part, and the money will be used to fund the county's new Community Outreach and Prevention Education (COPE) initiative.
The COPE program's purpose is to better ensure opioid overdose survivors being treated in local emergency departments are personally encouraged to enter treatment. An on-call engagement team that includes a project coordinator and certified recovery specialist will provide one-to-one support in the hospital emergency department and after emergency department discharge for opiate overdose survivors and their family or friends. COPE will also provide overdose prevention information and outreach to first responders, hospital staff, and the survivors' family and friends. It will begin as a pilot in Brandywine Hospital and Chester County Hospital later this year.
Chester County's Overdose Prevention Task Force includes representatives from the commissioners' and district attorney's offices, as well as the county's Health Department and Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, law enforcement and community organizations. The task force approach includes arresting and prosecuting drug dealers, diverting addicts into treatment and counseling through Drug Court, educating children and their parents through the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) program, taking drugs off the streets through the drop box initiative, working with doctors and health care providers on opioid prescribing practices, and operating the COPE program.
Hogan announced that more than five tons of drugs were deposited in the drug drop boxes located in Chester County police stations during 2017. He also noted that, for the first time in the last 20 years, the number of opioid prescriptions is down nationwide, and the number of pills per prescription has decreased.
Women's Shelter Opens Campaign March 6, 2018
YWCA Lancaster will sponsor a fundraising campaign to cover the operating costs for the Women and Children's Winter Shelter for the entire 2017-18 season. The funds will be used for typical operating costs, unexpected expenses related to use of the building's plumbing, and unanticipated vandalism expenses resulting in the need for security services. The campaign goal is $22,000.
The Women and Children's Winter Shelter operates as one of the area's primary shelters for the homeless population during the coldest months. The shelter runs from December through March and is open daily from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.
YWCA Lancaster provides a warm and safe place for single women and children to sleep, as well as access to showers and lockers. Lancaster County Council of Churches, the shelter's organizer, staffs it with volunteers and also provides snacks and beverages.
To support the campaign, readers may visit www.ywcalancaster.org/give. Readers may also contact Michelle McCall, CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-393-1735.
YWCA Sets Free Legal Clinic March 6, 2018
YWCA Lancaster, along with Ceiba Philadelphia, will host a free legal clinic at YWCA Lancaster, 110 N. Lime St., Lancaster, on Thursday, March 15, beginning at 3 p.m. The clinic will seek to help Puerto Rican evacuees secure disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Attorneys, law students, and paralegals will run a pop-up pro bono legal clinic to help Puerto Rican evacuees register with FEMA, submit claims to FEMA, appeal FEMA claim denials, and address other legal matters.
The legal clinic is organized by the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Toll Public Interest Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, The Vanguard Group, Santander Bank, Unidos PA'PR, and Ceiba.
Evacuees interested in receiving assistance to connect with FEMA and secure disaster relief through the free legal clinic must register by visiting http://bit.ly/FEMAclinic, emailing email@example.com, or calling Ceiba at 215-634-7245. Victims of Hurricane Maria have until Tuesday, March 20, to file a claim with FEMA and 60 days to appeal a denial by FEMA if they filed a claim and were denied disaster relief.
For more information about the legal clinic, readers may contact Ceiba. To learn more about Ceiba, readers may visit www.ceibaphiladelphia.org.
Quilting Group Seeks Members March 2, 2018
GAiN (Global Aid Network) invites members of the public to join the Quilting for Refugees quilting circle, which meets on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 1506 Quarry Road, Mount Joy. Non-sewing jobs and at-home projects are available.
For more information, call GAiN at 717-285-4220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HighHOPES Horse Program Slated March 1, 2018
The EquiCentre for Growth and Learning of the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association Inc. (CATRA) in Grantville will offer the HighHOPES Miniature Horse Challenge Course on several dates, with the next course offered on Saturday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The youth development program is for children ages 8 to 12, and it features miniature horses. The activities are designed to promote self-confidence, teamwork, effective communication, conflict management, problem-solving, resistance skills and volunteerism in youths. The program concludes with an opportunity for real-time volunteering to support CATRA, a therapeutic horseback riding program for persons with unique and special needs.
The HighHOPES Miniature Horse Challenge was developed by CATRA volunteer Robin Helm, who spent more than 15 years in the prevention field as a parent and family life educator for COBYS Family Services. No horse experience is necessary to participate.
The program is free of charge, but donations are appreciated and will support the therapeutic equine services offered through CATRA. A parent or guardian is required to participate with each youth.
The dates of all 2018 HighHOPES courses are available at www.catra.net. To register for a session, readers may contact 717-608-7575 or email@example.com. A limited number of slots are available per session.
Operation FreeKCE Offers Clothing And Much More March 1, 2018
Spring cleaning time will soon be here, and people may be left wondering what to do with children's outgrown clothes and items that are going unused. Offering a solution will be Operation FreeKCE, a new nonprofit organization that is currently accepting all kinds of donations.
Originally, Operation FreeKCE stood for Free Kids Clothing Exchange, but the concept has grown beyond that point to include clothing for people of all ages, as well as household goods and other items. "It's anything and everything that will help a family," said Amber Barker, who founded the organization along with her husband, Jeff.
The couple started the charity in recognition of the fact that there are people with real needs and tight budgets and that a lot of families will go through difficult times at one point or another.
Amber noted that although there are public assistance programs that help many individuals, sometimes people do not quite meet the financial requirements to be included or they may be in a temporary situation and only need a bit of help for a short time.
The Barkers personally have gone through difficult financial times, and they know what it is like to struggle to make ends meet. "(The founding of the organization) was actually born out of necessity," said Amber, explaining how her family has coped with times of unemployment and illness. "Over time, people have always done for us. We learned how to take hand-me-downs and be OK with it."
Amber said that the concept of Operation FreeKCE is simple. People with outgrown or unwanted clothing and other items in good condition are asked to contact her, and she collects and stores everything. Four times a year, Amber holds a clothing exchange event where others can come to find items that their family can use.
There is no charge for any of the items, and there is no income verification process. The program operates on an honor system with the expectation that people will be honest and not abuse the program.
Amber also expects that most people will do as she has done and give back to the organization when they are in a position to do so. In this way, a chain of people helping others is created that will keep Operation FreeKCE going. "When they're in a better circumstance, then they give back," she said.
Buying clothes for growing children is a big expense that Operation FreeKCE can help with, but Amber is hoping to do more. Although she does not have storage space for large items such as furniture and appliances, she has been able to connect people with needs directly with others who have big items available.
"You never know what someone else is going through, and sometimes all they need is a little compassion," Amber said.
For the recent Christmas holiday season, Operation FreeKCE ran a Secret Santa program that matched sponsors with 83 children to provide them with Christmas gifts. The organization also gave back to the community by preparing the free community meal served at Oxford Presbyterian Church in the month of December.
Amber hopes that the organization can grow. "If we had a place to put things, I could do more, but we are limited," she said. "I want to build a network where people can all come together. It's not a handout; it's a hand up. That's my vision."
Upcoming Operation FreeKCE clothing exchanges will be held on Saturdays, April 21, June 23, Aug. 11 and Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oxford Presbyterian Church, 6 Pine St., Oxford.
For more information, readers may contact Amber at 610-470-5965 or visit www.facebook.com/OperationFreeKCE. Volunteers to help with the upcoming clothing exchange events are also being sought.
Cooper Plans Trip To Liberia February 28, 2018
York College student Cathy Cooper, a senior nuclear medicine technology major from Coatesville who is planning for a career in medicine, will return to her native Liberia in May to interview health care professionals to determine how she can best help the people there.
Cooper's travel experience is part of the opportunities available to her as a Graham Innovation Scholar. Students from all majors are selected for this program, supported by York business leader Don Graham, which allows them to work alongside faculty to learn an "entrepreneurial spirit" by carefully planning their curriculum, by hands-on classes, through global travel experiences, and through summer work and research experiences with local experts. The program invites students to solve real problems and create innovations in the community.
As part of her application to be a Graham Innovation Scholar, Cooper outlined her future career goals, which included eventually returning to Liberia to help make a difference. Her upcoming trip will be the first stage of this process.
She will be joined by two other Graham Innovation Scholars: Megan Chaney, a senior nursing major from Baldwin, Md., and Ezra Moore, a junior with a self-designed major from Dallas, Pa. They will be accompanied on the two-week experience by David Fyfe, associate professor of geography.
Cooper is seeking monetary donations to purchase supplies for the school she attended as a small girl in Liberia. According to Cooper, many children in Liberia do not have access to basic school supplies, including pencils, paper, and backpacks. Her aim is to be able to provide each child with at least one pencil, a book, a notebook, and more. She would also like to start a library. To donate, readers may visit www.gofundme.com/rewriting-our-future.
Agency Aids Community February 27, 2018
Community REACH Inc. at 15 First Avenue in Red Lion, has reported a 20 percent overall increase in client services during the past year. Weekly appointments for the Choice Food Pantry have averaged nearly 200 per month; the service area includes the three local school districts of Dallastown, Eastern York, and Red Lion. Continued financial support and pantry donations allow the agency to provide the resources needed by at-risk families, people in emergency situations, and homeless individuals.
The agency has openings for immediate needs. The agency is seeking drivers who are willing to pick up donations or orders at local stores, as well as helpers to assist with incoming donations and stocking shelves at the pantry, escort clients to and from the pantry, assist clients and donors when loading or unloading a vehicle, do basic weekly housekeeping tasks, assist with client intake forms, and act as substitutes for occasional scheduling.
Community REACH Inc. also operates Kids' Kafe, providing supplemental nutrition provided each weekend to nearly 100 at-risk elementary students during the school year. Nearly 200 children receive weekly bags each week during the summer months. Donations for the program are individually-sized, shelf-stable, child-friendly items such as milk boxes, cereal, pudding and gelatin cups, applesauce and fruit cups, healthy snacks, and juice boxes or bags.
Other services include the Warm Program, which provides blankets, hats, gloves, and scarves, and the Fuel Fund, which allows limited assistance for heating needs.
For more information and to make a donation, readers may visit www.CommReach.org.
Program Ensures Babies Receive Screenings February 27, 2018
Through a partnership between the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Cardiology Care for Children in Lancaster, and midwives throughout the region, babies born at home are receiving vital wellness screenings and, if a problem is detected, getting immediate medical care before they become critically ill. The test, called pulse oximetry, measures the newborn's oxygen levels to detect heart defects, lung disease, and infections.
Mallory Sensenig of Denver realized first-hand the importance of the screening when, within hours of delivering her daughter, Josephine, her nurse midwife, Danielle Malik of Wernersville, found the newborn's oxygen levels below normal. Josephine was immediately seen by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Devyani Chowdhury of Cardiology Care for Children. Chowdhury did not detect any heart problems and recommended the baby to Heart of Lancaster. Josephine was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was treated for fluid in her lungs. After two days, her parents were able to take her home to her four siblings. On Jan. 25, Josephine, a normal, healthy toddler, celebrated her first birthday.
The at-home wellness screening program was developed in 2015 by Chowdhury and Clinic for Special Children pediatrician Dr. Katie Williams after Pennsylvania state law mandated, in 2014, that pulse oximetry screenings be performed at 24 to 48 hours of age as part of every newborn's physical examination regardless of their place of birth. Chowdhury's protocol requires screenings be performed before the midwife leaves the mother and the baby, typically when the baby is three to five hours old, and again 24 to 48 hours after birth. The program includes workshops to train midwives on using the equipment, as the test is only reliable if performed using the right equipment and by trained personnel.
Since 2015, nearly 2,000 newborns have received wellness screenings by midwives. As a result of the in-home screenings, seven newborns have been identified with heart or lung problems and received care before potentially becoming critically ill. Currently, 33 midwives and Birth Care in Georgetown use 51 pulse oximeters while attending deliveries in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland through donations from McDonald House Charities, Abby's Foundation and Hershey Rotary.
For more information about the Clinic for Special Children, readers may visit www.clinicforspecialchildren.org/.
Veterans' Benefit Assistance Available February 26, 2018
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will offer free Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit assistance to veterans of all ages and their survivors. A fully accredited VFW service officer will visit the VFW Post 1463 in Lititz on Mondays from noon to 5 p.m. to help veterans and survivors receive VA health care, start claims for pension and other benefits, request benefit increases and file appeals.
To make an appointment, call 717-234-7927. VFW membership is not required. The service is made possible by Pennsylvania Act 66.
Food Bank Releases Report February 22, 2018
The Hershey Food Bank has released its annual report. The food bank is an all-volunteer organization that has served the Hershey/Derry Township community for 50 years. In 2017, volunteers gave 12,410 hours of service to the food bank.
In 2017, an average of 446 families used the food bank each month. The organization served 5,352 families, representing 15,292 individuals.
The food bank currently has 375 registered families, representing 1,015 individuals, nearly 25 percent of whom are seniors. There are 350 children in the registered families.
The food bank serves families of many ethnic and national backgrounds. Many people who receive services work but experience poverty, are underemployed, are single parents, or have disabilities. Some families use the food bank twice per month, some once, and some less often.
At the food bank, families use a shopping cart to shop and select the items they use or need. They select food, personal care, and paper products based on family size. Each family receives a variety of meats; frozen vegetables; dairy products, such as milk, eggs, and cheese; fresh seasonal produce; nonperishable items, such as fruits, vegetables, pasta, canned meat, cereals, and juices; and bread and dessert items.
In 2017, the food bank clients received a total of 341,099 pounds of food that was taken from the organization's inventory, was purchased, or was donated.
In 2017, the food bank also assisted 56 families, totaling 209 individuals, with emergency utilities and rent, and the food bank gave Christmas gift certificates to 350 children. The organization also provided the children with other gifts donated by parishioners of local churches, groups, clubs, and individuals.
The food bank receives its funding from local churches, businesses, individuals, organizations, grants, and fundraisers.
Anyone who resides in Hershey/Derry Township and is in need of food may email the food bank at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment to register.
ODC Reflects On 70-Year Journey February 22, 2018
Dawn Dixon has worked at the Occupational Development Center (ODC), 640 Martha Ave., Lancaster, for more than three decades. She does quality control and applies labels to boxes of gutter screws, and she enjoys her job. Kristen Ankney, who separates and packages dental wires and bands, loves her job because it keeps her busy. Danny Ribera has done a number of jobs at ODC, but his favorite is making boxes at a facility in Mount Joy where ODC has a contract. "There's a box that's long and narrow that Danny is an expert at making," said Ken Mueller, public relations and development manager for ODC.
All three individuals are able to work at ODC because more than 70 years ago two local women felt that individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities should be educated. "In 1948, there was no such thing as special education in public schools," explained Mueller.
Marian Headrick, who had a son with developmental disabilities, and Olivia Stoner, who had a nephew with developmental disabilities, joined forces and started a school in the basement of one of their houses. The school was called the Child Development Center, and by the early 1950s, it had grown to fill two floors of the house next door to the current center. The first section of the present building was opened in 1956 as a traditional school with a cafeteria and classrooms, but not long after the move, the school became obsolete because of new legislation.
"In 1958, the state of Pennsylvania mandated special education in public schools, and there was no longer a need for what the Child Development Center was doing," explained Mueller, who added that the founders of the school recognized there was still a need for students to be trained and to find work once they graduated.
"That was when the shift was made to become the Occupational Development Center," said Mueller. "That's when we started with our mission that we have today of educating individuals with developmental and educational disabilities with job and vocational skills they can use to earn a paycheck." Mueller noted that ODC does not strive simply to keep clients busy. "The ultimate goal is to allow these individuals to have the most independent lives they can have," he said, adding that ODC has gone through a number of changes in recent years. "We offer more than we ever have before," noted Mueller. "That means one of our supervisors takes our individuals to a work site to work at the business alongside the people who are employed by the business. We want to educate the public and the businesses that we are a resource for employment."
The organization now has a career counselor manager on staff who works to identify students who will be graduating and helps them find employment. "We can help them with internships and job shadowing and to find supportive employment," said Mueller. "Our goal is to help people find jobs they enjoy (based on) passions, interests, and skills. That's where we are really focused right now."
ODC executive director Gregg Richards agreed. "We want everyone to be successful and feel they are contributing in the environment they're in," he said, adding that he hopes to see the 65 clients ODC serves integrated into the greater working community. "It should be a daily thing not only to see someone with a disability but to interact with someone with a disability," he said.
The nonprofit has planned a number of ways to celebrate the 70th anniversary, including performing 70 acts of service in the community and giving out the first Olivia Stoner Awards to a local business and to an individual. Mueller noted the attributes associated with the award will exemplify a commitment to the ODC mission. The organization will also tie the anniversary to its annual appeal and the Extraordinary Give.
Readers who would like to learn more may visit www.odcenter.org or call 717-397-4269.
Humane Society Posts Glove Drive February 21, 2018
The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area (HSHA) will hold its annual glove drive throughout February. The iniative helps offset the cost of the roughly 300 cases of gloves HSHA uses every year to reduce the spread of diseases in a shelter environment.
Readers may give monetary donations for the glove drive by visiting www.humanesocietyhbg.org before the end of February. They may also order gloves through Amazon and have them delivered directly to the shelter, or they may drop off gloves in one of the bins that are available at HSHA's adoption and intake centers.
For more information, readers may contact Megan Strausbaugh at email@example.com or 717-564-3320 ext. 125.
Education Conference To Mark 25th Year February 15, 2018
When the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) held its first education conference in 1993, it was geared toward teachers and paraprofessionals who worked in special education. Over the 25 years since its inception, though, the conference has expanded and attendance has grown to at least 450 people, ranging from teachers and paraprofessionals to parents and other members of the community.
"We started with topics like literacy, behavior, autism, and math," recalled program support liaison Linda Swisher. She noted that while those topics are still important, the conference organizers have strived to offer seminars related to hot topics of the day.
"The topics are broader to get people thinking about something, to scratch the surface," said early childhood and special education services program director Kathy Rose. "It's (held at) the start of the summer, so the topics aren't deep and heavy, but new and exciting."
Rose explained that IU 13 works directly with school districts to provide professional development to its staff members. That usually takes the form of coaching with individual teachers, and many conference attendees will have the opportunity to discuss what they learn when they return to school in the fall. "With the sessions, we say, 'Here's an idea. We'll be here in September to assist you if you want to go deeper,'" Rose said.
The 25th annual IU 13 education conference will be held on Tuesday, June 19, at Lampeter-Strasburg High School, 1600 Book Road, Lancaster. Registration will open at 7:45 a.m., and the conference will get underway at 8:30 a.m. The event will conclude by 3:30 p.m. To celebrate the anniversary, a photo booth will be available throughout the day, and there will be opportunities for attendees to earn extra door prize entries.
Two-hour sessions will be offered in the morning and the afternoon. Topics for the conference include opiate abuse and drug trends, traumatic brain injury and concussion symptoms, understanding selective teen dating violence, the effects of trauma, retirement information for public school employees, building mental and physical stamina in students, pediatric sleep, school-to-career transition, and more.
Presenter Gina Scala will be back this year with sessions on behavior challenges and on building relationships with older students.
Rose expressed excitement about the presentations to be offered by twins Julie Marzano and Emily McCarthy. Marzano is an occupational therapist, and McCarthy is a speech and language pathologist. Together, the sisters created Fine Motor Boot Camp. "We are really focusing on a population of professionals who sometimes have a hard time finding professional development," Rose said.
Dr. Marcia Tate will give the keynote address "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites - 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain," as well as two sessions on brain-compatible teaching. After working for a Georgia school district for many years, Tate currently serves as an educational consultant, providing brain-based professional development for administrators, teachers, parents, and business and community leaders.
While the education conference is primarily geared toward education professionals, attendance is open to college students, parents, and anyone who has an interest in educating children and students. Separate costs for participation have been set for school district and agency personnel and for parents, college students, and substitutes. The costs include a continental breakfast and lunch. An early bird registration discount for school district and agency personnel will be offered until Tuesday, May 1.
For more information about the conference or to register, readers may visit www.iu13.org and click on the link for Events, Workshops, and Classes. Folks may call Swisher at 717-606-1878 for registration assistance.