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Giveaway Drawing To Aid Autism Center December 14, 2017

TrueNorth Wellness Services will hold a community-based giveaway drawing to benefit TrueNorth's new Autism Center, located at 1181 Westminster Ave., Hanover. A $3.5 million capital campaign to support the costs of construction for the new Autism Center is ongoing.

TrueNorth Wellness Services works with more than 400 individuals in York and Adams counties through its autism programs. To accommodate the growing need in the region, the Autism Center will serve as the home for TrueNorth Wellness Services' relocated and expanded Hanover-based autism services, including The Amazing Kids Club. The Autism Center will provide increased space for therapeutic treatment and will offer a natural setting for outdoor activities. The property will also feature improved logistics for parking, pickups and dropoffs.

In the giveaway drawing, cash prizes will be awarded, with first- through third-prize winners announced at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23, at Hanover Markets, 1649 Broadway, Hanover. Entrants do not need to be present to win.

To purchase giveaway drawing tickets, readers may contact Carol Connor at cconnor@truenorthwellness.org or 717-632-4900, ext. 1072. Tickets will be available for purchase until the drawing.

Individuals may donate to the capital campaign by visiting http://www.firstgiving.com/10670/support-us. A grand opening event will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. More information about TrueNorth Wellness Services is available at www.truenorthwellness.org.

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Foundation Awards Grants December 13, 2017

The Lancaster County Community Foundation (LCCF) has announced $335,000 in grant investments for 15 local community benefit organizations whose work supports the residents of Lancaster County. Trained community volunteers and staff review grant proposals and recommend grants to the LCCF board of directors, who ultimately approve the investments.

Several grants were awarded through the Creative Solutions Matching Program, which supports the implementation of creative solutions that increase financial stability or quality of life or both.

The Children Deserve a Chance Foundation received $40,000 for Attollo, a college preparatory and leadership program aimed at providing high-performing students, particularly African-Americans and Latinos, with a pipeline to leadership positions across industries in the Lancaster community.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and partners received $21,975 toward building a feasibility study for a pay-for-success model on farms in Lancaster County. Cost-effective conservation practices will be installed on farms, while municipalities meet storm water obligations at a reduced cost and profits are returned to capital investors.

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County received $32,880 for CAPital Workforce, a social enterprise program meant to combat poverty, revitalize communities and help families achieve self-sufficiency. The program's new focus is Columbia.

Lancaster City Alliance received $30,000 for its Lancaster Entrepreneurship Coalition, created in partnership with ASSETS. The coalition brings together nonprofit, for-profit, educational and government entities that cater to entrepreneurs in start-up and micro-businesses.

Luthercare received $30,000 for Systems Aligned in Learning (SAIL), a five-partner collaborative focused on preschool children cared for by home-based childcare providers in Lancaster County.

SouthEast Lancaster Health Services received $40,000 for Healthcare Futures. The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement chose SouthEast to be a certified medical assistant training site due to SouthEast's work in support of refugee and immigrant health care professionals seeking to re-claim their careers here in Lancaster County. Healthcare Futures will offer certified medical assistant training and upskilling that will prepare students to enter thriving wage, high-demand jobs and empower refugees and entrants to re-enter the health care field.

Funds were also awarded through the Social Enterprise Program. The Community Foundation supports the exploration of social enterprise as an approach to advance the social mission of a community benefit organization using market-based strategies.

The Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation received $30,000 for the Refugee and Immigrant Education Project, which offers workshops and tours of the Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds (RCCSR) to Lancaster County students and educators. In 2018, the project will expand to reach businesses, faith groups, and nonprofits.

The Common Wheel received $30,000 to expand its operations to a downtown location. The goals of the project are to increase visibility, provide more employment and job training opportunities for youths, increase the number of people using bicycles as active transportation, increase the Common Wheel's sales revenue, and free up space in the organization's current location to expand program offerings.

Grants were also awarded in the Capacity Building Program, which supports programs that build an organization's capacity to fulfill its mission through activities such as strategic planning, board development, succession planning, marketing and branding planning, and development planning.

The LCCF awarded eight grants of up to $10,000, totaling nearly $80,000. The grants went to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Ephrata Public Library, Hope Within Ministries, Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, Lancaster Farmland Trust, PANO, Spanish American Civic Association, and SouthEast Lancaster Health Services.

In 2017, the Community Foundation will invest nearly $2 million dollars in Lancaster County organizations in addition to inspiring the community to generate $8.6 million during the Extraordinary Give.

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Foundation Awards Grants December 13, 2017

The PPL Foundation has announced the latest recipients of funds from its grant program, awarding nearly $600,000 to support 16 organizations working to empower the communities they serve. The awards that were announced on Dec. 12 will support a variety of projects in PPL Foundation's focus areas: education, workforce development and community revitalization.

Earlier this year, the PPL Foundation awarded more than $450,000 in sustaining grants to more than 70 community organizations. The recent announcement brings the foundation's 2017 community grants to more than $1 million.

Grant recipients included Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg, the Lancaster County Council of Churches and Lancaster Science Center.

Bethesda Mission received $25,000 to support the renovation of a recently purchased building for use as a community center for the Bethesda Mission. The center will include classroom space, a larger kitchen and enhanced security, allowing the mission to expand outreach efforts to the neighborhood's children and youths.

The Lancaster County Council of Churches received $30,000 for its Wheels to Work program, which removes barriers to self-sustainable employment by providing low-cost transportation in support of workforce development.

Lancaster Science Center received $100,000 to support a new hands-on science exhibit and expansion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming.

The PPL Foundation awards grants in spring and fall. The next grant cycle, for sustaining grants that assist organizations with general operating expenses, will begin in January. Interested organizations may apply for grants from $1,000 to $25,000.

To be considered for a grant, all organizations must apply online. More information is available at www.pplcares.com.

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Organization Earns Safety Award December 13, 2017

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Johnescu Receives Award December 13, 2017

Bell Socialization Services Inc. has recognized Teri Johnescu as the 2017 recipient of the agency's Margo Atwood Community Service Award. She was nominated by job coach Lynsey Huyett in Bell's vocational rehabilitation program.

Johnescu plays a key role in empowering participants of Bell's Supported Employment Program as part of her job at GlaxoSmithKline. Her contributions go beyond her workday relationship. She is active on the agency's community engagement committee and has been a team captain two years running for Bell's Big Bed Race.

The recognition is awarded by the York-based human services agency to an individual or group that provides their time and resources to enhance Bell's programs.

Bell Socialization Services Inc., based in York, provides housing and basic living skills supports to individuals living with mental illness, people with intellectual disabilities, and homeless families.

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Scearce Receives Award December 13, 2017

Bell Socialization Services has announced the selection of Crystal Scearce as the recipient of the agency's 2017 Pauline Whitacre Community Services Award. Presented annually to an individual who provides time and resources to enhance Bell's mental health programs, the award was received by Scearce at a meeting of the advisory board of Bell's Oasis House program on Nov. 14.

Scearce, onsite manager with Abacus Corporation, a temporary employment agency in Etters, has been an active volunteer with Oasis House since October 2015.

Oasis House, started in 2006, is designed on the clubhouse model of Fountain House in Manhattan, New York, and is accredited by Clubhouse International. A clubhouse is a recovery-oriented joint operation between members and staff, where people with a history of mental illness can go for support in their efforts to become more a part of their community.

Bell Socialization Services Inc., based in York, provides housing and basic living skills supports to individuals living with mental illness, people with intellectual disabilities, and homeless families.

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Bridge Of Hope Announces Developments December 12, 2017

Bridge of Hope, a national faith-based program with roots in Lancaster and Chester counties, recently announced new developments in its programming, training and language to better aid local Christian faith communities in its work to help families facing homelessness.

The enhancements include a move from "mentoring" to "neighboring" language, which emphasizes the biblical call to be a neighbor to people in need; an increased focus in case management services on assessments for parents and children; expanded housing and financial programs and resiliency education; new program benchmarks and outcomes designed to guide Bridge of Hope locations in their work; and a new training curriculum for volunteers filled with the latest best practices in homeless services.

Bridge of Hope has locations in 11 states. The faith-based program combines professional case management services with Neighboring Volunteers from local Christian faith communities, such as churches or Bible studies, who provide encouragement and tangible support to families facing homelessness. The goal of the combination is to ensure partnering families attain safe and sustainable housing, tools for strengthening their family, an improved financial position, and Bridge of Hope neighborhood support.

The cost of rolling out the upgrades over the next two years will amount to $1 million. To cover expenses, Bridge of Hope has launched the first campaign in the history of its national headquarters.

To learn more, readers may visit www.bridgeofhopeinc.org.

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Human League Receives Donation December 11, 2017

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Red Cross Receives Donation December 11, 2017

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Food Box Project Set For Dec. 17 December 8, 2017

The annual Christmas food box delivery in Columbia sponsored by the Columbia Lions Club and Sunsnappers will be held on Sunday, Dec. 17, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Columbia Borough Fire Department, 726 Manor St. More than 700 food boxes, along with toys for children, will be delivered to families in Columbia, Marietta, Wrightsville, Mountville, Millersville, Manheim, and other areas. Families that registered in advance will receive their food boxes between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Several hundred volunteers, including Boy Scouts and members of high school sports teams, will assemble the boxes from 9 to 11 a.m. The community is invited to assist with the assembly and delivery.

The food boxes will include all the items for a Christmas dinner, including turkey, potatoes, milk, bread, eggs, canned vegetables, and cranberry sauce. In addition, toys will be provided for children age 10 and under and who are not receiving toys through the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.

The project is supported by donations from area businesses, organizations, and residents. The Columbia-Middletown Elks 1074 Ladies Auxiliary coordinates and sponsors the toy distribution.

Ken Kramer helped to start the project more than 20 years ago as a member of the Columbia Jaycees. Kramer, who is a member of both the Lions and Sunsnappers, said the project has grown from just five boxes in its first year to more than 750 last year.

"The food box project has become an annual tradition," Kramer said, noting that he enjoys seeing members of the community spend a few hours assembling and delivering the boxes. "We have volunteers of all ages, including the younger kids who pack groceries in the boxes. Then we have older kids from the high schools and adults who carry the boxes and frozen turkeys to the delivery area. We literally have people lined up out the door to help."

Lions president Jack Gamby said the event helps bring people together in the spirit of giving. "We have Christmas music playing in the background. You'll see people wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers. It brings out the Christmas spirit in all of us. People really have fun with it," Gamby said. "People who receive the boxes are really appreciative too, and that makes it all worthwhile."

To find out more, readers may search for the "Columbia Christmas Food Boxes" page on Facebook.

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Group Posts Collaboration Efforts December 8, 2017

The Cold Weather Collaborative plans to produce ongoing community collaboration, called the "Donegal HUB." Community members can stay in contact via email and Facebook, and there is also a website.

Agency representatives may email donegalhub@gmail.com with resources and services that they are providing. At this time, the organization is not outfitted to directly receive emails from community members in need, but individuals should feel free to reach out if they are in need of ideas or resources.

Readers may like the organization's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/donegalhub/. The plan is to use Facebook to announce resources and services in the community. Individuals who would like to share something on Facebook may email it to donegalhub@gmail.com, and the organization will post it on the page.

Community members are also invited to visit www.donegalhub.org, which is being finalized. Rainbow's End Youth Center has helped to get the website running. The site will feature a resource list, upcoming events, and more. Readers who have ideas on additions for the website may email the organization.

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Group Assists With Rebuilding Efforts December 6, 2017

Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) has set up two bases in Puerto Rico to help with cleanup and rebuilding after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 25. According to CAM representatives, much of the island is still without power, phone service, and running water.

Through CAM, a team of men from Lebanon and Lancaster counties left for Puerto Rico on Nov. 1 and worked there until Nov. 11. Much of the work included cleaning up debris, putting on new roofs, and rebuilding flattened houses. Team members also helped to clear brush to make roads wider, and some of the men built trusses, while others replaced roofs. The group also helped to prepare one of the bases for volunteers to sleep, eat, and store their tools.

Among the challenges the group faced were limited building supplies, the need to run generators for electric, and inconsistent phone service. They also experienced downed trees and wires, roofs blown off, and more.

Plans call for CAM to be in place through at least March, after which it will re-evaluate whether to stay for another year.

For more information about this project or to give a contribution, readers may call CAM at 330-893-2428 or visit www.christianaidministries.org.

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Communities Donate Gifts For Children December 6, 2017

Volunteers from the Lancaster area Operation Christmas Child team collected more than 25,000 gift-filled shoeboxes that will go to children in need around the world to remind them they are loved and not forgotten. The collection surpassed last year's donations of shoebox gifts from the Lancaster area team, which accepts donations from the Mount Joy community and surrounding area.

Although collections have finished for the season, there is still time to pack a shoebox gift online for children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. Individuals may visit http://samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child's specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement. They may also donate a specified amount per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" to receive a tracking label to discover their box's destination.

Readers may also purchase a gift card for a family member or friend so they can join in Operation Christmas Child by packing a shoebox online. The shoeboxes - filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys - are delivered to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to obtain gift suggestions, readers may call 410-772-7360 or visit http://samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Gospel. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

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TPA Post Collects Food For Water Street December 6, 2017

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Holiday Item Drive Announced December 6, 2017

The public may participate in a holiday item drive to benefit five local families. Through the holiday drive, each of the five families will be provided with items to cook a holiday meal, gifts from their wish list, and a Christmas tree with decorations. Employees from BIG and Community Progress Council will deliver items on Dec. 18 to give families time to set up their trees and place their gifts underneath.

A list of needed items is available at http://bit.ly/GiveBIG_HolidayDrive. Donations may be dropped off at BIG's office, 156 N. George St., York, during regular business hours through Friday, Dec. 15.

Community Progress Council is a York County community action agency that seeks to empower individuals and families to move toward self-sufficiency and that advocates for change to promote community growth.

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Volunteers Attend Training Session December 6, 2017

SpiriTrust Lutheran Touch-a-Life volunteers recently gathered at Leg-Up Farmers Market in York for lunch and an educational program. Nutritionist Julie Stefanski presented tips on eating healthy for seniors.

Touch-a-Life volunteers transport clients to medical appointments, grocery stores, and banks; make minor home repairs; and perform yard work or household chores for people in need. For information on becoming a volunteer, readers may contact Danita Hanna at 717-854-4313.

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Coalition Donates To Lifepath December 6, 2017

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Office Of Aging Seeks Donations December 6, 2017

The 2017 Holiday Program sponsored annually by the Lancaster County Office of Aging is underway. This year, the agency will provide grocery store gift cards to Office of Aging clients in need, allowing them to choose fresh foods specific to their diet or other foods they enjoy. Interested donors may participate by making a monetary contribution or supplying a grocery store gift card in any denomination up to a specific amount from Giant or Weis Markets. Monetary contributions in the form of checks should be made payable to the Lancaster County Office of Aging, noting "Holiday Program" in the memo line.

All donations for this year's program will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 18. Donations may be dropped off during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the agency's office in the Lancaster County Government Center, 150 N. Queen St., Suite 415, Lancaster. For more information, readers may contact Lisa Paulson at 717-299-7979.

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Donations Sought To Benefit Shelters December 6, 2017

Gemma's Angels of Hershey is seeking toy and monetary donations for Christmas parties it operates in four shelters in Harrisburg. Parties will take place at Shalom House, Evergreen House, and Lourdeshouse, and new this year will be The Santa Bus at Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families, where parents can shop for free from donated toys placed on a bus.

Brand-new toys for homeless boys and girls are welcome. To register to buy a toy or to donate and allow Gemma's to buy one, visit www.GemmasAngels.org/holiday.

Gemma's Angels is celebrating its 22nd year of collecting toys and conducting parties, with its first party having been held at Interfaith Shelter in 1995. For more information, call 717-298-0150 or email parties@gemmasangels.org.

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Community Center To Collect Donations December 6, 2017

The Golden Connections Community Center, 20 Gotham Place, Red Lion, will host a Holiday Festival on Thursday, Dec. 21, to promote volunteer recruitment and to launch a winter survival kit donation drive for the senior center's Meals on Wheels Program. The event is part of the 2017 Subaru Share the Love Event.

Senior center members and community members may donate items that will be used to make winter survival kits to assist local homebound Meals on Wheels recipients should they become stranded during a winter storm. Suggested donation items include nonperishable food items, gloves, winter hats, scarves, warm socks, batteries, and flashlights. People may drop off donation items at the Golden Connections Community Center at any time between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. through Thursday, Dec. 21. Distribution of the winter survival kits will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 2. For updates on the project, readers may search for "Golden Connections Community Center" on Facebook.

The Golden Connections Community Center is funded in part by the York County Area on Aging.

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