I had to spend a lot of time soulfully dwelling on who to support in this year’s Extra Ordinary Give through the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Dave and I already give to so many organizations throughout the year such as WXPN, Angiosarcoma Awareness, Susquehanna Heritage, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, in addition to donating our time, In the annual Extra Give I consider the ways to best support local initiatives that are important to me and my family.
This year I had to think about what was most important to my community. How can I best support them in this difficult time of political transition? How can I support them when their organizations are being threatened? How can I support their efforts to offer services to protect people across all races and beliefs? And that’s how I came up with my list. You’ll notice a few organizations below that are a bit “controversial”. I included them to try to de-stigmatize what they do for our communities. I included them because even in their controversy they offer a needed support to members of our community and to myself. I support them because if they go away, I don’t want to think about what people would do without their services.
Thanks for supporting and believing in our community.
LGBT Center – Harrisburg – Our mission is to create common ground for the LGBT community and allies in central Pennsylvania by providing services through educational, cultural, and community activities that foster wholeness.
Lancaster County Conservancy – Lancaster County Conservancy is an accredited land trust that acquires and protects natural lands for future generations. We preserve some of the most beautiful and beloved natural places in Lancaster County, which include popular preserves such as Tucquan Glen and Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve. Our work cultivates a connection with nature and educates everyone of the importance of clean water, native species, biodiversity and proper land use. We partner with nonprofit organizations and government entities to protect the health of our land, watersheds and local wildlife.
Power Packs Project – Power Packs Project recognizes the vital role that nutrition plays in the ability of children to learn in school. The unique program provides a long term solution to hunger by providing a weekly pack filled with a recipe and ingredients to make a healthy meal, staples to help families get through the weekend, and additional information that serves to meet the mission, “teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. Power Packs can be found in 12 school districts and serves over 7,000 people.
YWCA Lancaster – We invest deeply in today’s children by providing innovative wrap-around educational services, empowering girls in STEM fields, and educating school age kids on healthy dating relationships and boundaries. Our core mission initiatives of social justice and empowerment allow us to address systemic issues and draw from human experience to achieve healing, restoration and hope.
Church World Service Lancaster – CWS of Lancaster serves the refugee and immigrant communities of central Pennsylvania. Through hard work and a long-term commitment of support, people who once had no hope are discovering the means of transforming their lives.
Columbia Food Bank – The Columbia Food Bank is the second largest food bank in Lancaster County and has been providing groceries to families and individuals in Columbia, Mountville, West Hempfield and Manor Townships for over 30 years. We believe it is our legacy and our obligation to be there for people who need us! • In 2015, the Food Bank handled 30 tons of groceries to provide 58,312 meals to 2,436 people in 1,258 households. • Since 2010, the Food Bank has handled 166 tons of groceries to provide 331,972 meals to 15,172 people in 7,817 households. • 30% of our Clients are 0 to 17 years of age, 54% – 18 to 59, and 16% are 60 and older. OUR MISSION: The Columbia Food Bank promotes health, nutrition, human dignity and potential. OUR VISION: No one should know hunger!
Hospice & Community Care – Hospice & Community Care provides care and comfort to help patients and families live better at end of life and provides hospice and palliative care and bereavement support for anyone in the community. Hospice & Community Care is currently caring for more than 450 patients and families each day. Hospice offers special care for people who have weeks or months rather than years to live and who are coping with any serious, life-limiting illness. Hospice provides expert medical care, pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs. In 2015, Hospice & Community Care provided hospice care for more than 3,000 patients and families. More than 1,500 patients received palliative care visits from the organization’s medical practice, Palliative Medicine Consultants. More than 9,000 people received bereavement support through individual counseling, support groups, workshops and camps. Twitter: @HospiceComCare Instagram: @HospiceComCare
Planned Parenthood Keystone – The mission of Planned Parenthood Keystone is to provide and promote access to the essential health care services and comprehensive education people need to live healthy lives and build strong communities. Our health services include family planning and birth control, cancer screenings, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, abortion care, pregnancy testing, and education. Planned Parenthood believes that informed choices begin with education. We conduct presentations for schools, community groups, religious organizations, and nonprofits on topics related to birth control and pregnancy, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases, family planning and reproductive health. This information is taught in a context of decision-making, personal values, responsibility, and relationships so that teens gain a thorough understanding of sexuality and its consequences for themselves and their partners.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is to Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. We are the voice for all blood cancer patients and we work to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.
Clare House -Clare House is an employment based independent program providing safety to women and children experiencing homelessness for up to six months. Clare House is the only homeless provider that serves young women aging out of the Foster Care system, as well as families with sons older than 12. While living in our houses, residents have the opportunity to gain full time employment, stabilize their finances, and secure sustainable housing. Once graduated, residents are offered 1 year of continued support by Clare House staff in the form of continued case management to continue tackling life’s surprises when they’re small before snow-balling out of control. This helps insure the success of families and reduces the likelihood of reentry into the homeless system. Additionally, Clare House provides donated house supplies to help reduce family expenses and support sustainable money management.