Brenda Lee Free’s Guide to the #ExtraGive

It’s the annual Extraordinary Give hosted by the Lancaster County Community Foundation stretched by at least $300,000.  The day to give is Friday, November 20th.  It can be overwhelming to go to the website and see all the various nonprofits in need of donations, so here’s my breakdown of great nonprofits that have impacted my life and those who I think offer great services.


Animal Related

KPETS provides pet therapy services to over 250 facilities. My friend Michele volunteers with them and they touch so many lives.

Humane League of Lancaster County is the only no kill shelter in Lancaster County. We adopted our Molly, a 9 year old redbone coonhound at the time, from them.

Lancaster County SPCA is the alternative to the Humane League and is a kill shelter but provides necessary animal rescue services in the county.  We adopted Scotch, our 7 year old beagle at the time, from them.

Arts Culture & Humanities

City of Lancaster Office of Promotion puts on some great events throughout the city and is run by two awesome gals, Jen and Amber. They’re so fun!

Creative Works of Lancaster is a community performing arts organization which puts on some truly unique events and I think is best known for their 24 hour plays.

Hands on House is an awesome hands on children’s museum. I spent some fun times there as a kid and its still providing a wonderful service to kids in the area.

Music For Everyone may be best known for their creatively decorated pianos throughout the city in the warm months but they also give scholarships and grants to schools for music and community arts.

Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area is in Wrightsville/Long Level and has a beautifully restored museum, access to trails, and a recently installed dock. They are working with the Susquehanna Riverlands project to promote heritage, recreation and conservation in the riverlands.

Susquehanna Stage Company is one of my advertisers for Where & When and puts on a variety of shows throughout the year at a small community stage in Marietta. It’s just what that town needs!

Education –

HACC Foundation gave me the opportunity to come back to college several times and achieve my degree, online, in 2010.

Library System of Lancaster County helped develop my love of books and reading through their bookmobile service that goes out to rural communities. It was always a big deal when my mom would take us to the downtown library to pick out our books.

Penn Manor Education Foundation is the foundation to my high school alma mater and helps to support students in the district.


Lancaster County Conservancy is one of my favorite nonprofits in the county. They have preserved over 5400 acres and their stuff puts in tons of hours to keep our lands preserved for generations to come.

PA Master Naturalist is the organization that gave me an opportunity to learn more about our native species, conservation issues, and how best for me to protect our local lands.

Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation works to keep our parks accessible for all people. Parks and Forests in PA are severely underfunded and this foundation helps to keep them going.

Financial Stability/Quality of Life

Mennonite Central Committee works in places impacted by natural disasters. In my youth I went on a missions trip where we supported one of their projects and it was eye opening and life changing. Not to mention, it was at an MCC fundraiser where I met my hubby Dave!

Water Street Mission provides services to the homeless in Lancaster County which is still too big of a problem.

Food, Agriculture, Nutrition

Lancaster Farmland Trust provides funding to preserve farms in our area from being developed and have been great advocates against the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline issue.

Columbia Food Bank is a necessary service in a town just south of where I live where many people are in need of food and clothing to care for their families.

Health Care

Alzheimer’s Association supports research and advocacy for Alzheimer’s, a disease that took my grandfather’s life almost 7 years ago.

American Cancer Society supports research and advocacy for cancer, something that has hugely impacted my life through my grandmother, father, mother and late husband.

Hospice & Community Care provided services to me after the death of my first husband and I am happy to be working with them as a workshop presenter to pay it forward.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supports research and advocacy for leukemia and lymphoma cancers. My father is a survivor of both types of cancers.


Bridge of Hope extends urgent rehousing options to women and children in Lancaster and Chester counties. Every year my manager organizes a golf outing through Engle Printing & Publishing to raise money for their services.

Senior Living

Landis Communities provides elderly care and was essential in the care of my late grandfather as he battled Alzheimer’s.

Youth Development

The Factory Ministries – My friend Chuck, who was a great mentor to me after the loss of my husband, runs this organization and they provide social service and poverty services to people in Eastern Lancaster County.


These are just a few of the organizations that I feel deserve your donations, but of course all of the Extra Give organizations deserve your time, consideration, and support.  Thanks for giving a little extra before the holiday season.






















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