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What if you could be part of something extraordinary?
The holiday season brings magic to the air, cozy nights, fond memories, and a special attention to the rich tapestry of support that is woven into our community. One of the many amazing attributes of the people of Lancaster is their ability to lift each other up, assist neighbors in need, and open their hearts to causes that are bigger than themselves.
Explore non-profit organizations that bring creativity, vitality, and care to people across our community all year long.
The 2020 Giving Guide is supported by the Lancaster County Community Foundation. The Community Foundation works side by side with people who care about Lancaster County. They partner with individuals and organizations to help turn your ideas into action and your investments into legacy that will strengthen our community for generations.
What if you could empower creative expression?
The Friendship Heart Gallery & Studio is a creative arts program for Artists with Intellectual Disability and Autism. Over 70 Artists work alongside professionals and generous volunteers to create and sell artistic masterpieces while developing a sense of purpose, value, freedom, and joy. The Friendship Heart Artists celebrate personalities and talent through free expression and collaboration. Friendship Heart Gallery & Studio is an extension of Friendship Community, a ministry that has been cultivating capabilities of Individuals with Intellectual Disability since 1972.
Action Plan | Partner with Friendship Heart Gallery & Studio to host exhibits at businesses or churches, sponsor a Heart Artist in his or her creative endeavors, volunteer to teach Heart Artists, and stop by to view monthly exhibits and creative home décor items by Primitives by Kathy featuring Friendship Heart artwork.
What if you could empower peacemaking to solve conflicts, violence, and crime in our city?
At age 15, Romeero was caught spraying graffiti at a local business. Working with Advoz and a Youth Aid Panel, he participated in Restorative Justice Dialogue with community representatives for the affected property owner and community. Dialogue led to mentoring and Romeero learned to channel his talent into respectful art. He is now a professional artist, pursuing a degree in graphic design, and leading a dance ministry through his church.
Mission | To transform conflict and build community through face-to-face dialogue programs.
Action Plan | Become a peacemaker; train to mediate and volunteer to bring restorative justice and healing from conflict and crime
What if you could help create smiles?
The Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of infants, children, and adults with craniofacial conditions resulting from birth defects, trauma, and disease. For over 81 years they have provided for the special healthcare needs of Pennsylvania’s infants and children who may be uninsured, under-insured, or otherwise under-served. To help create smiles at the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic this holiday season, please contact Dave Foulk, Director of Development at 717.394.3793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic is proudly supported by Lancaster Orthodontic Associates. LOA’s knowledgeable doctors and dedicated team will take care of your orthodontic needs while having fun and spreading joy every step of the way and they make it convenient with evening and Saturday hours, and free consultations! Learn more about how LOA makes Lancaster shine at loasmiles.com.
What if you could make miracles happen?
At Milagro House, making miracles is their business. In fact, “Milagro” means “Miracle”. Their formula for success is simple: provide a supportive, compassionate atmosphere where women who have experienced homelessness and poverty can achieve their education while living with their children in a safe, nurturing environment. By placing education at the core of their mission, they are empowering women with the tools they need to enter the workforce, earn a family-sustaining wage, and create their own unique miracle. Your generosity makes miracles happen, and for that, Milagro House is grateful.
What if you could turn someone’s life around?
Off The Streets Lancaster is an all-volunteer organization that assists persons experiencing homelessness but have the ability to pay rent to move out of shelters, off the streets, and into permanent housing. Existing social service resources provide the referrals. Off the Streets pays a security deposit directly to the landlord and delivers furniture and household items to transform an empty apartment into a home. They have helped over 2,400 people move into permanent homes in the last 6 years—80% of these are women and children. Off The Streets Lancaster is funded solely by donations and non-governmental grants.
Action Plan | On November 22, please help them help others. Give to Off The Streets Lancaster during the Extra Give. They depend on your donations of money and basic, gently used apartment-size furniture. Twin and full mattresses and bed frames are always needed. Call Off the Streets Lancaster to donate furnishings and coordinate pick-up.
What if you could transform a community through impactful lending?
Mission | CFF is proud to support businesses to create sustainable prosperity for low wealth communities and individuals, especially people of color and women, by aligning capital, knowledge, and advocacy to advance business ownership, housing, and community development.
Who They Serve | Community First Fund transforms communities by providing financing for job-creating businesses to start up and grow, developing affordable housing units, turning blighted and vacant buildings into community assets, increasing access to healthy foods and quality healthcare, and creating educational opportunities for children, youth, and adults. To donate, please visit communityfirstfund.org/community-impact/donate.
What if you could share the power of information?
The Lancaster Public Library provides free and equitable access to exceptional programming, vital educational resources, and community building opportunities all while receiving very little public funding. Seen as a dynamic center of knowledge, the Lancaster Public Library is a true cornerstone of a thriving Lancaster community and an important resource for thousands of people in Lancaster City and surrounding areas. In fact, the Lancaster Public Library offers free public library services to hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, despite receiving low levels of public funding. On average, the Lancaster Public Library receives only $1.20 per capita in public funds while other libraries in the state average $11 per resident. They could do so much more for the community!
Action Plan | Visit lancasterpubliclibrary.org/giftbooks to learn how you can help put books on their shelves and support free literacy programs for all.
What if you could empower children around the world to be the change in their communities?
Horizon: Empower the Orphaned’s vision is to turn the tide in the global orphan crisis. They provide loving families to raise the children in, and send them to college and trade school—helping them to achieve long-term self-sustainability.
Action Plan | This holiday season, give directly to the needs of the kids by gifting an item from Horizon’s Gift Catalog at empowertheorphaned.org/gift.
What if you could help ensure that everyone has enough food to eat and the necessary clothes to wear?
Mission | The mission of the Lancaster County Food Hub is to be the resource for our under-resourced neighbors. Through free distributions of fresh and healthy food and clothing, they are able to fill the void for individuals struggling to get by. The Food Hub is the safety net that they can count on to help make their lives a little easier.
Action Plan | Together, we can make this happen. Partner with the Food Hub through financial donations, bringing in your gently used clothes for the clothing bank, or donating canned food for the Food Bank.
What if you could make someone’s day?
Every year, hundreds of seniors receive daily meals, enjoy exercise classes, participate in exceptional engagement programs and special events, and have fun in programs like ukulele lessons, Lancaster Intergenerational Nutrition Collaborative (LINC), Geri-fit, and Senior Orchestra! Help support Lancaster Rec’s mission that recreation is for all.
Mission | Lancaster Recreation Commission serves children, families, and seniors in the City of Lancaster and Lancaster Township with free and low-cost recreation programs.
Action Plan | Come take a tour of one of their senior centers, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation to support recreation in your community today!
What if you could provide a most basic human need?
Meals on Wheels supports independent living among homebound individuals through delivering daily, freshly prepared nutritious meals to those unable to reasonably prepare meals for themselves. This ensures a critical safety check for our many neighbors and family and friends relying on the services.
Whom They Serve | Meals on Wheels serves homebound seniors, independently living adults with disabilities, and any individuals of any age recovering from surgery or acute care.
Action Plan | Please visit mealsonwheelsoflancaster.org or facebook.com/lancastermow to learn about how you can volunteer or donate.
What if you could give the gift of health?
Lancaster Health Center consciously breaks down barriers to achieve equity through healthcare that welcomes, strengthens, and helps our whole community soar. They span the life course with their care, providing family medicine, dental care, behavioral health, and social services for people of all ages. Ensure everybody in our vibrant community has access to the care they need to get and stay healthy by donating, volunteering, or connecting with Lancaster Health Center.
What if you could transform a life?
Clare House is a residential program that strives to provide safety and support for women and children experiencing homelessness in Lancaster County. Through its program, served families build a foundation from which to gain stability and independence. Transform the lives of women and children experiencing homelessness by donating to Clare House today.
Dreams really do come true.
For nearly 95 years, United Way of Lancaster County has provided hope and worked to raise the standard of living in our neighborhoods. Today, more than 300 partners are working together to make a positive impact on more than 150,000 people across our county. People like Blessing, who want to realize their dreams and have a better life for their family. With your support, we can make a difference in the lives of our Lancaster County neighbors and help them achieve their dreams. Together, we can make great things happen. For more information visit LiveUnitedLancaster.org.
What if you could give families, like Jenn’s, peace and security for their housing and financial future?
With no family or support system in place, Jenn was experiencing homelessness so she participated in Tabor’s housing programs. That was 13 years ago. Today, living in her beautiful apartment, she is employed full-time helping others and is hopeful for her daughters’ futures knowing they won’t ever face what she has.
How They Serve | Tabor Community Services provides tools to empower individuals and families as they successfully face challenges ranging from experiencing homelessness to repaying debt to buying their first home.
Action Plan | Are you a landlord? Partner with Tabor. Are you handy? Volunteer. Are you connected? Advocate.
Communicating dignity and providing opportunities for a brighter tomorrow.
Whether they’re providing food, shelter, or healthcare for Lancaster County’s most vulnerable … helping at risk children learn to love God and love learning … providing teens with a safe, fun environment and leadership training … or caring for their low- income neighbors through food distributed in their Outreach Center … the team at Water Street Mission wants everyone they serve to feel their God-given dignity … to be filled with hope … and experience a brighter tomorrow.
Action Plan | Please consider making an end-of-the- year gift at wsm.org.
Better Access. Better Food. Better Together.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is the largest charitable food provider in Central Pennsylvania. They provide millions of pounds of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to thousands struggling with hunger every month, including more than 50,000 people in Lancaster County. Those that rely on their services include children, seniors, veterans, and working families.
Action Plan | A donation of just $1 can help provide six meals to those facing hunger in our community. Please consider a donation today so that our neighbors can have access to better, more nutritious food. Our community is better together.
Social Mission: SWAN
Each year, Fig partners with a non-profit organization working to transform the community. This year we are partnering with SWAN: Scaling Walls A Note At A Time. SWAN is using music for children in crisis to open a future beyond their wildest dreams.
“MUSIC CAN CHANGE your mood and help you think about things,” shared Anny about her SWAN music classes. “If you are sad, music can brighten your day.”
On any given day in Lancaster, it is estimated that 4,600 children have a parent in prison. The trauma associated with that experience has an impact on them physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and scholastically. SWAN is using music to empower children to rise above their present circumstances.
Willow, an astonishingly precocious 6-year-old, observed that music takes her to a “magical place” where she can have fun with friends and meet new ones. Having been in SWAN for a year now, she said, “I love to perform because it makes me feel confident. It gives me courage. After I perform, I feel happy and have a wonderful memory.” Willow has even developed her own way to conquer pre-performance jitters. She said, “I close my eyes and then I sing.” Majae said, “People love our voices and want to hear us sing.” Tyrell said “Music helps me study. I work to play the drum beats and keep them together with everybody.”
These four children have learned that through music they can brighten their mood, process their feelings, be transported to a magical place, have fun with friends, meet others, perform for community members who love their voices, conquer their nerves, focus, work together, and achieve great goals. They have an outlet that makes them feel better and they are learning how to create a process of rising above difficult and present circumstances. As they continue in SWAN’s program, they will be mentored in resilience and learn to articulate the process. For younger students, experiences make their mark and create pathways to success.
“As someone who experienced the incarceration of caregivers as a child, I was immediately drawn to SWAN’s mission. I value the role educators played in helping me to navigate the childhood trauma. My initial encounter with Diana, and the opportunity to talk with Breanna after her performance at a Lancaster Bar Association fundraising event, reinforced my appreciation for SWAN and its mission to use the magic of music to build student resilience and combat the impact of trauma on our community’s children. This led to an ongoing collaboration between SWAN and the Barley Snyder Education Practice Group, highlighting SWAN’s work in our video ‘The Power of Relationships,’ and my keynote at SWAN’s Make an Extraordinary Difference gala.” – William Zee, Partner and Chair of Barley Snyder Education Practice Group (pictured with students of the SWAN program)
Please consider joining SWAN’s mission so that together we can help more children experience the joy, delight, and success that music brings.
What if you could inspire curiosity in your community?
At the North Museum of Nature and Science, they’re inspiring this generation and the next to explore, understand, question, and reinvent the world around us. Whether you’re a scientist, educator, artist, or star-gazer, the North Museum is a place for all to wonder and be wowed. Inspire the whole family with a visit to the North Museum today—they’re at the corner of College and Buchanan in Lancaster’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
Save The Date | March 28th, 2020! The Cosmic Bash is a celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and the important role it plays in inspiring our local future leaders. Funds raised during the Cosmic Bash help to advance the North Museum’s mission to enable knowledge of nature and science by inspiring individuals, engaging communities and connecting organizations throughout the year.
Make the season merry and bright by…
ADOPTING Give a shelter pet the gift of a loving home for the holidays.
DONATING Spread the joys of the season and donate to the Pennsylvania SPCA‘s Santa Claws & Paws program. Bring any pet food, toys, flea treatment, fleece blankets, and beds, or any other pet care items to the shelter and those items will be made into pet holiday care packages for families in need throughout our community.
VOLUNTEERING Lend a helping hand to the homeless pets in our shelter.