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The online Fig calendar is a curated list of community events happening in Downtown Lancaster.
From the leaders who are paving the way for change to the volunteers and staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes, the faces behind Lancaster nonprofits are an essential part of what makes our community special. In each of their unique roles, they are on a mission to make our city a more inclusive, equitable place so everyone who calls Lancaster home can thrive.
Use our 2023 Giving Back Guide to discover local nonprofits doing work that you are passionate about and become part of their teams by supporting them during the ExtraGive on November 17, your year-end giving, and beyond.
Since its founding, Acorn Acres has been giving their furry patients a second chance at life in the wild while educating humans on the importance of keeping healthy populations in our environments. They offer squirrels, rabbits, and other wild animals a clean, quiet, and predator-free space to grow, thrive, and recover.
They are powered solely by volunteers and 100 percent of their care is paid for by donations. Help them help our wildlife friends!
Anchor Lancaster strives to be a good neighbor by providing a hot breakfast and warm showers every weekday, while aiding with other essential needs. One way they do this is through the work of Connor Doyle, the staff Case Manager. Connor helps guests navigate a variety of services such as rent, utilities, social services, shelter and housing, transportation, and employment. These duties are at the heart of Anchor Lancaster’s mission to offer a welcoming, safe environment, receiving guests with dignity, respect, and compassion.
“We’re here to be a light in a dark world—a comfort, a helping hand, someone to walk with others through their struggles of homelessness, eviction, and crisis.”
– Connor Doyle
A key resource in the mental health community in Lancaster, Arch Street Center isn’t just a place for people to go—it’s a place where they can belong. For 40 years, their membership-based programming gives adults living with serious mental illness access to structured programs, offsite activities, meals, laundry and shower facilities, and a community of caring staff. Find ways you can support and partner with them online.
Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster plays an integral part in the community by giving children a safe and consistent place to belong after school. For just one dollar per year, nearly 2,000 children receive homework help, enrichment activities, caring adults, and a hot nutritious meal. Your support gives life-changing opportunities to children in the community. When you support the Club today, you give the promise of a brighter tomorrow to a child. Your support makes all the difference!
At Bright Side Opportunities Center, they believe every day is a new opportunity. Whether it’s health and fitness, education and leadership development, or youth and senior programs—they are committed to helping people thrive emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Donating to Bright Side fosters the innovators of tomorrow. Sponsor a girl’s journey into coding, ensuring she has the tools to thrive in the tech world and close the gender gap, or empower a middle schooler’s passion for STEM by helping to fund their programs. Your contribution can also help upgrade their facility to meet community needs, sponsor upcoming events, and combat food insecurities. Be a catalyst for positive change in the community—every dollar makes a difference.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is a nonprofit organization committed to ending hunger in 27 counties across central Pennsylvania. By working with more than 1,100 local agencies and programs, they serve more than 202,500 people in need each month through two Healthy Food Hubs, located in Harrisburg and Williamsport. When you give to the Food Bank, you empower change for tomorrow.
For 34 years, the Clinic for Special Children has been providing innovative care for families facing rare genetic disease in Lancaster County, and now they are looking forward to a brand new chapter. With their Keeping the Promise: Building Hope capital campaign, the clinic is transforming 10 acres near Intercourse, Pennsylvania into a new, state-of-the-art facility that will allow them to provide affordable and personalized care for challenging medical cases across Lancaster County and the world for many years to come. They need your help to raise final funds for the campaign so they can open the new clinic in spring 2024—a place of comfort and hope for generations to come.
Whether it’s a family who is working to be reunited with their child, a family who is loving a child unconditionally until that can happen, a family who embraces a lifelong journey of adoption, or a family who wants to support other families through giving—all families matter at COBYS Family Services.
Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS delivers foster care, adoption, counseling, and family life education services with compassion, dignity, and hope.
Jason McKinney and his team at D.I.V.E. are on a mission to give men in Lancaster a fresh start from addiction, incarceration, homelessness, and other types of hardship. Through the Lancaster City-based residential program, D.I.V.E. clients have the opportunity for transitional housing, budgeting and financial education, job search assistance, food assistance, and faith development. 87 Learn more about how you can make a change in someone’s life.
Serving individuals with developmental disabilities and autism from birth into adulthood, Excentia Human Services believes in enhancing the lives of those who join their programs. Whether through therapeutic and educational services before kids go to school or residential and supported employment services after they graduate, Excentia Human Services is creating opportunities for all and transforming a more inclusive community.
Friendship Heart Gallery & Studio, an extension of Friendship Community, is a nonprofit creative arts studio for adult artists with Intellectual Disability and Autism celebrating personalities and talents through free expression and collaboration. Over sixty unique Artists work with professional instructors and volunteers, in addition to visiting community artists, to create and sell artistic masterpieces while developing a sense of purpose, value, freedom, and joy. They offer instructional art classes five days a week at two separate studio locations using various techniques and both traditional and unconventional media.
All students deserve the opportunity to succeed. More than a summer camp, Horizons at LCDS makes learning interesting, with teachers investing in students year after year to give them an equitable boost on their educational journey. Many of these Lancaster City students come back each summer for 10+ years and build their own successful futures because of what this 100 percent donor-funded program gives them. Support a student by expanding their learning opportunities.
Did you know children with a cleft palate are more likely to experience dental issues? That’s why the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic has pediatric dentists as part of their team care approach. They’ve been serving Lancaster and beyond for 85 years, and as their programs expand, they rely on partnerships with the community. Community support and partnerships ensure they never turn away a child for care and are able to provide care into adulthood.
“The Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic is truly one of the treasures of Lancaster for over 85 years. I enjoy being part of the team.” – Peter J. Ross, D.M.D.
Lancaster County Food Hub knows that more can be accomplished when everyone works together. For more than 75 years, their team of staff and volunteers help neighbors thrive through sharing the resources they need most: food, clothing, and shelter all with faith & compassion. They served 45,000 neighbors last year providing free food, clothing, shelter, and outreach services, and with the support of the community, they will serve 25 percent more Lancaster neighbors than ever in their history this year.
Founded as the Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation in 1982 by the Lancaster City and County Medical Society, Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum, as it became known by in 2019, opened to the public on Lime Street in 2022. Their passionate Board and founders have been with the organization since the beginning and are excited to bring the legacy of Lancaster’s healthcare professionals and milestones to the community. With historical exhibits and engaging events, this nonprofit museum is a hub for learning from the past and looking towards the future.
Lancaster Science Factory is on a mission to instill a love of creative learning through hands-on STEM programming and workshops for kids in Pre-K to 8th grade and their families. With interactive exhibits, including the remarkable High Foundation Sky Bridge, at their Lancaster City facility as well as outreach programs to inspire even more curious kids, they are building a better tomorrow by promoting discovery and sparking confidence for everyone they serve.
“We’re all told to follow our dreams and do what we love, but it was not really my math and science classes in school that made me love STEM as a kid. It was places like the Lancaster Science Factory that got me excited and made science fun.”
– Haley Myer, Development Engineer at Advanced Cooling Technologies (LSF volunteer and former visitor)
Celebrating 25 years! Milagro House serves women with children facing homelessness and living in poverty. While providing them with safe housing, Milagro House’s unique model has educational attainment and advancement at its core. Case management, mental health support, life skills training, and career development round out their holistic approach, providing those they serve with a path to a brighter future.
With a mission to ensure animals are safe and thriving for more than a decade, Pet Pantry of Lancaster County is an important animal welfare resource for the community. Through three key initiatives, they support local furry friends in need.
Feed: Providing emergency and longer-term pet food assistance to those in need, Pet Pantry keeps pets happy, healthy, and safe in their homes and with their loving families.
Fix: Through their lower-cost spay and neuter services and trap, neuter, return (TNR) program for feral cats, Pet Pantry keep pets healthy by reducing pet overpopulation.
Rescue: Connecting families to their newest additions, Pet Pantry works to find caring furever homes for deserving animals in need.
For 108 years, the Rotary Club of Lancaster has been investing in the local community through their funding and their time. Who is Rotary? They’re your friends and your neighbors who take a hands-on approach to caring for their community and work side by side to make Lancaster a better place for everyone. It’s where leaders serve. Join Rotary and learn the rewards of giving back!
“If you’re ready to engage with others to serve the Lancaster community, you’re ready to be part of the Rotary Club of Lancaster.” – Beth Trout, President
Label Olan Delgado is just one of SACA’s many success stories. She and her husband, David Rodriquez Cortes, have benefitted from both SACA’s Homeownership Program and Tec Centro’s workforce development services. They are now proud homeowners of a Conestoga North townhouse and have been able to find quality employment that pays a living wage. Supporting SACA helps more families like Label and David find success in Lancaster!
Schreiber serves more than 4,000 children every year, providing outpatient pediatric therapy services, including occupational, physical, speech-language, and behavioral therapy, for children starting from birth to 21 years old. Their dedicated team of therapists work to help them achieve their fullest potential, and the kids at Schreiber make great strides each and every day. Thanks to generous partners who support the work of Schreiber, children like Katelyn have access to resources that allow their unique capabilities to shine.
“By helping her gain a better understanding of who she is and how she sounds, I’ve watched her confidence soar. She’s opened herself up to new opportunities, like playing the viola in her school orchestra.” – Katelyn’s Therapist
Did you know more than 81,000 children in Pennsylvania have a parent incarcerated in a state prison? SWAN exists to support these children by cultivating their gifts and helping them succeed. Partnering with SWAN supports the free music lessons, ensemble training, performance opportunities, and mentoring from local music teachers that each school-aged child in their program receives.
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a program of United Way of Lancaster County, recently opened its doors to serve those living in Lancaster City. Established at 245 West King Street as part of Landis Place on King, VITA will provide year-round services for any tax needs. VITA is continuing to expand their services and capacity to reach more Lancastrians, including increasing their income threshold to $70,000 to serve more individuals and families. It’s just one way the United Way is giving, advocating, and volunteering in Lancaster.
Lancaster is a hub of business and nonprofit partnerships, working together behind the scenes to help meet the needs of the community. One example of this is how Water Street Mission and Creative Packaging Solutions work together. Tucked in the SoWe neighborhood, Creative Packaging Solutions is a powerhouse of collaboration, sharing their time, talent, and treasure with local organizations. Recently, their team hosted a tour of their business for local pre-teens and teens, teaching them about robotics and engineering as a career. They even donated kits to help teens make their own robots. “Whether it’s in volunteering behind the scenes, sponsoring events, or using their contacts to support us, their attitude is always, ‘How can we help?’” says Sandy Gambone, Water Street Mission’s Senior Business Ambassador.
“We can’t believe how far we’ve come, and it’s important to us to get involved in the community where we live and work. We believe in what Water Street is doing. It’s a fantastic organization that really goes above and beyond for the underserved.” – Tom Wapinsky, Partner, Creative Packaging Solutions