— From the pages of FLL Issue #32
Today’s world isn’t an easy place to live in. There are so many of us who look for hope, a helping hand and basic creature comforts on a daily basis. Charity organizations are the real-life fairy godmothers who are there for us in our time of need. They provide a multitude of services that lift us up, make us feel better, and enrich our lives. They consistently close the cracks that so many of us fall into when we experience pain and suffering. Here are just a few of the many exceptional charities who continue to make our world just a little bit easier to cope with.
TABOR COMMUNITY SERVICES
This charity celebrates its forty-sixth year of assisting the residents of Lancaster County in rebuilding their lives by focusing on housing solutions, financial counseling and community revitalization. Their Financial and Home Ownership Services Program teaches residents the skills they need to implement solutions on improving their housing and financial status. Tabor offers consumer credit counseling, first time home buyer services, as well as mortgage and foreclosure counseling. They also provide rental counseling to those who find themselves in a homeless situation and seek independent lives once again. The TLC program at Tabor features the Family Emergency Shelter Program for families in need, Veterans Victory House that provides housing for veterans and their families, the Re-Entry Management Organization and rooms for the general homeless population. You can also volunteer or participate in one of their many events such as the annual Dream Ride.
HUMANE LEAGUE OF LANCASTER COUNTY
When it’s time to think about owning a pet, there are many options to choose from. It is good to know that there are folks in this area that choose to look for their new pet at the Humane League of Lancaster first. In its infancy, the then called Women’s Humane League of Lancaster’s mission was to prevent cruelty to children, girls, aged persons and animals. Many years and committees later, the organization changed its name to the Humane League of Lancaster County and reshaped its structure to focus solely on animals. With an incredibly dedicated staff and many caring volunteers, the League successfully manages a variety of animals. Becoming involved in the Humane League can mean volunteering your time, being a corporate sponsor, fund raising, or community outreach and education. Annual events such as the League’s Tailwagger’s Trot, Puts for Pets, Pints for Pups and the always elegant annual Henry C. Brandt Memorial Wags & Whiskers Event offer something for literally everyone.
LANCASTER AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Folks who are looking to put “sweat equity” into owning a new or remodeled home seek the help of Habitat for Humanity whose mission is to bring people together to build homes, community and hope. Habitat has served hundreds of Lancaster County residents since 1986. Families who qualify complete five hundred hours of home building sweat equity, working alongside local volunteers. They then receive financial education and home ownership counseling. The program has been successful for many years and continues to make dreams come true for residents who may never have had the opportunity to own their own home. Those who are looking for building materials can visit Habitat’s store called “ReStore” which specializes in reselling new or gently-used building supplies and materials to the public. If you are handy with a hammer and would like to volunteer, contact Habitat for one of the most enriching experiences: helping people reach their home ownership dreams.
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA FOOD BANK
It is difficult for one to grasp that although we live in one of the richest farmland areas in the state, there are those of us that will not be eating dinner tonight because we cannot afford to buy food. Luckily, there are organizations such as the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) to provide sustenance for the hungry. The Bank’s roots were shaped in 1981 on World Food Day. What began as a project demonstration, eventually became one of the most important organizations in the state for fighting hunger. CPFB serves twenty seven counties in PA donating food and grocery items to food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Among some of the items that are most needed are canned meats and stews, baby food, soup, peanut butter and packaged pasta. All items donated must be in good condition. There are volunteer opportunities as well. Anne Frank wrote “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” How wonderful indeed it is to have the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank helping the needs of hungry Pennsylvanians.
Renee Valentine had a vision in 1998 when she opened Milagro House. She wanted to give hope to homeless women and their children by providing a home for them. That year, she succeeded in housing four women and six children in a home on South Christian Street, Lancaster. And that was just the beginning. Several homes were later purchased as well as an education center. Milagro House has grown to be one of the most successful agencies in the area by providing not only housing, but also education to homeless women and their children. Partnerships have been created with local companies such as Lancaster General College to educate disadvantaged women for careers in the medical field. GED education has been offered to residents since 2004. There is always an ongoing need for volunteers. The annual “Evening of Miracles” event is in honor of the families that call Milagro House their home. The opportunity to rebuild one’s life becomes a more reachable goal because of the programs and staff of Milagro House.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
In 1913, when a person was diagnosed with cancer, they were more than likely to die from the disease than not. A group of prominent physicians and business leaders in New York City decided it was time to form an organization that would bring attention and awareness to the disease that attacks the body, regardless of age, race or religious belief. As a result, the American Society for the Control of Cancer was formed. Although the name was later changed to the American Cancer Society, this organization has not dropped one beat over the years in its relentless pursuit to educate the public and continue cancer research. And, thanks in part to the Cancer Society, two out of every three people diagnosed with cancer survive at least five years. The Lancaster branch of the American Cancer Society continues that pursuit by providing information and awareness to county residents. You can get involved by participating or volunteering at events such as Relay for Life and the annual Legacy Ball.
SCHREIBER PEDIATRIC REHAB CENTER
In 1936, this nationally accredited organization began its life as the Society for Crippled Children and Adults and was headed by Executive Director, Edna Schreiber. After a brief association with the National Easter Seals Society, the organization later changed its name to Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center in honor of Edna Schreiber. Today, the center continues Edna’s legacy by providing children who ages range from birth to twenty-one years with services such as physical, occupational and speech-language therapy, preschool and daycare. The center also offers recreational and family support respite care programs. Schreiber holds several events throughout the year. Their Annual Gala, Coffee Day, Softball Weekend, Golf Outing, and “Schreiberpalooza” are fun events for everyone to participate in. And, of course, the Rubber Ducky Race is a huge hit with the kids. Schreiber is “Helping children turn disabilities into abilities every day.”