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More than $300,000 awarded throughout Lancaster County

We are honored to share that $308,900 in grants have been awarded to help fund a wide variety of projects. With help from volunteer grant reviewers, and through the power of our community’s endowment, these funds are working to provide individuals with service animals, support early education in STEM, bolster leadership development, find solutions for refugee housing, combat hate and prejudice, foster cognitive, social and emotional growth in youth, and inspire residents and communities of color to become leaders of conservation, among numerous other amazing projects!

Passion Grants

 Passion Grants convert The Community Foundation’s donors’ passions into impact through supporting programming in a broad range of focus areas including: human services, the environment, restoring historical structures, clean water, human rights/inclusion, the arts, preschool child development, and projects in Eastern Lancaster County.

The John J. Snyder Fund is a specific type of passion grant meant for the preservation of historical buildings. This fund has a separate application and evaluation criteria.

Learn More About This Program



Passion Grant Awards (Click to expand)

Ada F. Harr Fund 

Canine Partners for Life


Canine Service Dogs for Home Health  

Since 1989, Canine Partners for Life has increased the independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities by training and placing full service, medical alert, and companion dogs to assist these individuals. The mission is achieved through the CPL Breeding Program, Community and Prison Puppy Raising Program, Service Dog Training Program, Team Training, and Graduate Support Program. This project will provide training for 1 service or companion dog and support for the lifetime of the partnership, ensuring in home health support, improved quality of life, and independence.

Anne C. & W. Franklin Ressler

CrossNet Ministries          


CNM Community Food and Nutrition Program

CrossNet seeks to provide access to food and promote education and healthy living to individuals of all ages in the Eastern Lancaster County community who lack access to food, through the following programs:

  • Community Food Pantry (providing nutritious food options for an average of 580 individuals/160 households per month).
  • Free Summer Lunch Program (10,000 lunches served to an average of 165 students).
  • Buddy Bag Program (weekend meal solution for children grades K-6, which served up to 195 students weekly).
  • CrossNet Meal Packs (weekend meals for an average of 130 children, and their parents/guardians).

Girls on the Run of Lancaster and Lebanon


GOTR Lancaster Scholarship Support for Girls in the Eastern Lancaster County School Districts        

Girls on the Run Lancaster has fun, evidence-based programs that inspire all girls to build their confidence, kindness, and decision-making skills. Their dynamic lessons instill valuable life skills including the important connection between physical and emotional health. Funding from this grant will provide scholarships to support girls in their Fall 2023 season from Eastern Lancaster County, which is of great need. Financial assistance is essential to keeping their program accessible to girls from all backgrounds.

Lighthouse Vocational Services


Employment Services for Individuals with Disabilities   

Lighthouse’s Employment Services program, headquartered in Eastern Lancaster County, assists individuals with developmental disabilities ready to seek work in integrated settings in the marketplace. To improve their economic freedom and quality of life, participants are supported by certified Employment Specialists in exploring different types of work and seeking and retaining direct employment based on their career interests and skills. Funding from the Anne C. & W. Franklin Ressler Fund will cover costs to expand this highly demanded ongoing program, including hiring additional personnel.

Better Lancaster Fund

Lancaster Recreation Commission    


Enriching Education and Development for City of Lancaster Children      

Lancaster Recreation Commission’s early childhood education programs provide key learning opportunities and critical childcare for children in the City of Lancaster, primarily for families from low-income households. To keep their tuition rates within reach of working families, they often have to forgo the purchase of new equipment and materials to maintain their fiscal sustainability, so as not to pass on the expense to their families. Resources from the Better Lancaster Fund would help them with new materials, technology and equipment they need to help their students shine bright and prepare for their academic futures.

Lancaster Science Factory            


Hands-On STEM Pre-K Outreach Program

This funding will enable the Science Factory to bring their hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs to local Pre-K providers that directly serve low-income students. The workshops, which last for approximately one hour, will be led by 1-2 of the Science Factory’s staff educators and will be offered free of charge to Pre-K providers serving families and children with demonstrated financial need. The program will consist of a four-workshop series, where children will engage in completing hands-on projects while learning about the STEM concepts inherent in items such as wrecking balls, noisemakers, rafts, and more..

The Factory Ministries      


Brave Kids Early Learning

Brave Kids Early Learning equips children to enter kindergarten by empowering parents to be their first teachers and creating positive connections with school and community. In collaboration with the Pequea Valley School District, they engage with families of preschool-aged children to establish trust and assess their needs. Families receive Kindergarten Readiness Kits, specially designed to enhance parent-child interaction, promote early literacy, and foster a love for learning. Given that 57% of PVSD learners qualify for free or reduced lunch, this program plays a crucial role in assisting families in overcoming the educational disadvantages caused by low income.

Florence Starr Taylor/Lancaster Arts & Culture/Eloise Aurand Fund


Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts


Being Seen: Visibility & Access in Visual Arts           

For this program, this organization will select a cohort of 5 historically underserved visual artists, including BIPOC, queer, differently-abled, refugee, and other marginalized groups. Collaborating with the artists, they will design 3 significant professional development opportunities, led by other underserved individuals and open to the public, to promote personal and professional growth, as well as enhance marketability.

Afterward, the program will assist the cohort artists in identifying and securing specific supports to foster their growth, such as funding for travel to conferences and exhibits, workshops or seminars to improve their craft, and technology to establish a strong online presence. The cohort members will also share the knowledge and resources they’ve gained with other artists during a culminating training event.

John J. Snyder, Jr. Fund for Historic Preservation


Ephrata Development Org DBA Mainspring of Ephrata      


Restoration and Repairs to the “Griddle & Grind” Historic Building      

The Griddle & Grind building was constructed in 1883. Funds from the grant will help cover paint and repair of outside trim, soffit / fascia, and shutters, and replace the original first floor windows with windows that meet preservation guidelines. These fund will also replace their 28 year old AC units in the attic and basement with modern, efficient heat pumps. The current tenant, Griddle & Grind Creperie, is a woman- and LGBTQ+-owned business. These improvements will increase the assessed value of the property, preserve a historic Ephrata building, and better ensure the success of their tenant’s business.

Katherine K. Gaeth


Bethany Christian Services of Central PA       


Refugee Housing            

The current housing crisis prevents newly arriving refugees from becoming self-sufficient in a timely manner, as housing is a requirement for employment. Bethany has partnered with Christ’s Home in Paradise, Lancaster County, to lease a neighboring 4,600 square foot duplex for this population. Barriers to self-sufficiency are removed by providing them with temporary housing until permanent housing becomes available. The duplex can house 20 individuals at a time (10 per unit; 8 bedrooms per unit). 3-6-month stays are anticipated. Funding is needed to meet the annual lease agreement of $60,000.

Lancaster Environmental Fund


Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay


Urban Green Infrastructure and Rain Barrel Pilot

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) proposes to pilot a rain barrel and conservation landscaping program in Lancaster City to empower residents to embrace green infrastructure on their own property with focused engagement and implementation within disadvantaged neighborhoods.

This project would not only infuse the environmental health benefits of green infrastructure into neighborhoods experiencing acute gaps in greenspace, but also inspire residents and communities of color to become leaders of conservation work to further invest in the health and wellness of their communities.

Patrick Kenney, Jr. and K.L. Shirk Fund


Music For Everyone


Songs for Justice Youth Leadership Edition

Songs for Justice Youth Edition is a partnership with the students of the Mix at Arbor Place. This will be the creation of a Songs for Justice record completely created by youth. Students will identify an issue of social justice that they want to elevate. Students will then create an original song for side A, and a spoken word for side B. These will then be mixed and recorded by them. Students will also create original artwork to accompany the record. This is a chance for youth to raise their voices to issues of justice that are important to their generation.


Parish Resource Center


Cherry Academy 2024: Healthcare

Every year, PRC hosts a year-long series of community learning opportunities called the William Cherry Memorial Academy. In 2024, the theme of the Academy is Healthcare and they are bringing experts, both local and national, to offer a wide range of panels, workshops, trainings, and speaking events that will engage people across the social, political, and economic spectrum. Through education and honest conversation, they hope to help move Lancastrians towards a better understanding of healthcare access and coordinate a medical debt forgiveness campaign.

Sam & Verda Taylor Fund


Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts


Millersville University Children & Youth Performing Arts Project

This project offers a variety of creative arts experiences for children and youth– a range of opportunities for creating, learning about, and participating in the rich cultural life of their community. A deep commitment to reaching underserved and marginalized people drives their work, the performancesthey host, the educational programming they develop, and the many ways they assure representation and access for everyone, regardless of income, race, gender, or ability. Their program fosters aesthetic, cognitive, social and emotional growth and makes children full citizens of their cultural landscape.

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