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2012 Ah-Ha Grant Announcements

We are proud to announce grant investments to 21 local community benefit organizations for 24 different programs supporting residents of Lancaster County.

Long Term Creative Solutions Matching Fund

Community First Fund                                                   $80,000

Community First Fund will expand the development of affordable rental and for-sale housing for low and moderate income persons in Lancaster County.  They will work with local developers to develop new affordable housing loan products to support safe, sustainable housing.

Spanish American Civic Association                        $100,000

SACA supports Tec Centro, an innovative bilingual technology center currently in development and partnered with the Lancaster County Work Investment Board and educational providers.  Tec Centro will help to diversify the local labor market and will provide training for high-demand industry jobs, adult basic education and remedial English language skills necessary for employment.

Lancaster County Medical Foundation (PALCO) $60,000

Project Access Lancaster County (PALCO) and Dental Access Lancaster County (DALCO) represent an unprecedented philanthropic network of 905 medical providers and 130 dentists, serving residents of Lancaster County and leveraging existing healthcare resources in the community. The Patient Navigation Program will develop innovative patient navigation interventions to reduce or eliminate health disparities and improve cost-effectiveness.

Community Action Program                                       $90, 851

The Circles program at CAP uses a transformational approach that partners volunteers and community leaders with families wanting to make the journey out of poverty.  Circles engages the community as a whole and builds purposeful relationships across all economic lines. This community-wide approach makes poverty a community-wide problem and lays the groundwork for a community solution.

Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership       $100,000

LHOP is creating LHIFT, a new affordable housing revolving loan program.  LHIFT will raise local funds to replace housing funds that are significantly decreasing by the Federal and State.

Lancaster Education Foundation                                               $69,149

The Community Schools Initiative focuses on an integrated approach of academics, health and social services, youth and economic development.  The Lancaster Education Foundation, SDOL, Compass Mark, Boys and Girls Club, Heads Up, Spanish American Civic Association, YMCA and other organizations work together to improve residents’ well-being and economic stability.  This investment will ultimately ensure SDOL students and their families receive the resources they need to help make Lancaster a truly extraordinarily great community.


Social Enterprise Planning Fund

Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen                                             $15,000

The Guild will teach real craftsmanship techniques to area senior citizens who would use their new found skills to work with others, especially those in need. This membership-style program is a three-way partnership with housing communities and local charities.  As respected members of our community, the seniors would learn, and then use, real skills to create products that go directly to people in need.

Southeast Lancaster Health Services                                      $15,000

SouthEast Lancaster Health is a nonprofit community health system striving to meet the medical and dental needs of our uninsured, underinsured and all of our community members.  Over 90% of our 20,000+ patients require pharmaceuticals in order to heal or maintain wellness.  Community Health Centers have found it beneficial to establish a pharmacy to 1) pass savings onto our patients and 2) generate a sustainable income source to underwrite our costly mission.

Bethany Christian Services                                                          $10,000

In collaboration with Good Stuff Thrift, Bethany Christian Services of Central PA (BCS) is interested in creating social enterprise by establishing a thrift store in Lancaster.  This project will enable Safe Families for Children PLUS (SFFC PLUS) to become self sustaining, while significantly supporting, 4 partners: Cross Connection Ministries, TNT Youth Ministry, Water Street Ministries, and The Factory Youth Ministries.

Crispus Attucks Community Center                                         $10,000

The Crispus Attucks Cultural Kitchen will be a training ground for aspiring chefs. It will function as a kitchen, classroom and business endeavor, able to turn a profit through the creation and distribution of a local food product that will be sold to restaurants.


Ah-Ha Seed Fund                                                                       

Congregation Shaarai Shomayim                                              $5,000

The summer enrichment program will train a diverse group of high-school students to serve at-risk middle school students in a supportive educational and social environment. Students will be primarily from refugee families.  Students will maintain the reading and language skills during the summer vacation, a time when English as a Second Language students can lose as much as 60% of what they learned during the school year.

Crispus Attucks Community Center                                         $5,000

The program will provide private violin lessons for 8 disadvantaged students from George Washington and King Elementary schools who would otherwise be unable to further develop their musical skills. These children have already exhibited discipline and dedication to learning an instrument (as demonstrated by their involvement in a string ensemble) and have performed publicly throughout Lancaster City.  In collaboration with J.P. McCaskey’s high school’s gospel choir director, orchestra and band members be selected to attend a leadership training course and become student mentors and leaders for the younger students

Girls on the Run                                                                               $5,000

Girls on the Run will develop a Junior Coaching Program for girls in grades 9-12 after they “age out” of the current Girls on the Run program. The new program will engage and involve teenage girls in leadership opportunities as coaches and provide them the tools to continue the outcomes that  improve girls’ self-esteem, attitude towards physical activity and body image.

Lancaster County Conservancy                                                  $5,000

The Lancaster County Conservancy is partnering with Franklin & Marshall, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to provide a learning experience and leadership opportunity for students of Lancaster County.  Upstream/Downstream will provide an outdoor experience for students which link what happens upstream in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with downstream impacts on the Chesapeake Bay.


Capacity Building Fund

Lancaster County Council of Churches                                   $10,000

The organization will develop a new website to effectively continue helping our neighbors in need and encouraging self-sufficiency in a sustainable and meaningful way for residents of Lancaster County.

North Museum                                                                                 $10,000

North Museum of Natural History & Science will engage support for capital campaign during the same year that 60th anniversary celebrations of both the Museum and the North Museum Science & Engineering Fair, Lancaster County’s premier science competition.

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design                                    $10,000

The College will invest in new market research to increase meaningful student enrollment. Recommendations will be used to develop strategic and tactical recruitment plans. Enrollment goals will produce $1.25 million dollars of additional economic activity in the community.

Water Street Health Services                                                    $10,000

The grant will fund market research that will: identify mental health centers of excellence in the US; identify best practices for integrating mental health care into primary care settings; and conduct subject matter expert interviews. The new model will start immediately, impacting over 2000 patients.

Haldeman Mansion Preservation Society                            $5,000

The historic Haldeman Mansion, home to S.S. Haldeman, world renowned American naturalist and linguist of the 19th century, will document key architectural features and structural conditions, create a roadmap for restoration activity and develop strategies for interpretation and public education and outreach.


Creative Solutions Matching Fund

Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation                           $50,000

A diverse collaboration of local organizations will create and build a centralized information and referral center through which health care providers, educators, child care professionals, parents and care givers can get practical information that will enable them to better access and navigate children’s behavioral health services.

Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen                                             $50,000

The Guild will bring the Center of American Craft into the soul of our community: a vibrant, accessible and affordable destination for craft education for all levels of Lancaster area youth, adults and seniors. The Center will provide real craft technique education to stimulate intellectual growth and emotional enrichment, recognizing that doing so honors our natural, and instinctively personal, desire for artistic expression.  The making of craft enriches individual lives and thus the lives of others, resulting in a sought-after community resource that will forever burgeon into social, economic and cultural benefits for all.

St. Joseph Health Ministries                                                      $50,000

St. Joseph Health Ministries will increase access to children’s preventive dental care in Columbia, PA. They will expand from a school-based mobile dental program to include a program serving children from birth through five years (kindergarten entry) from low-income families within the Columbia community who are either insured through Medicaid or uninsured for dental.

Bethany Christian Services                                                          $40,000

Safe Families for Children PLUS is an extension of Safe Families for Children, that focuses solely on transitional-age youth (17-22) needing support.  SFFC PLUS provides a network of host families from which youth select and have access to a “family.”  Youth are empowered to choose how they can best be supported by families. Support may include talking/texting by phone; meeting for meals; transportation, belongings storage; life skills support, overnight visits, or celebration of holidays and important events.

Big Brothers Big Sisters                                                                 $25,520

Path to Success is a tiered mentoring program matching children at risk of school failure in third grade with a student at risk of dropping out on Middle School.  This pair will engage in the traditional school based program and be supported by professionals.  The Middle School student will then be matched with a Big in the community based program.  The adult Big will meet with the younger student as well.  These relationships will help both at risk students achieve high school graduation.

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