SAAL members strongly believe in giving back to the Lancaster County community.
A recent survey of SAAL members revealed food, children’s education and healthcare as the top areas of interest, when asked about how they would like to give back to the community. During this ongoing COVID19 Pandemic, SAAL has raised funds for Lancaster County Food Hub, and currently, is organizing Covid Vaccine clinics.
Below is the information about a few organizations in Lancaster County where you can volunteer. SAAL members, adults and children are involved in these and other organizations in the Lancaster County. You can join them too! Please visit their websites to see their work and how you can get involved.
AARON’S ACRES, Lancaster PA
Since 1998, Aaron’s Acres has provided children and young adults with disabilities something very unique—possibility. The possibility to learn, to grow, and to succeed despite any challenges. They serve every family with the primary goal to provide social and recreational programs that nurture important socialization and communication skills. All children regardless of ability can partake in the Aaron’s Acres experience.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Adults can become a Dream Maker by joining the Dream Makers Program. Please see their website for more details. https://aaronsacres.org/ways-to-support/dream-makers/
Teenagers can join the Aaron’s Angels, a group of young people who participate in activities and serve as advocates for the organization in the community. Currently, the meetings are being conducted through Zoom. Please contact them 717-917-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
SAFE COMMUNITIES, Lancaster PA
Safe Communities works towards building communities where all children and teens are free from sexual abuse, and survivors are empowered to live healthy, joyful and vibrant lives. With support from the Lancaster Cares fund, Safe Communities, in collaboration with the Spanish American Civic Association, Penn Medicine/LG Health, and Joining Forces for Children, launched Standing Together, a bi-lingual campaign. This campaign is focused on educating adults in our community about child safety in four areas where COVID-19 isolation exposes them to increased risk: sexual abuse, living in a home with substance abuse, mental health, and the coronavirus itself.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Because of COVID19, many of our children are at risk since they do not have a more routine contact with mandated reporters like teachers, school staff, school nurse, etc. who are trained to watch out for signs of child abuse. It is urgent that parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other adults in our community learn to recognize a child’s distress when they see certain behavioral indicators, and reach out with care and support, even if they are not certain of what is happening.
Please help spread these safety messages by sharing them on social media, with your staff, volunteers, and clients! Download the Standing Together campaign material in English or Spanish to share or print!
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF LANCASTER COUNTY, Lancaster PA
Their mission is to promote optimal mental health through advocacy,education, and support. Loneliness and depression along with other mental issues are on the rise, specially during COVID19 as people are facing different hardships and isolation.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
People can join their Community Support Program where Lancaster County residents, mental health professionals and family members meet once a month to share what is happening in our local community regarding mental health. You can share your interest and/or expertise to work on ways to “get the word out” about recovery from mental illness through education, events, and involvement in provider meetings.
Read more about the Community Support Program (CSP) program on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website.
Lancaster’s CSP meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:30 AM. Meetings are held at the Arch Street Center, 629 N Market St, Lancaster, PA 17603. All are welcome! Please contact Peer Educator, Sue Tushingham, at email@example.com for more information.