Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How Elizabethtown can be extraordinary

If you're familiar with the Lancaster County Community Foundation and its Extraordinary Give, you know that people rally around nonprofits in the county for 24 hours in November and donate millions of dollars.

It's a remarkable event, and it's a boon to the hundreds of nonprofits that participate. Downtown Lancaster gets into the spirit all day long, and there are evening parties where people can mingle, network and donate to their favorite causes and charities.

Last year, I scrolled through the leaderboard after the event to see what charities here in Elizabethtown had participated. There were about 20, including the Elizabethtown Public Library, GEARS, the Winters Hertitage House, Brittany's Hope, the Naaman Center and others.

Of all those organizations, which unarguably and undoubtedly do great work in the community, Brittany's Hope raised the most during the Extraordinary Give. The total was $42,320. The library had the largest number of individual donors, with 146. Some organizations didn't receive anything,

As a community member, I was distressed. Why couldn't Elizabethtown rally around its organizations, generate excitement about the work they do and raise some significant dollars for the community?

That's why this week I was pleased to be invited to a meeting with representatives from several organizations that are participating this year. With help from the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce, there's a concerted effort to raise awareness about the Extraordinary Give and the local participants. We've started a Facebook page called E-town Extraordinary Give (please visit it, like it and share it with your friends, family and colleagues), and there's talk about at least doing one event on Nov. 20. Stay tuned!

I'm excited about it because I know there's a strong commitment to the Elizabethtown, and with some effort leading up to the Extraordinary Give we can support our local nonprofits and see extraordinary things happen in the community.

Here's a list of the participating organizations this year. They are organizations that are based in the Elizabethtown and/or provide services to the community:

2nd Chance 4 Life Rescue
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lancaster County
Brittany's Hope
Community First Fund
Cornerstone Youth Center
Elizabethtown Child Care Center
Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown Public Library
Gretna Music
Haldeman Mansion
Hope Within Community Health Center
Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity
Masonic Children's Home
Mount Calvary Christian School
Naaman Center
Northwest EMS
Samara: Nurture and Education for Parents
SCORE Lancaster
Winters Heritage House Museum

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