Harrisburg foundation awards more than $222,000 in nonprofit grants

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities earmarked $222,405 in grants to 32 greater Harrisburg and surrounding area nonprofit organizations. 

Projects will start between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Grant recipients are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits or utilize a fiscal sponsor. 

Here’s who received funding: 

  • Children’s Home Foundation Fund awarded eight grantees a total of $25,500: Dauphin County CASA ($5,000), Gamut Theatre ($2,000), HANNA Foundation ($2,500), Harrisburg Symphony Association ($4,000), Join Hands Ministry ($2,000), Left Out Organization Program ($4,000), Setebaid Services Inc. ($3,000) and Tri County Community Action ($3,000). 
  • The Kids Trust Fund awarded $71,659 total to 10 organizations: Children Aid Society, Southern PA District-Church of Brethren ($6,000), Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County ($15,000), Dauphin County CASA ($6,000), Harrisburg Area YMCA ($7,412), Hoffman Homes Inc. ($2,500), Leg Up Farm Inc. ($4,692), Perry County Council of the Arts ($3,000), Sexual Assault Resource & Counseling Center of Lebanon & Schuylkill Counties ($11,000), Summer Program for Youth ($12,955) and the YWCA of York ($3,100). 
  • Perry County Community Foundation awarded a combined $58,747 to 15 organizations: Capital Area Girls on the Run ($2,312.90), Central Pennsylvania Food Bank ($2.912.90), Duncannon Senior Citizens Center ($2,000), Employment Skills Center ($3,000), Historical Society of Perry County ($3,125), Join Hands Ministry ($3,500), Junior Achievement of South Central PA  ($2,413), Keystone System Services ($6,198), Leaf Project Inc. ($7,000), Marysville-Rye Library Association ($182), PennCares ($1,611), Perry County Council of the Arts ($6,800), Setebaid Services Inc. ($3,192), Tri-County Community Action ($10,000) and United Way of the Capital Region ($4,500). 
  • Harold M. Greaney Fund awarded a total of $19,500 to 12 organizations: Central Perry Community Senior Citizens Center, Inc. ($2,250), Historical Society of Perry County ($1,500), Homeland Hospice ($2,000), Keystone System Services ($500), Marysville-Rye Library Association ($1,600), New Hope Ministries ($2,000), Newport Public Library ($1,511), Perry County Council of the Arts ($2,500), Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg ($1,000), Setebaid Services Inc. ($1,004), Susquenita School Band ($2,000) and The Perry Historians ($1,635). 
  • Pennsylvania Disability Advocacy Fund awarded $45,000 total to three organizations: Disability Rights Pennsylvania ($15,000), Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation ($15,000) and The Arc of Pennsylvania ($15,000). 
  • Emerging Philanthropist Program Endowment Fund awarded $2,000 to Westshore Wildlife Center. 

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer. 

Community First Fund officially opens credit union 

Community First Fund officially opened the first branch of its Community First Fund Federal Credit Union in Lancaster. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Community First Fund, an independent nonprofit community loan fund, hosted an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the first branch of its Community First Fund Federal Credit Union.  

The goal of the credit union at 51 S. Duke St., Lancaster, is “to create financial equity and economic mobility for individuals and families, especially African Americans, Latinos, immigrants and women,” according to a release. “The credit union’s mission is supported through access to consumer financial products and education that improve personal financial stability and provide opportunities to obtain quality, affordable housing.” 

Community First Fund started the credit union because national research shows 27% of U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked, including nearly 50% of African American and 46% of Latino households. In addition, almost 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and cannot come up with $2,000 for a financial emergency.  

Unbanked people are those without a savings or checking account, while underbanked people possess bank accounts but also rely on alternative financial services such as money orders, check cashing stores or pawn shop loans.  

Daniel Betancourt, president and CEO of Community First Fund and the credit union, added, “We’ve been serving Lancaster for 30 years by providing access to credit to entrepreneurs who want to make a positive change in the community. With the credit union, our mission is to provide a pathway to financial stability for families. We’re excited to expand our service in the community and celebrate this milestone.”  

Community First Fund Federal Credit Union was chartered by the National Credit Union Administration in June 2021 and is one of few credit unions to have been established in the last five years.  

To launch the credit union, Community First Fund has received funding from private donors; local foundations such as the Calvin and Janet High Foundation, Lancaster County Community Foundation, the High Foundation and Feree Foundation; and national partners such as Santander Bank and M&T Bank.  

Community First Fund has offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, York, Harrisburg and Allentown.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer 

Ten Thousand Villages hires new CEO

Dan Alonso began as chief executive officer of Ten Thousand Villages on May 1. PHOTO PROVIDED

Fair trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages has named longtime volunteer Dan Alonso as its new CEO. 

The nonprofit, based in Akron, Lancaster County, announced that Alonso began the job May 1. 

A graduate of Messiah University, Alonso said in his LinkedIn profile that he joined Ten Thousand Villages after 20 years at The Giant Co., holding leadership positions in brand strategy, business development, operations support and technology. 

He has served as a board member of the Mechanicsburg Ten Thousand Villages store, a member of the Board Store Council and most recently a member of the national board. 

“I became involved in Ten Thousand Villages because of my passion to connect my vocation – retail – with my purpose: serving an organization that supports the country of my birth, Colombia,” Alonso said in a release. 

“… Once I began volunteering 10 years ago, I fell in love with the way the people on the board and the store staff pursued ‘business as mission.’” 

Ed Diller, board chair of Ten Thousand Villages, added: “Dan’s passion for Ten Thousand Villages and the work it does around the world is clear. … Because of that birthright, Dan has a special interest in working with artisan groups around the world to ensure those artisans – a majority of whom are women – can earn a fair living wage, free of exploitation in their countries of origin.” 

Ten Thousand Villages U.S. connects artisans in 25 developing countries with North American consumers through its 51 stores and 300-plus retail partners, in addition to an online shop 


Tenfold announces chief impact officer 


Following the announcement that Tenfold’s chief impact officer, Shelby Nauman, will be taking the role of CEO next month, the Lancaster-based affordable housing nonprofit announced a new chief impact officer. 

Jake Thorsen, director of Tenfold’s SoWe initiative, will be taking Nauman’s former role when she takes the helm as CEO on May 27. 

Tenfold, formerly Tabor Community Services and Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, announced earlier this year that Mike McKenna, the current CEO of Tenfold would be resigning from his role in May, to be replaced by Nauman. 

Thorson will be taking the role of chief impact officer, which Nauman has held for over a year.  

“Under Jake’s leadership, the SoWe initiative has continued to grow and evolve to advance neighborhood revitalization efforts that are critical to a thriving community and can serve as a model for neighborhood revitalization efforts in other areas,” said Nauman. “After witnessing Jake’s demonstrated expertise, leadership and deep commitment to our Tenfold mission, Mike and I are confident in his abilities to take this next step in leading at an executive level. I look forward to seeing how his impact will continue to multiply as he gains executive oversight.” 

York nonprofit to offer $15,000 in grant funding to York community events 

York-based economic development agency Downtown Inc. will be offering $15,000 in grant funding to community-wide activities such as festivals and live arts. 

Downtown Inc. announced this week that it will soon be taking applications for its third annual round of Welcoming Community Grants. 

The program, which is open to any individual organizations putting on large-scale community event in York City, will award individual grant amounts of up to $2,000 with a total of $15,000 available for the 2022 round. 

Welcoming Community Grants is administered by Downtown Inc. and backed with financial support from Better York, Powder Mill Foundation, the York County Community Foundation and in partnership with the Cultural Alliance of York County. 

“The goal of the Welcoming Community Grants grant program is to identify and provide financial support to sustainable community events that contribute to creating a welcoming and connected community for all in York City – through diversity, accessibility and cultural representation,” said Eric Menzer, Better York chair.  

The program’s letter of interest portal opens on Friday with a deadline of March 18th. Selected applicants will be invited to apply in early April. 

Lancaster façade improvement grants improve building stock, partners with area businesses 

A building at 120 East Filbert St. in Lancaster receives updates to its façade. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Since 2019, Lancaster City Alliance’s Façade Improvement Grant Program has provided $600,000 in grant funding to homeowners, small business owners and residential landowners to improve the façades of Lancaster’s building stock. 

This month, Lancaster City Alliance funded its 100th project through the program with the funding of up-lighting fixtures for the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at the intersection of Strawberry, Manor and West King streets in Lancaster. 

The up-lighting fixtures are expected to highlight the church, which acts as a doorway to Lancaster’s downtown and SouthWest (SoWe) neighborhood. 

The program has become an important tool in increasing neighborhood pride and creating an attractive environment in key locations outside of Lancaster’s downtown, said Jeremy Young, director of community and economic development at Lancaster City Alliance. 

Recipients of the grant receive up to a $5,000 match on repairs to the front of their building, such as masonry repairs, new railings, painting and more. Since its founding, the program has focused on commercial hubs in Southern Lancaster such as West King, Manor, South Prince and South Queen streets as well as Columbia Avenue. 

“Each property that is transformed provides the foundation to further enhance our community and provide more opportunity for everyone to share in the city’s success,” said Young. “It fits with our mission of wanting to see a Lancaster that flourishes for everyone.” 

The program began as an effort to duplicate the revitalization that had already begun in the northern half of Lancaster city to areas that hadn’t yet seen that kind of investment. 

Impacting businesses 

Lancaster City Alliance looked at private dollars to make that a reality and found a partner in the High Foundation which gave an initial $75,000 toward the fund. Additional funders for the program today include BB&T now Truist, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and Tenfold. 

Lancaster City Alliance’s Façade Improvement Grant Program recently helped the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster purchase up-lighting fixtures. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Those investments have now totaled $600,000 in grant funding. Counting the match paid by recipients of the grant, investments in the city’s façades through the program are over $1.25 million. 

“This really is a private-public partnership, and it wouldn’t be possible without the funders. Lancaster has a tremendous reputation for its collaborative nature. It’s responsible for the success we’ve seen.” said Marshall Snively, president of Lancaster City Alliance. 

Along with the impact the program has on the aesthetics of Lancaster’s building stock, it also has had a positive impact on contractors in the area, 70 of which have worked on the 100 façade projects. 

So far recipients of the program have hired 21 contractors based in the city, 12 person-of-color owned contracting businesses and five women-owned contracting businesses. 

“Something we are proud about regarding our program is that we have had the ability to work with a large number of contractors, many of whom are city-based businesses,” said Young. “We have had the ability to be really inclusive in working with BIPOC-owned contracting businesses and LGBTQA+ contracting businesses.” 

One goal of the program that the alliance would like to see get more traction was a workforce development segment of the program, said Snively. 

“At the beginning of this program we were hopeful that this would be more of a workforce development program,” he said. “We developed the program with the goal of not only using local contractors but using it as an opportunity to employ residents and trainees to assist and potentially work for larger contractors.” 

Snively said that training neighborhood residents to help with the project was a challenge during the pandemic, adding that while the alliance did place dome folks, that end of the program was very challenging. 

“While this program was still a major success, we do think there is still opportunity down the road for this to not only enhance neighborhoods but be a workforce development program as well,” he said. 

Making the program accessible 

A key piece of the program, according to Young, is that it is not just open to residential landowners and small business owners but can also be accessed by homeowners so they can build equity in their properties. 

To ensure that the program’s grant match isn’t a barrier, recipients of the grant can pay a 10% match if they meet certain requirements. Recipients can also leverage other programs, like Lancaster’s led abatement program, to act as the match for the façade program. 

Demand for the project has been high across the city with many property owners now on a waiting list. Snively said that the nonprofit has yet to approach other areas because they don’t want people to be excited for a program that doesn’t exist yet, but they are aware of the high demand. 

Looking toward the coming year, the focus for the program will be to secure funding first and foremost, said Young. 

“We have the model right in terms of how the program works and we have found efficiencies and ways to streamline it. For us it’s a matter of funding it again and ensuring that it can continue,” he said. “Looking at other corridors and neighborhoods we haven’t grown into would be a goal from our perspective and continuing how to be creative about leveraging those funds.” 


Tenfold CEO to resign in May 

Mike McKenna, CEO of Tenfold, will be resigning from his role in May. Shelby Nauman, Tenfold’s chief impact officer, will take over the role. PHOTOS/PROVIDED

Lancaster-based affordable housing nonprofit, Tenfold, announced on Friday that CEO Mike McKenna will be resigning from his role on May 27. 

McKenna was previously CEO of Lancaster-based Tabor Community Services, which merged with Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) last April, forming Tenfold. 

McKenna will be leaving the position to be a full-time stay-at-home dad. 

“The past three plus years at the helm of Tabor, now Tenfold, have been truly an honor, as we leaned into our legacy of racial justice, navigated a momentous merger, and rallied to meet unparalleled needs during the pandemic,” he said. “This job has been fulfilling and challenging, I am proud of what we have accomplished in transforming two organizations with strong legacies, shifting the community conversation about housing equity, and delivering meaningful results for those facing housing and financial challenges. With our strong leadership and talented team, I’m confident Tenfold’s success will continue after my departure.” 

Tabor and LHOP first announced that the two organizations would be merging in March 2020. The combined entity, named Tenfold last year, provides financial counseling and housing services, including workshops and transitional housing.  

Tenfold Chief Impact Officer Shelby Nauman will succeed McKenna as CEO when he leaves in May. Nauman worked alongside McKenna during the pandemic, helping the organization make critical decisions while navigating the merger, said Jeff Scheuren, chair of Tenfold’s board of directors. 

“It has been a pleasure working with Mike over the past few years, and we will miss working with him very much,” said Nauman. “I feel honored that I was given the opportunity to step up as CEO of Tenfold and I am excited to lead this next chapter. We have an incredible team that is passionate about empowering people in our community to access a safe, stable and affordable place to call home, and I know we will continue to accomplish amazing work together in this next phase.” 

Junior League of York to sell headquarters 

The Junior League of York is selling its building at 166 W. Market St., York. 

Founded in York in 1931, the league has contributed more than $1.5 million to numerous local organizations over the years. The sale of the property will allow it “to refocus and continue to build a stronger York for the next 90 years,” a release said. 

Since 1962, the league maintained its headquarters and thrift shop at the Market Street location (until the thrift shop closed in December). 

“During the past several years, the organization evaluated whether ownership of the building contributes to and furthers its mission to develop women’s leadership potential and create trained volunteers for the York community,” the release continued. “Based upon the conclusions of those discussions and analysis, the Junior League of York has approved moving forward to seek a potential buyer for its headquarters.” 

TRUE Commercial Real Estate is assisting in the sale. 

“As an all-volunteer organization, we were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Junior League President Sara Boutin said in the release. “It presented an opportunity for us to evaluate many aspects of our organization. We are grateful for the ways the building allowed us to serve York over the years, but we are moving in new directions that we believe will allow the Junior League of York to make stronger contributions to our community.” 

Harrisburg Jewish Home board sells senior care facility to real estate investment firm 

Non-profit senior care facility The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg will be sold to New Jersey-based real estate investment firm, Tryko Partners. 

The board of The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg announced the sale this week, citing a “persistent and increasing” gap between Medicaid reimbursement rates and the cost of caring for residents—challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic. 

The Jewish Home also pointed to persistent staffing shortages, which have limited the number of residents the home has been able to accept. 

The sale includes the organization’s campus at 4000 Linglestown Road, Lower Paxton Township, consisting of the Jewish Home’s 138-bed skilled nursing facility and 58-unit personal care home, known as The Residence. 

“This was a very difficult decision,” said Richard Spiegelman, president of the Jewish Home Board. “Because of the significant fiscal challenges we have faced as a stand-alone facility, we decided the best option for residents of the Jewish Home and Residence and the staff was to sell the facility to an organization with the scale and resources to uphold the high standards we have followed for 40 years.” 

Tryko, which expects to complete the purchase of the property by March, currently owns 6,000 skilled nursing/assisted living beds across the country. The facilities are supported by Marquis Health Consulting Services, a nursing home consulting company. 

“The Jewish Home and Residence provides outstanding care for the Jewish community and larger population,” said Uri Kahanow, director of acquisitions at Tryko. “Our mission is to carry that forward and quickly earn the trust of residents, their families and the dedicated care team at the Jewish Home and Residence.”   

York and Lancaster YMCAs to merge into ‘The YMCA of the Roses’ 

The YMCAs of York and Lancaster have agreed to merge into one YMCA organization—The YMCA of the Roses. 

The Lancaster Family YMCA and the YMCA of York and York County said on Monday that they approved a Plan of Merger on May 27 and June 17 respectively. 

The decision came about after the two organizations entered into a management agreement for the YMCA of York and York County to provide CEO and HR services to the Lancaster Family YMCA in September of last year. On Feb. 1 of this year the two YMCAs voted to extend that agreement into a merger. 

As part of the merger, members of both YMCAs will automatically become members of the new YMCA of the Roses, which will include five branches and five pools across Lancaster and York counties. 

Larry Richardson, president and CEO of the YMCA of York and York County for over 27 years and the acting president and CEO of the Lancaster Family YMCA, will continue as president and CEO for the new organization. 

No staff members are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the merger, the two companies said on Monday. 

As one entity, the YMCA of the Roses will have a budget of about $15 million and over 600 employees serving 30,000 members annually. 

The YMCA’s will also be constructing a new bord for the YMCA of the Roses’ Board of Directors, which will be made up of volunteer leadership from both York and Lancaster counties. 

As a single YMCA association serving both York and Lancaster Counties, the YMCA of the Roses will utilize the best aspects from both areas’ YMCAs to give its members, donors, volunteers, and neighbors the best experience possible,” the two YMCAs wrote in a statement. “The organization’s leadership will continually evaluate community needs and resources so that it can implement charitable programs to meet the region’s new and emerging needs.” 

Dentsply Sirona to donate $5 million through new partnership with Charlotte nonprofit Smile Train 


York-based dental product manufacturer Dentsply Sirona plans to donate $5 million to North Carolina-based nonprofit Smile Train. 

The donation is part of a five-year partnership with the nonprofit that helps local medical professionals provide free surgery and care to children born with cleft lips and/or palates. 

“Our partnership with Smile Train will help children around the world gain access to cleft treatment and offer them the chance to live a happy and healthy life,” said Jorge Gomez, CFO at Dentsply. “By also focusing on global treatment standards and best practices, donating innovative technology, and supporting the training and development of local healthcare professionals, the partnership will have an empowering impact on communities and will provide access to the best possible cleft care, for years to come.” 

Funds from the local manufacturer will support global treatment standards and best practices for digitized cleft care, leveraging digital technologies to make treatments more efficient for children, and more. 

The partnership includes the development of an International Smile Train Scholars program to support in-person and virtual training for Smile Train’s dental partners. 

“This five-year partnership comes at a pivotal moment for Smile Train and will help advance the future of cleft care by supporting global treatment standards and best practices for digitalized cleft orthodontics,” said Susannah Schaefer, president and CEO at Smile Train. “We are grateful for Dentsply Sirona’s generous support and look forward to working together to raise awareness about and deepen our impact around cleft.”