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Through Level Up & Launch, grantees engage with current (and new!) donors to amplify their grant award. We will match every community donation dollar-for-dollar up to the original grant amount, giving grantees the chance to triple their award.

Now is the time to support innovative ideas and special projects that seek to Level Up Lancaster and stretch your donation in support of our community change-makers.

2024-25 Level Up & Launch grant fellows are as follows:

Arch Street Center ($10,000): The Healthy Eating Food Program provides quality meals to over 300 members daily. The grant award supports hiring of additional staff, new kitchen equipment, and expansion of the program’s network of food suppliers.

ASSETS Lancaster ($34,500): The Community Lending program promotes equitable access to capital for BIPOC, female and low-to-moderate income (LMI) entrepreneurs. Participants receive financial and educational support throughout the course of the loan program.

Bright Side Opportunities Center ($30,000): Sismantle {Tech} is tailored for high school-aged girls, and focused on building support and instilling a skillset to dismantle barriers women face in the tech industry. The 6-week program empowers scholars with the skills needed to for employment in tech, and provides the opportunity to earn a CompTIA Security+ certification. 

CASA of Lancaster & Lebanon Counties ($10,000): The best-interest advocacy program serves youth who are in foster care because of abuse and neglect. CASA aims to recruit and train 30 new court-appointed special advocate volunteers, who play an important role in advancing the health and wellbeing of the children with the potential of expanding services to 45 additional youth. 

The Common Wheel ($10,000): The purchase of a Sprinter Van brings the Earn-a-Bike program on the road, offering the enrichment program in a newly structured 5-hour class to youth outside of Lancaster City. The program teaches youth STEM skills through bike maintenance and safe riding skills, and upon completion, provides them with the bike they worked on, a helmet, lock, and light.

Ephrata Area Social Services ($23,500): The grant award supports growth within Community Support Services at EASS to include workforce and employment services. Key components of these additions include education on one-on-one job searching, interview skills, developing plans to find permanent employment, and direct support throughout the application process. 

Homefields ($22,000): The Agricultural Workforce Training Program is designed for high school students with direct support needs and provides hands-on learning experience to at least 40 youth across 4 school districts over the school year. Grant funds support staffing, curriculum development, and direct costs for farm safety, maintenance, and educational resources.

Lancaster County Food Hub ($25,000): The LCFH Welcome Place Street Outreach Team provides access to the comprehensive needs of street homeless individuals through a relational, human-centered approach. Logging 39,000 outreach hours in 2023, the demand for services has surged, and workers are dedicated to ensuring equitable access to services.

Lancaster EMS ($20,000): EMT academy is an intensive three-month program designed to train and certify aspiring Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The program offers a unique “earning while learning” approach, where eligible candidates are paid from the onset, providing them with both education and employment opportunities simultaneously. 

Parish Resource Center ($15,000): The Take-Home Totes program connects social workers with resources to sustain their clients between they first identify a patient’s need for food and finalize their enrollment in long-term service. Funds also support their Food Delivery Initiative, which provides food boxes to those unable to access long-term food resources. 

Pennsylvania Furniture Mission ($50,000): The Pennsylvania Furniture Mission (PFM) creates warm, welcoming and fully furnished homes for individuals experiencing economic hardship or transitioning out of homelessness. Funds will help the organization add additional staff, focusing on those with barriers to employment, and create hands-on educational experiences for Columbia High School students.

"Since April 2020, One United Lancaster has been providing "truth with context" in Lancaster County, publishing over 3,200 posts covering local nonprofits, government, health and social concerns. This past June, we unveiled a new brand identity and an updated, more user-friendly website. We look forward to continuing to build our audience with reliable reporting on the issues that affect the wellbeing of our community."

|Tim Stuhldreher
One United Lancaster, Editor