“I am called to act and serve.” These are the words of Nelson Polite, Sr., a long standing Board Member of United Way of Lancaster County who passed away on February 22nd after 92 years of community activism. Nelson was a leader, a role model, and a friend to many in Lancaster. In memory of his life and legacy, Lancaster City Council has declared June 13th “Nelson Polite, Sr. Day.” The weekend before-- June 4th, 5th and 6th-- will be Nelson and Jean Polite Days of Action and fittingly filled with volunteer service to the community that Nelson and his wife loved and cared for throughout his lifetime.
In partnership with the Polite Community Association and the Polite family, United Way invites volunteers to give back to the community on this special weekend. Projects will focus on helping those in need in southeastern Lancaster City, an area Nelson and Jean called home for nearly a century. Some examples of project work available for volunteers include:
- Painting the halls, walls, and rooms of community service organizations
- Turning a courtyard into a prayer garden
- Landscaping, cleaning up and planting new beautiful plants to brighten the streets of the city
- Helping out with the Red Rose Run in Lancaster
- Photographing the various volunteer projects
There will be volunteer work for people of all ages, trades, and skill sets. Volunteers, along with the community will also be invited to participate in the Strawberry Festival held at Martin Luther King Elementary that Saturday afternoon, June 4. Don’t miss out on this great chance to give back and learn about a key piece of Lancaster’s history. Mark your calendar now and check out details on specific volunteer opportunities online at www.UWLanc.org/DayofAction.
There are ways for you to help in other areas of Lancaster County, too:
- Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center, west of Leola, is seeking volunteers, ages 14 and older to side-walk or horse-lead with students with special needs. Volunteer hours are Monday through Thursday afternoons and evenings as well as a few weekday and Saturday mornings. Horse care helpers are also needed every morning and afternoon. Contact Sandi Pearsall, Volunteer Coordinator at GMTRC@gmail.com or (717)203-7388 for more information.
- Meals on Wheels of Christiana, Atglen, and Gap needs volunteers to deliver meals. This worthwhile opportunity will take only one hour of your time once every three weeks. Training and support will be provided, but volunteers must have access to a vehicle to transport meals. If you are interested and would like more information, please reach out to Selma Wells at MealsOnWheels1978@gmail.com or (610) 593-5467.
- The Red Cross invites you to join their Disaster Action Team! Volunteers are needed to respond within two hours to disaster scenes and to fill needs for shelter and food by providing Red Cross services. Volunteers are also needed to refer those in need to other agencies, complete necessary documents, and keep in communication with Team Leaders. If you are interested, please email Hope Roaten at Hope.Roaten@RedCross.org or call (717) 234-3101, ext. 1202.
- WellSpan Health in Ephrata is in search of committed individuals to join their volunteer network. A variety of opportunities are available. Many positions allow volunteers to interact with staff, clients, and other volunteers on a day-to-day basis while other positions enable volunteers to practice professional skills such as administrative support. Please contact Christi Brown at CBrown13@WellSpan.org or call (717) 851-2867 to learn more.
- The Lancaster Public Library wants to help you use your creativity to design posters, brochures, flyers, and other promotional materials. Get graphic design experience posting promotional materials on local community bulletin boards and online calendars. This opportunity may be virtual or on-site at its Duke Street Library location. Volunteers should be proficient in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop and be willing to help out 5-10 hours a week. If you are interested, you can contact Anna Thomas at AThomas@Lancaster.Lib.PA.US or call (717) 394-2651.
Nonprofit organizations in Lancaster County are encouraged to publish volunteer needs in this column. For a copy of submittal guidelines, or if you have questions about volunteering in Lancaster County, contact United Way’s Volunteer Center at (717) 824-8122 or email Volunteer@UWLanc.org.
Brandon Engle is the Volunteer Center Manager at United Way of Lancaster County. For over 90 years United Way has been helping dedicated volunteers, passionate advocates, and generous contributors make change happen in this community. Focusing its Community Impact Fund investments on four bold goals that address the underlying causes of the County’s most serious problems, United Way and its supporters create lasting change in Lancaster County. When we LIVE UNITED, we achieve results that no single sector could accomplish alone.