holiday ornament

The leaves may still be on the trees, but the holidays will be here before we know it.

The nature of the holiday season makes it the perfect time to give and showcase compassion for one another.

For some, this time of year can be a tumultuous time, as the struggle to provide food, gifts and basic necessities becomes overwhelming.

This is not just a national issue, it is a problem that affects many families right here in Lancaster County. Nonprofit organizations in Lancaster County are invited to submit adopt-a-family opportunities, in-kind donation needs and holiday-specific volunteer projects for United Way’s annual Holiday Giving Guide.

Your agency can submit their holiday needs to the Volunteer Center by visiting

This web page will contain additional information about what types of needs are appropriate, and how to submit them.

This year’s Holiday Giving Guide opportunities will be housed on the Volunteer Center’s “Get Connected” website.

The Holiday Giving Guide provides your organization a chance to bolster its holiday volunteering efforts. The holiday season is a time for giving and reflecting on our community, with your help we are hoping to reach those ready to give.

If you have additional questions about how to get your nonprofit organization into the giving guide, contact the Volunteer Center at or call 717-824-8122.

Other volunteer opportunities

For other ways to give back to your community, consider one of the following opportunities:

• Salvation Army Lancaster believes that every child deserves to know the joy of a new coat and feeling warm this winter. The sad reality is that many families in the Lancaster community are not able to provide these joys to their children.

Please follow the link to apply or find more information about making a donation to the organization’s annual Coats for Kids program:

• The Power Packs Project is recruiting volunteer drivers to assist with transporting food on Wednesdays to the School District of Lancaster and Thursdays to Warwick School District.

The number of packs will be approximately 20 to 50, or more, therefore SUVs or large vehicles are preferred.

All Power Packs Project volunteers are required to submit an application and background clearances prior to starting their volunteer assignments.

For further information, please contact Annette Rosa-Pabon, Lancaster Region director, at, or by calling 717-615-3784.

• Lancaster County Project for the Needy is currently seeking volunteers to help with delivering holiday food boxes on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Drivers must be 21 or over, possess a current driver’s license with no outstanding violations and have minimum-level automobile insurance required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

All drivers must sign up ahead of time and will be required to sign a waiver/release form.

Drivers will be provided with detailed instructions prior to Dec. 19 on what to do when they arrive at the project, and how to make the deliveries safely to the recipients.

If you are available to help with making these deliveries, please contact Tom Fasnacht at

• Nonprofit organizations in Lancaster County are encouraged to publish volunteer needs in this column.

For a copy of submission guidelines, or if you have questions about volunteering in Lancaster County, contact United Way’s Volunteer Center at 717-824-8122 or email

Audrey Lilley is the manager of volunteerism and advocacy at United Way of Lancaster County.