For the past eight years, a dedicated team of community members, led by state Rep. Mike Sturla, spends months planning an event in Lancaster city to ensure that students are returning to school ready to succeed.
Countless hours go toward collecting donations, sorting materials, stuffing backpacks and recruiting thousands of students to attend. Even though this school year will look very different for most families, preparations for this year’s event are still underway.
The ninth annual Back to School Giveaway is currently scheduled to take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Lancaster Barnstormers’ Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St.
During the event, School District of Lancaster students in grades K-8 can receive a free backpack, uniform, shoes and community resources.
New for this year will be the inclusion of hand sanitizer and washable masks for when the students return to the classroom. Extra care is being taken to ensure that all attendees are able to maintain social distancing while collecting their items.
Families who would like to register for this event can do so at pahouse.com/sturla/backtoschool, and are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.
There are several ways that volunteers can help with the Back to School Giveaway.
There will be teams working on stuffing backpacks the week of Aug. 10-16 to make sure that each family can collect their supplies in a safe and timely manner.
In addition to backpack stuffing, hundreds of volunteers will be needed the day of the event to assist in setup, distribution, bilingual translation and cleanup at Clipper Stadium.
If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please use the registration link in the Get Connected Volunteer Portal at UWLanc.Org/Volunteer.
For other ways to get involved in your community, consider signing up for one of these opportunities.
— San Juan Bautista church is recruiting volunteers to assist with its summer camp program.
All volunteers will need to complete a criminal background check, child abuse clearance and FBI fingerprinting before beginning.
If you are interested in helping out, please contact Linda Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-799-4112 with your interest and availability.
— Solanco Area Meals on Wheels is currently seeking a volunteer client coordinator.
A person in this role will work with new client intake and route planning, track meal distribution and perform other duties as needed.
To inquire about this position, please contact Mary Reynolds at maryereynolds
— New dates have been chosen for volunteer assistance at the Lititz Tree House Project.
Volunteers will be needed to help with construction of this fully accessible playground on Sept. 16-18 (phase 1) and Sept. 22-27 (phase 2). If you are available to assist with this exciting endeavor, please register at treehouselititz.com.
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 Volunteer@UWLanc.org.
Audrey Lilley is the manager of volunteerism and advocacy at United Way of Lancaster County.