By David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

Forty Four Nonprofit Organizations benefited by the 2019 Give Lancaster campaign. The totals from this year represent a 30% increase from 2018. Thre was 1645 gifts from 1057 donors. Gifts came from 6 countries and 13 states and 61 cities. A total of 54 businesses sponsored the Give Local Events.

This last Thursday the Give Local organizers and receiving agencies gathered to celebration this year’s campaign. In a packed ballroom at USCL’s Bundy Auditorium, details, pictures and videos showcased the 2019 campaign.

Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, Executive Director of Leading On Opportunity delivered the Keynote speech. She started with The Lancaster Fatherhood Initive as that group got started. She brings 25 years of experience in nonprofit and philanthropic activities. She works in Charlotte to address upward mobility.

“People start to heal the moment they feel heard. As a Social Worker, the number one thing we learn is to listen to the person’s story.” Cooper-Lewter went on to talk about her own story of growing up in India and being adopted internationally. She shared several stories. One of the most poignant ones was a response from Mother Teresa to a woman who was asking what could be done to help Mother Teresa’s efforts and organization.

The response from Mother Teresa was for the woman to go into the streets of this community and find someone who believes they are low and convince them they are not.

Cooper-Lewter’s remarks call for us to invest not just the dollars of a fundraising campaign, but to develop relationships with others. The need to be heard is more than just a check in a fundraiser, but the efforts of the community to sit down and listen to another’s story. The speech was a call to action.

There are many efforts in our community already that reach out to listen and hear the stories. In Kershaw and Fort Lawn, community surveys are being conducted to see that people are wanting their community to be like. Similar efforts have begun in Lancaster. The communities are being asked to speak and share their ,memories and dreams.

Give Local Lancaster has been operating for 4 years, and has raised over $600,000 for local non profits over the four years. Listening to Dr Cooper-Lewter, there is a need not just for agencies to go into the streets but all of us. When we ask what we can do to help, we need to reach out, listen, develop relationships and many things will begin to improve.

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