The Adams County Community Foundation awarded $206,864 to improve lives in Adams County. They presented $55,000 to the Mercy House. From left are Lisa Donohoe, Ralph Serpe, Ron Bailey, Randy Phiel, Marty Qually and Jim Martin.

The Adams County Community Foundation (ACCF) awarded $206,864 in grants this year to improve the lives of residents of Adams County, according to a press release from the organization.

These grants come from the community foundation’s fund for Adams County, a permanent, growing endowment supported by individuals, families and businesses who believe in the power of collective philanthropy to make a difference in their community.

“Our annual Adams County Grants focus on three goals,” said Loni Buck, the community foundation’s board chair “First, strengthening nonprofits that help our most vulnerable residents. Second, helping people attain self-sufficiency. And third, encouraging collaboration among both public and private entities toward significant common goals for our community — affordable housing, transportation and economic development.”

“In considering where to invest our grant dollars, we look at both micro-level needs of individuals and families and at macro needs of our community, what it takes for Adams County to thrive, and how we can support that,” Ron Bailey, the foundation’s Distribution Committee chair, said.

2019 Adams County grants include:

• $55,000 for Mercy House, a community addiction recovery center which will offer drop-in services on the lower floors and transitional housing apartments for men in recovery on the upper floors. There are currently no recovery houses in Adams County. The project is being developed by the County of Adams, and services will be provided by The RASE Project. This grant will support build-out of both the lower and upper floors.

• $25,000 for the mechatronics program at Harrisburg Area Community College. This grant will enable the purchase an additional robot for this effective training program which prepares students for jobs in installation, repair and maintenance of computerized equipment, a growing job sector in Adams County. The additional robot will qualify the mechatronics program to award an associate’s degree.

• $22,964 to South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP), a “one-stop shop” for services needed by those entering the workforce, low-wage earners, and seniors living on a fixed income. These services range from emergency shelter, to childcare information, weatherization, employment programs, a food pantry and more. This grant will enable SCCAP to hire a part-time staff person for fund development, supporting the organization’s shift from a dependence on federal dollars and enabling it to focus on serving local residents.

• $20,000 to Children’s Aid Society to expand its successful program of in-home family supports into Adams County. This grant will cover half the cost of a part-time family advocate, who will work with 20 low-income families in Adams County who are facing housing instability. The family advocate identifies individual families’ strengths, needs and goals, and connects people with resources that enable them to become and remain self-sufficient.

• $25,000 for a Family Literacy Program to be operated by the Adams County Literacy Council. The program will work with preschool children and their parents, separately and together, to build literacy. In Adams County, 15 percent of adults read below a fourth-grade level, and research shows that the greatest indicator of children’s success is the literacy level of their parents. The literacy council is ready and able to provide this service; this grant will enable them to purchase books, worksheets and other necessary materials.

• $3,900 to the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center (ACCAC), which coordinates a multidisciplinary team to investigate and prosecute all cases of child abuse in Adams County, and provides treatment for victims and their families free of charge. This grant fills the gap in the cost to update the ACCAC website, a crucial tool which will provide law enforcement and children and youth caseworkers with round-the-clock access to information and resources as well as cost-effective online training.

• $30,000 for expansion of broadband infrastructure by Community Media of South-Central Pennsylvania from an existing hub in York westward into Adams County. The fiber network created would be locally owned and controlled, and fees for services retained locally. Broadband service will provide local fire and emergency medical services with back-up communications and will increase interest in economic development.

• $25,000 to the Adams County Arts Council, to help pay for a new position of development director, who will lead efforts to secure the arts council’s financial sustainability. The arts council cultivates an arts-rich community in Adams County, engaging people of all ages and economic strata, supporting local artists and using the arts as a teaching tool to address important community needs such as economic development and personal wellness.

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