Since the start of the year, United Way has been running several different programs, services and special events that ultimately help our community and residents with current needs. This past tax season, a team of volunteer tax preparers — trained and led by Mike Jackman, who also serves as the United Way’s board treasurer – helped approximately 320 low-income households in Adams County file their income tax returns at no cost to the clients through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Our partners at Manos Unidas provided the VITA services to 120 residents from primarily Spanish-speaking households residing in Adams County. This program helped to bring approximately $522,000 in tax refunds back to individuals and families that need it most right now in our community.

Around the same time we were doing taxes, another group of dedicated, driven volunteers put together the 15th annual A Woman’s Purse Auction fundraiser. This group of ladies committed countless hours of planning, preparation, and a near perfect execution of this popular event in our area that benefits the county’s Independent Living Program and Ready to Learn at United Way. While we held a virtual event this year, everybody is looking forward to returning to a live, in-person auction next time. We miss seeing everybody’s smiling faces at all of our events.

In the coming months, United Way is getting ready to hold the fourth annual Back 2 School Supply Drive. Supply collections will begin on June 13 and go until July 31. The following supplies are needed: #2 pencils, 1-inch binders, backpacks, college and wide-ruled spiral notebooks, composition books (college and wide-ruled), black dry-erase markers, broad and fine tip markers, mechanical pencils, highlighters, blunt-tip and pointed-tip scissors, colored pencils (18 count), crayons (24 count), glue sticks, pens (blue, black, red), rulers, bottled glue, white-out tape, pencil boxes/pouches, pink erasers, pencil-top erasers, pocketed folders, headphones, and personal hand sanitizers. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to United Way’s office at 123 Buford Ave., Gettysburg. For a full list of drop-off locations and more information about the drive, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UWADAMSCO.

Save the date! The 32nd Annual Peach Festival, hosted Hollabaugh Bros. Inc. will take place on Saturday, Aug. 13 and Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Biglerville location. The United Way of Adams County will need volunteers to help in the food stand during the festival. Be sure to follow the United Way of Adams County on Facebook to stay up to date on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

As we continue to work toward ‘normalcy’ again and get back to doing things in person, we still see neighbors, friends and families in Adams County with daily struggles and basic needs – especially as we experience the recent increase in costs due to inflation. The cost of food continues to soar, along with the price of gasoline, basic utilities, taxes and other general needs. Join the United Way of Adams County’s efforts to help bring our community together, ensuring that everybody’s basic needs are met as we all go forth into the future. Give – Advocate – Volunteer.

Jamie LeVee is the administrative and volunteer coordinator and Laura McMahon is the executive director at the United Way of Adams County. Contact them at 717-334-5809.

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