MOSAIC Summer Youth Program – June 2015

MOSAIC’s summer youth program begins in June!  We are always looking for volunteers!!!! Now is the time to get your criminal and child abuse clearances!  The program is jammed-packed with more learning experiences, field trips and other great activities!  Please plan to help out!

Check our website and Facebook page often for more opportunities to get dirty, to grow and know what you eat, and to get outdoors in downtown Pottstown!

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Are You Interested In Becoming A Volunteer?

We are the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing The Secret Valley Line and restoring its services to offer the greatest turn-of-the-century railroading experience in the nation.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Colebrookdale Railroad. Quite literally, the train doesn’t roll down the tracks without them.

Our volunteers are:
 the source of all accomplishments of our programs
 the most critical and unique resource we have
 the leaders in our organization
 committed long-term with frequent participation
 committed to a safe, productive, and cohesive workplace
 responsible for our future

Our dedicated family of volunteers does everything from track work, to passenger car restoration, to operations.

If you have what it takes to work on the railroad, contact us today at info@colebrookdalerailroad.com! Be sure to include the words, “I Want to Volunteer” in the subject line.
Mission
o To serve as a catalyst for economic development in Southeastern Pennsylvania through the preservation and interpretation of the historic, cultural, and natural heritage of the middle Schuylkill Region, birthplace of the American iron industry.
Vision Statement
o To establish national-caliber heritage and recreational anchor attraction around an authentic Edwardian-era experience of the sort offered on the grand limited trains of the 1900-1920 era by developing the Colebrookdale Railroad, its infrastructure, equipment, and real estate, and by building local and regional partnerships.

TriCounty Community Network Nonprofit Conference 2016

WHEN: Monday June 13th 8:30 am – 2:00 pm  
WHERE: The Hill School, Boyer Gallery, 800 Beech Street, Pottstown, Pa 19464  
WHY: Event to support the staff, board members, community leaders and volunteers of nonprofit organizations, public agencies and associations. Our goal is to increase collaboration, outreach efforts, partnerships, capacity building and volunteerism to have a greater impact within our organizations to enhance our communities.
 
Keynote Luncheon
IRA KORETSKY, “The Chief Storyteller”
 
VENDOR SHOWCASE: 
*FREE* 
We are looking for vendors providing services and products for nonprofits, agencies and associations. Complete the vendor form to:
– Register and list your product or services
– Indicate if you are able to provide a product or service offering of at least $50 in value as a raffle gift for attendees. All vendors will receive acknowledgement in the conference directory, online advertising with conference promotions and eligibility for a one year membership to TCN .
 
WORKSHOPS: 
9:45 am – 10:30 am 
Workshop A– EITC and DCED: Learn about the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) resources developed to foster opportunities for businesses growth and community sustainability. 
Workshop B– Volunteer management: Organization leaders and recruiters will learn key strategies to attract, train and maintain strong volunteer support. 
Workshop C– Partnership and Collaboration: Discussion of strategies to increase your collaborative efforts, fundraising abilities and acquisition of effective partnerships.  
Workshop D– Email marketing: Increase awareness of your services and participation in events through email marketing and online engagements. 
 
10:45 am – 11:30 pm 
Workshop E– Grant Writing and Development: Understand the grant writing process and learn tips, strategies and best practices to write and develop grants that get results.  
Workshop F– Mobile Marketing: Discover powerful tools and applications to grow your reach, reputation and engagement with clients. 
Workshop G– Program Design and Evaluation: Learn of key steps for good program design including description, measurable outcomes, piloting and feedback mechanisms.  
Workshop H– Strategic Planning for Organizational Development: Discussion of strategic planning techniques to increase corporate compliance and performance. 
 

It’s Spring!‏ At the Althouse Arboretum

Volunteer Day!  We need YOU!

It’s time to start creating our community center! The basement has been cleared out, beams added, April 23rd we’ll be installing stud walls. We can use people with some “construction” experience to help.  We will also be painting, working on trails, clearing areas for our “playground features”,  and more…. something for everyone! Please come!

Saturday, April 23rd, starting at 9am
We’ll be there all day.
Picnic lunch provided!

Rain date:  Sunday, 24th

We have some but can use more if you’d like to bring them!
If you’re willing to work on the house:  Nail gun, electric saw, tools in general
Outside work:  Need shovels, rakes, clippers
Painting:  Bring extra brushes, extension roller, scraper
Everyone:  Work Gloves!

Friends of the Arboretum

2015-01-19 07.05.30Monday, May 2nd, 7pm
2019 Mimosa Lane
(around the corner from the Arboretum, off Snyder Road)

So much going on! Find out what’s happening, add your ideas!

(Here’s more about the Friends)

And the Winner Is…

PENN”S WOODS TRAIL!
Watch for your chance to participate in making this a model of native plants and education.

Summer Camp

Time to sign up for Summer Camp! Three choices this year: Water Week, Wildlife Week and Outdoor Science Week. Discount when you sign up for all three!

 

GreenAllies News

  • GreenAllies received a grant to complete the Arboretum’s Master Plan including a Low Ropes Course and a Children’s Forest Trail.  Work will begin this spring and continue throughout 2016.
  •  Franklin Institute will provide the funding for GreenAllies to run a Climate Change Action Summit for college students at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. College volunteers will be trained in climate action projects for middle and high school students for the purpose of serving as mentors during the upcoming school year.  The goal is to inspire student environmental projects across the region.
  • Emerald Ash Borer:  The invasive insect is forcing the township to cut down all the ash trees near trails and other “targets” throughout the township. Althouse Arboretum has over 200 ash trees on its property.  Plans are being formulated to cut some trees immediately; monitor and cut other ash trees when needed in the future; and to SAVE some of the most important trees through chemical treatment.  Looking for supporters to sponsor a tree and help fund the chemical treatment to SAVE THE TREES.

April 15 Rock The Block‏ In Pottstown Event

On Friday April 15, 2016, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County is hosting Rock the Block Pottstown…an effort to help fix up properties along the 300 and 400 blocks of Beech, Walnut and Chestnut Streets.

Habitat for Humanity is offering 20 tables to area organizations to highlight their initiatives, hand out brochures and connect with area residents.  Tables will be set up from approximately 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and Rock the Blockhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20160224/video-groundwork-laid-for-pottstowns-rock-the-block-project

Mosaic Gardens Call For Committee Members & Volunteers!‏

Happy Leap Year 2016!

With a very busy garden season ahead, Mosaic is going all out in its quest to recruit garden committee members and volunteers!  Meetings will be held once per month, beginning mid-March (day and time TBD).

Here’s what we have in store for the 2016 season and as a garden committee member/volunteer, here is what you can be a part of and the great part about it is that there is NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.  Our experienced committee members will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to help others:

Mosaic is building its newest community garden at Barth Elementary School located on the west side of Pottstown – There will be approximately 20 additional garden beds available for families in the Pottstown area to learn, grow and enjoy more fresh produce at a fraction of the cost in local grocery stores!  There will also be several beds to be used as an educational tool for the students who attend the school!  We need your support in the following areas:

  • Disseminating information about the gardens to the families who live within walking distance of the school located at 467 West Walnut (late-March).  Information to include membership packet, construction timeline and committee contact information.
  • Assistance in recruiting volunteers (families, school students, churches and corporate volunteers) to lay top soil and mulch, assist with building a shed and to create the 20+ garden beds being built (early-April).
  • Speakers and organizers needed for information sessions, workshops and summer activities.  Information sessions will take place in April, workshops and summer activities will be scheduled throughout the entire growing season (May-October).

Mosaic’s two downtown community gardens and its permaculture garden will be up an running, providing more opportunities to educate and support families than ever – Our existing 50+ garden beds will be available to families again this year for planting more, learning more and enjoying more of the produce grown each year!  We are looking to provide families with support and additional education in order to become the great gardeners they dream of being! 

  • Assistance in recruiting volunteers (families, school students, churches and corporate volunteers) to lay top soil and/or mulch throughout the already established garden beds and perimeter beds (early-April).
  • Turn compost in order to sift out and lay the ready-to-use compost and to aerate other compost from last season at each of the three garden locations (late-April).
  • Speakers and organizers needed for information sessions, workshops and summer activities.  Information sessions will take place in April, workshops and summer activities will be scheduled throughout the entire growing season (May-October).
  • Produce Cart – We are in need of a few volunteers to run with our produce cart this summer!  Join  this fun activity happening several days throughout the growing season! The produce cart allows us to sell any garden surplus vegetables donated back to the gardens, to teach youth members how to build a business selling produce on a small scale and gives the garden an opportunity to provide area residents with information regarding their health and wellness.

There are plenty great opportunities available for all skill-sets and areas of interest!  Please consider joining our community garden committee or signing up for one or two of our much needed volunteer days!

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? – you ask?  A special gift pack is given to everyone who turns out to be an awesome facilitator, garden committee member or a volunteer event organizer this season! Check it out:

Each new garden committee member who attends 90% of our meetings during the growing season and signs up to support/organize at least two volunteer opportunities will receive a Mosaic Community Gardens T-shirt of their choice, a Mosaic Community Gardens apron, standard tote bag and a beautiful Mosaic mug along with a chance to win a free Mosaic CLT garden membership at the garden location of their choice for the 2017 growing season!

Each volunteer who organizes and rallies a troop of volunteers that provide support in the gardens for one day or more will receive a Mosaic t-shirt, the jumbo Mosaic Community Gardens Garden Ambassador tote bag and a Mosaic CLT car magnet along with a chance to win a free Mosaic CLT garden membership at the garden location of their choice for the 2017 growing season!

Each volunteer who facilitates one informational session or workshop will receive a Mosaic T-shirt and tote bag along with a chance to win a free Mosaic CLT garden membership at the garden location of their choice for the 2017 growing season!

Each person who assists/supports our summer programming for at least 6 of each 2-hour session during the growing season will receive a t-shirt, gardening apron, a JUMBO tote bag along with a chance to win a free Mosaic CLT garden membership at the garden location of their choice for the 2017 growing season!

Our need for additional committee members and volunteers has never been greater, the benefits and rewards have never been better!

Please sign up to support the “growth” of the Mosaic Community Land Trust Community Gardens today!

It’s EASY!  Simply reply to this email or visit our Facebook or website to sign up or to receive additional information regarding all of the opportunities TODAY!

See Ya’ at the Gardens,

MOSAIC CLT

Calling All Volunteers!‏

Night Hike was awesome!

Nothing but rave reviews for an awesome program planned and carried out by Spark the Wave students! If you missed it be sure to join us next year!

Calling All Volunteers!!

Saturday, October 31st, Sunday, November 1st

Saturday, November 7th & 14th

Come anytime between 10am to 3pm

We’ll be planting lots of trees and shrubs along Penn’s Woods Trail and can use all the help we can get! Bring shovels and other large digging tools if you have them. Hope to see you there!

Night Hike and Tree Planting At The Althouse Arboretum

Night Hike!

Hike on candle lit trails…
Roast marshmallows…
Listen to storyteller…
Games & activities…

Our most popular event!          Fun for the whole family!

Friday, October 23rd
6pm to 9pm
$2.50 per person
Parking at the Aquatic Club on Moyer Road (Shuttle provided)

Calling All Volunteers!!

Saturday, October 31st, Sunday, November 1st
Saturday, November 7th & 14th
Come anytime between 10am to 3pm

We’ll be planting lots of trees and shrubs along Penn’s Woods Trail and can use all the help we can get! Hope to see you there!

Althouse Arboretum News & More‏

Grand Opening & Community Picnic!
11am to 1pm  Begins with 5k Trail Run at 10am

Come out and join us for a celebration!  We will officially open the Arboretum at 11:00 AM with a very brief ceremony followed by a community picnic.  There will be food, art exhibits, a silent auction, and other great organizations that will be joining us as we have fun and thank all the volunteers that helped create this amazing place called the Althouse Arboretum.  Take the opportunity to relax, meet with neighbors, enjoy some walks along our trails and find out what the Arboretum is all about.

We’re also having a silent auction at the picnic to raise money for the Arboretum. We already have several beautiful gift baskets donated. If you’d like to donate an item for the auction contact Nancy.

Sprogel’s Run
5K Race & Walk

Saturday, September 26th, opens at 9:00 am
Cost: $20 for 3 mile run   $10 for Fun Run and Walk
A 5k run along Sprogel’s Run Trail.  Or join other community members in a 1or 2 mile (your choice after the half-way point!) WALK or FUN RUN. Ending at the beautiful Althouse Arboretum where we will be celebrating our GRAND OPENING with a short ceremony and community picnic!
Details, Maps and Registration info here.

Volunteer Days

Saturday & Sunday, August 29th & 30th, 2015,
Come any time in between 10:00 am & 3:00 pm
We’ll be doing a little of everything!
Families welcomed!
No experience necessary!
No preregistration!

August Fun, Races And More At The Althouse Arboretum‏

Grand Opening & Community Picnic!
11am to 1pm  Begins with 5k Trail Run at 10am

Come out and join us for a celebration!  We will officially open the Arboretum at 11AM with a very brief ceremony followed by a community picnic.  Come out for food, art exhibits, and other great organizations that will be joining us as we thank all the volunteers that helped create this amazing place called the Althouse Arboretum.  Take the opportunity to enjoy some walks along our trails and find out what the Arboretum is all about.

Sprogel’s Run
5K Race & Walk

Saturday, September 26th, opens at 9am
Cost: $20 for 3 mile run   $10 for Fun Run and Walk

A 5k run along Sprogel’s Run Trail.  Or join other community members in a 1or 2 mile (your choice after the half-way point!) WALK or FUN RUN. Ending at the beautiful Althouse Arboretum where we will be celebrating our GRAND OPENING with a short ceremony and community picnic!
Details, Maps and Registration info here.

Volunteer Days

Saturday & Sunday, August 29th & 30th, 2015,
Come any time in between 10am & 3pm
We’ll be doing a little of everything!
Families welcomed!
No experience necessary!
No preregistration!

Friday Gardening

Every Friday, through September 9am to 11am
We plant, we weed, we plan and more; learning from each other, getting to know one another and enjoying the outdoors, join us!

Also plants are available for purchase.

and lets not forget…

World Honeybee Day

Saturday, August 15th
Bring your favorite snack that requires a little honey. We will have jars of honey for you to enjoy while you walk around and learn about these important friends.

Regardless Of Weather Saturday… Recycling Scrap Metal & Tires Is On At The Althouse Arboretum!

Saturday, June 27th, 9 am to 1 pm
Copper, aluminum, brass, steel and more.
No fee, all donations appreciated
(Please drop off only during recycling hours)

Volunteer Day
will be cancelled Saturday in case of rain. Come Sunday instead!

Anytime between 10am and 3pm
We can use your help trail blazing!

Library Storytime and Nature Hike – Rocks are Lively

Monday, June 29th 11am to 12:30pm
All Ages       Donation: $5

The Pottstown Library and the Althouse Arboretum will team up for this special program. Leslie Stillings, Director of Youth Services, will be our guest storytime reader. Afterwards, children will enjoy a short hike, guided by our staff, where they will climb rocks, explore the boulder field, and try their hand at “rock” experiments!  You can register here

Also…
We’re celebrating INTERNATIONAL MUD DAY this TUESDAY!
Free! You are sure to get messy on this day! Come anytime. Several activities will be set up for kids who like to get muddy. Build a castle in the wet sand or try out our mud walk! Warning to Parents: Be prepared for the ride home!

Althouse Arboretum In the News

Connecting trail to Sussel Park is done! Now for your walking pleasure you can enjoy not only the Arboretum but Sussel Park too all in one walk. Lovely ponds at Sussel and good exercise walking the hill.

We now have a shed!Thanks to an Eagle Scout project the shed is finished and already being put to good use by our student interns. Lots going on!

Have you seen our ID Garden across from the shed? Created by student interns the garden will give you the names and show you the native plants you may see in the Arboretum.

Plant Sale. Next to the shed you’ll find a plant sale of mostly native, locally grown plants. If you want a quantity of any one plant contact Nancy. Prices are below what you find at the garden center and 100% of the proceeds go towards funding Arboretum projects.

Mark Saturday, September 26th in your calendar now. You’ll be glad you did. It’s the Arboretum’s Grand Opening Celebration and you’ll be amazed as what we have planned!

There’s a classroom in the woods. Can you find it?

Last chance to sign up for June’s Summer Camp! Starts Tomorrow!
Summer Camps 2015

Children grades K through 4th
June 22-26, 9am to 12pmNature Explorers
Learn about nature by exploring it! Campers become detectives looking for clues to reveal each day’s nature mystery and wonder.

July 13-17, 9am to 12pmWildlife Week
Looking closely you can find wildlife everywhere in our nature center! Campers will see, collect and identify familiar and quite strange creatures in our woods, fields and ponds.

(8am arrival available) Click on the picture for more info and registration.

Recycling ScrapMetal & Tires

Saturday, June 27th, 9 am to 1 pm
Have you been meaning to clean out the garage? Get rid of the broken tools? Copper, aluminum, brass, steel and more.
No fee, all donations appreciated
(Please drop off only during recycling hours)

Volunteer Weekend

June 27th & 28th, 2015,
The last Saturday and Sunday of each month,
Come any time in between 10am & 3pm
Much of what you see at the Arboretum has been done by volunteers. Join in! We’ll be doing a little of everything! Planting, weeding, moving, building, clearing, choose your favorite activity, meet your neighbors and have fun! A great family activity! No experience necessary! No preregistration required!

News From The Althouse Arboretum‏

In the News

The entrance to our parking lot is done! Soon (with the help of our volunteers!) the handicapped gardens will be in place. The shed is almost finished so we’ll be able to move all the gardening tools out of the house. Plants are blooming, some we identify and add pictures of on our facebook page. Come visit!

Gardening Series

A lecture series presented by Master Gardeners and other experts in their field. Please preregister here Starts Tuesday, May 26, 7pm Donation $5 First in our series is Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Composting. Do you need a bin? If so what size? What do you put in it? How do you use it? All questions answered! Also a limited supply of native plants will be available for purchase.

Volunteer Weekend

May 30th & 31st, 2015, The last Saturday and Sunday of each month, Come any time in between 10am & 3pm We’ll be doing a little of everything! Planting, weeding, moving, choose your favorite activity, meet your neighbors and have fun! Families welcomed! No experience necessary! No preregistration required!

Summer Camps 2015

Children grades K through 4th June 22-26, 9am to 12pmNature Explorers Learn about nature by exploring it! Campers become detectives looking for clues to reveal each day’s nature mystery and wonder. July 13-17, 9am to 12pmWildlife Week Looking closely you can find wildlife everywhere in our nature center! Campers will see, collect and identify familiar and quite strange creatures in our woods, fields and ponds. (8am arrival available) Click on the picture for more info and registration.

Recycling Day – Scrap Metal and Tires

Saturday, June 27th, 9 am to 1 pm Support the Arboretum and clean out the garage at the same time! No fee, all donations appreciated. (Please drop off only during recycling hours)  

Friends Of The Arboretum Meeting Monday, January 19th, 2015 6:30pm

Arboretum picturesWe are looking for community members to become part of the Althouse Arboretum. You can volunteer your time and talent, or if you would like, become part of a community team to discuss, plan and work together to make our land a first-class outdoor destination for the community.

We’ll be meeting to discuss prospects, potentials and opportunities.  Come join us!  Email Ken Hamilton or Nancy Baker with questions or for additional information.

Meeting location is 2019 Mimosa Lane, Pottstown (right off Snyder)

RSVP appreciated but not necessary

MCCC Earns Spot On National Honor Roll For Community Service‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s students engaged in 24,172 hours of community service and service learning projects in 2013, earning the institution a spot on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

A significant portion of MCCC’s service hours resulted from academic service learning, which integrates a service component into an academic course. As part of MCCC’s core curriculum, students are required to complete at least one course that addresses civic responsibility. Last year, 6,456 students engaged in service learning activities while enrolled in 225 courses taught by 73 faculty.

An additional 1,411 students and 306 faculty and staff engaged in other forms of community service last year.

“The College’s commitment to service has helped us establish a stronger presence within the community and has raised our students’ awareness of the importance of giving back to the communities in which they live and work,” said Jenna Klaus, MCCC assistance director of civic and community engagement.”

One of the largest community service initiatives in 2013 was a College-wide Day of Service, held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Day of Service in January. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends spent a day volunteering at several locations in Montgomery County, including the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Pottstown and the Police Athletic League (PAL) and Preschool Intervention Program in Norristown. In total, 147 volunteers completed 937 hours of service.

Several other larger-scale service initiatives took place throughout the year, including College-wide food drives, an administrative staff day of service, and alternative spring break experiences.

In terms of service learning, MCCC’s Health Sciences majors led the way by offering free health screenings and information to the MCCC community and to community residents in collaboration with local health care partners. Last year, more than 400 Health Sciences students performed 1,624 hours of service, offering 786 screenings and health information to approximately 1,500 individuals.

According to CNCS, college students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country—a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

Over the last five years, 5,400 MCCC volunteers have completed 46,000 hours of service and have contributed $117,571 in monetary donations to partner organizations.

To learn more, visit NationalService.gov/HonorRoll or join MCCC’s community service conversation on Twitter using #ThinkBigService.

Ashland Christmas Tree Returns After Two Years

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ASHLAND, PA — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Ashland with the return of the borough tree during the weekend.

The tree was not placed for the past two holidays due to safety concerns after high wind caused two trees to fall — fortunately, without injuries.

The tree placement is sponsored by the Ashland Rotary Club.

The Christmas tree is a major part of the holiday décor of the downtown, joining the many lighted decorations and Christmas banners placed by the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Christmas tree project, along with the annual Santa Claus visit and parade, was a long-standing tradition of the Ashland Kiwanis Club. When the Kiwanis disbanded in 2007, the Rotary club picked up the tree and parade projects.

Read more: http://republicanherald.com/news/ashland-christmas-tree-returns-after-two-years-1.1792596

HOOVER FINANCIAL ADVISORS STAFF VOLUNTEERS AT CHESTER COUNTY FOOD BANK

Shown left to right at the Food Bank warehouse are: Gail Coxe; Kelly Hoover; Phil Gagliardi; Carol Olver; Pete Hoover; Jerry Fahey; Beth Hoover; and Tim Curvan.

Shown left to right at the Food Bank warehouse are: Gail Coxe; Kelly Hoover; Phil Gagliardi; Carol Olver; Pete Hoover; Jerry Fahey; Beth Hoover; and Tim Curvan.

It was a wonderful day for the Hoover Financial Advisors staff. Employees donated a day of service to work at the Food Bank’s new location on Pennsylvania Drive in Exton. Splitting into two shifts, the group repackaged vegetable, including onions, lettuce, beets, celery and cabbage. HFA adopted Chester County Food Bank as its charity of record last year. The Malvern-based financial planning company will hold a fundraising campaign this fall.

“Hoover Financial Advisors is a terrific asset to the efforts of the Chester County Food through its support in three-fold giving with food donations, monetary support and volunteering,” says Phoebe Kitson-Davis, manager for Agency and Community Partnerships. “HFA has hosted fund drives amongst its clients to strengthen giving for the Food Bank, packed food boxes in our warehouse, helped in our farm fields and held food drives. We are very appreciative. Hoover Financial Advisors is a true ambassador of the Chester County Food Bank.”

Red Alert For A Green Thumb: Volunteer Needed To Help Maintain State College Community Garden

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — The community garden on East College Avenue at University Drive has gone untouched this summer as the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy struggles to find a volunteer for its upkeep.

With only seven staff members and 132 gardens to monitor, the conservancy relies on volunteers to make the gardens possible.

“Our office is in Pittsburgh, and we have some gardens that are far away in Erie, North Huntingdon, Altoona, State College and even farther away in Harrisburg,” said Lynne McGuire-Olzack, the conservancy’s volunteer coordinator. “This is the first time we don’t have a volunteer in State College.”

MCCC Hospitality Students Serve The Hungry At MANNA On Main Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lansdale, PA— Sixteen Hotel and Restaurant Management students from Montgomery County Community College recently prepared and served dinner at Manna on Main Street (MANNA) to the homeless as part of a class service learning project.  The project was also part of MCCC’s 50 Acts of Kindness, in celebration of the College’s 50th anniversary.

Located in Lansdale, MANNA is a community outreach organization whose mission is to end hunger in the North Penn region by providing soup kitchens, food pantries, and education programs to its residents.

All 16 students in Instructor James Lynch’s “Fundamentals of Special Event Management” course were involved in the project; half of the class prepared the food, while the other half served it at MANNA the following day. In the course, Lynch teaches students the set-up protocol for special events in the hospitality industry, as well as the necessary tasks that need to be fulfilled at corporations and conventions.

Upon arriving at MANNA, Operations Manager Scott Lukens prepped the students for service. The students were then assigned to different stations: serving food to the families, working in the kitchen to deliver food, or cleaning the dishes.  Listed on the menu for dinner was turkey breast, steamed broccoli, roasted herbed potatoes, artisan rolls, and garden salads. Chocolate mousse was served for dessert, and residents drank fruit punch, ice-tea, milk, and ice water, with milk being the most popular choice.

As a student service learning project, the purpose of serving dinner at MANNA was to connect what students learned in the classroom to a real-world experience.

“Projects such as this not only increase a student’s knowledge, but also reinforce our College’s commitment to service and the power of volunteerism,” said Lynch.  “These are the key building blocks in creating and growing a supportive and productive community.  The Hospitality Industry is uniquely positioned to do projects like this.  Success in our business is based upon the fundamentals of superior, consistent service—whether in a restaurant, hotel, or in the community.”

One student, Tom Heller, 21, was no stranger to being a server at the event.  The second-year student had previously been a server at Olive Garden and Rendazzo’s Pizzeria.  Heller enjoyed the event and shared his learning experience at MANNA.

 “I’ve pretty much just learned that there’s a lot of people in the community and around us that are homeless,” he said. “We learned how [homelessness] was occurring. It’s a rough experience just seeing that and also going back to your house and talking to your family about [it], and also how they’ll react to it,” he said, describing the experience as “heartfelt.”

“It all got to us because once Scott [Lukens] announced that we were students from MCCC, and were making all this dinner and stuff, everyone was clapping and really appreciated the meal that we made for them,” Heller continued.

Lynch stressed the importance of preparing students to be good citizens, as well as successful professionals.

“By having our students actively involved in local hunger-relief activities, we hope that hands-on experiences, like MANNA, gives our students the opportunity to witness first-hand how powerful a gesture of kindness can be in the lives of those less fortunate. We strive to make our students not only successful professionals, but good citizens of their community as well.”

The students’ project at MANNA on Main Street is one of “50 Acts of Kindness” as part of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration.  Throughout 2014, MCCC students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are committed organizing 50 acts of community service – one for every year of the College’s existence. To learn more about the College’s 50th anniversary activities, visit http://www.mc3.edu/50.

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Great Harrisburg Cleanup This Saturday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It may be wet & cold today but Saturday will be sunny & dry.  Perfect weather to come out and join Friends of Midtown in the Great Harrisburg Cleanup which runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  There will be a dumpster located at the Broad Street Market for the bags of trash & debris collected.  Our new incinerator owner, LCSWMA, has agreed to waive the tipping fees and the dumpsters have also been donated by local businesses.  This is truly a community event and city-wide as there will be donated dumpsters located in Uptown and Allison Hill.

We will meet at 8:45 am in front of the Broad Street Market on the Third Street side and set our plans to clean up our neighborhood.  If you prefer to work with your neighbors in your own block and find hauling your collected trash bags to the Broad Street Market dumpster could be difficult, register your group on the Great Harrisburg Cleanup website at http://historicharrisburg.com/index.php/events/volunteer-registration and indicate what street corner your bags will be placed so they can be picked up by Public Works.

Any questions?  Contact us at beautification@friendsofmidtown.org before 8:00 am on Saturday.

Hope to see you there!

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