Find Your “Fit”
“Find Your Fit” is a place for area nonprofit organizations to highlight a staff member, client or someone they’ve served and embraced.
We also hope this page inspires readers to find a place they might “fit in”… maybe by meeting a need, teaching a skill, receiving some help, rediscovering hope and purpose, getting motivated and inspired, and hopefully making some new friends along the way.
Pictured: Danielle and Bailey
Excentia uses a variety of learning strategies and approaches specific to the unique learning styles of each child in our programs. Excentia provides parents and caregivers with a proactive approach to ensure that their children are put on a healthy path of development. Excentia believes every child possesses gifts and talents that enhance and nurture the richness and diversity of our communities.
Pictured: Sara E. Johns
Mom’s House of Lancaster changes the future for two generation through childcare and education. Its nonresidential programs offer single parents across Lancaster County to become empowered and break the cycle of poverty for their families, while laying the path for success for their young children’s educational journey.
Pictured: John Darrenkamp
John Darrenkamp has been associated with Opera in Lancaster for over 60 years from its beginnings as Lancaster Opera Workshop with its founders, Frederick and Dorothy Darr Robinson, thru it’s years as Lancaster Opera Company with Dottie Rose Smith and in its current iteration as Opera Lancaster. John contributed in whatever way he could even throughout his 35 year career as a professional opera singer including 22 years with the Metropolitan Opera and he continues to contribute through performing and directing. John brings both his talent and experience to the company as it’s President and Artistic Advisor and they are grateful for his loyalty and leadership.
Aaron’s Acres provides year-round recreational therapeutic programs for children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Directed by specially trained and certified staff in a supportive environment that enhances socialization and communication skills. Emotional, educational and recreational support is offered for the entire family.
Pictured: Laurie Fellenbaum
Laurie Fellenbaum is a second-grade teacher at Schaeffer Elementary School in Manheim Township who for several years has included lessons about children with special needs in her teaching. Starting in 2015, as part of the classroom work, her students began fundraising for Schreiber. She has continued supporting Schreiber each year since then, expanding the fundraising to include all of Schaeffer’s second grade, adding other events and having students solicit sponsorships and donated prizes. In four years, Laurie has taught her kids so much about philanthropy and taking care of those less fortunate, and together she and her students have raised more than $35,000 for Schreiber.
Pictured: Jenn Knepper
Jenn Knepper is the Lancaster fair co-chair for Gifts that Give Hope. It would be impossible to organize their annual event, “Gifts that Give Hope: Lancaster’s Alternative Gift Fair,” without the amazing volunteer team that comes together to plan this spectacular experience. Jenn is so thankful for the gifts and talents that their group is able to collaboratively combine to put together such a meaningful event for the holidays.
Tim typically spends 5-7 days a week at Arch Street Center. He actively participates in their daily activities and almost always has his meal there at the Center. For Tim, Arch Street Center isn’t just a place to go… it’s a place for him to BELONG.
Pictured: Laura Willmer
Laura Willmer, MSW, is the Manager of Tabor’s Community Housing Solutions Program (CHS) that provides housing search and advocacy services for the clients of all the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness-funded rapid re-housing programs. She enjoys cooking, exploring new towns and cities and, reading on porches. She looks forward to participating in Leadership Lancaster this year, and continuing to engage landlords and the Lancaster Community in efforts to help end homelessness.
Pictured: Executive Director Luis D. Torres
The Mix provides opportunity to hundreds of kids everyday. This youth development center gives a young person growing up in Southeast Lancaster City the opportunity to be inspired to thrive. From tennis to basketball and literacy to entrepreneurial training, students are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a variety of age-appropriate youth programming opportunities that educate, engage, encourage, equip and empower.
Pictured: Elisa Benner
For the last three years, Elisa Benner has been instrumental in creating new capacities for volunteering. Through the development of an official orientation and training handbook and establishing a computerized scheduling system, Elisa has increased volunteers and volunteer retention. From just under 200 regular volunteers to just over 400 regular volunteers, we thank Elisa’s incredible contribution and wish her well on her next adventure.
Pictured: Leeann Mason
Leeann Mason, our Power Packs Project Ambassador says “as a mother, I cannot imagine what it must be like for parents who cannot afford to feed their children. No child, regardless of his/her family’s socio-economic status, should ever be without a nutritious meal. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the burden on these families by providing them with these meals over the weekend.”
Pictured: Alyse Crandall
Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learning is thrilled to support the educational dreams of Alyse Crandall and so many others like her through interest-free loans. “I am so thankful for this program that helps Lancaster County students afford college and achieve their career goals by offering loans that have a repayment plan without interest.” Since 1961 we have provided over $17 million dollars in interest-free loans to students pursuing higher education.
Pictured: Cheryl Hiester, Executive Director
Executive Director, Cheryl Hiester says, “I am proud to be part of The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, where adults have a chance to get a basic education so they can get their high school diploma, learn English and prepare for jobs, training and college.” The Literacy Council empowers adult learners to meet their goals by supporting them at each step on their career pathway. Every day, they work with students to help them connect, learn and achieve their goals.
Pictured: Cory Cox
Youth Advocate Program, Inc. (YAP) Assistant Director, Cory Cox, embodies the core principles that the organization deeply values, which allows him to provide the highest quality of services through the practice of empowerment, partnership, and self-advocacy. Cory’s passion to support and assist persons and systems not only as an employee of YAP, but as a husband, father, and coach in the School District of Lancaster, has effectively advanced his leadership abilities to facilitate an environment of life-long learning, cultivation of diverse skills, promotion of character development, and investing in community partnerships and the growth of the Lancaster community as a whole. Cory has an innate ability to inspire others to celebrate and utilize their unique strengths, even when the individual is unable to initially recognize them himself.
Pictured: Lynda Charles
Cancer survivor, Lynda Charles says, “Help the Fight has been a lifesaver to me and my family on more than one occasion during my breast cancer journey. “They’re much more than just an organization, they’re full of heart and will be there to help quickly. Sharing my story at one of their main events that they hold every October was an honor, and to reciprocate, I tell everyone about them and ask for their support.”