Community Partners

22.10.2013 Agency Announcements, Community Partners, Thank You! Comments Off

2013 Employer of the Year Announced

Bell Socialization Services is pleased to recognize GENCO Distribution/GlaxoSmithKline as the recipient of the 2013 Employer of the Year Award. The award was presented and received at the agency’s 2013 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 1, at The Yorktowne Hotel.

The presentation, as follows, was made by the chair of Bell’s Board of Directors, Dr. Robert Lease, Jr.

Bell Socialization Services, Inc. Employer of the Year Award

 Awarded to an employer who provides an opportunity for a Bell consumer to live and work in the community with dignity and independence.

All of the dozen local businesses who employ individuals participating in Bell’s Vocational Rehabilitation program are eligible to be nominated for this award.  Let’s take a minute to recognize all of them. They are:

Bell Socialization Services

Compass Group, York College

ERMC, York Galleria

Giant Food Store, Carlisle Avenue

GENCO Distribution/GlaxoSmithKline

Leg Up Farm

Office Max, York

Price Rite          

Sam’s Club

TJ Maxx, Hanover, and

Wal-Mart, East York

Now, specifically, let me tell you about the new kid on the block.  Our Voc Rehab staff expected this might be a good fit, since the company actively promotes being a responsible, values-based business that goes so far as to indicate on their web site that, among other things, they expect all of their employees to show respect for people.

GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with GENCO Distribution walks the talk of that through a program called “Project Us,” which is integrated into their business to recruit and employ individuals with special needs into the workplace.

The company emphasizes the important of teamwork, communication, and tolerance in a supportive manner. Three of Bell’s consumers are currently employed by GENCO Distribution, and their on-site job coach works with them as needed to ensure they are successful and perform to their fullest potential.

Their supportive environment and staff have led to their selection as this year’s Employer of the Year.

J.J. Anderson, who accepted the award last year on behalf of Price Rite is here to present the award to Teri Johnescu of GlaxoSmithKline.

17.10.2013 Agency Announcements, Community Partners, Thank You! Comments Off

2013 Rita Patz Good Neighbor Award

Bell Socialization Services is pleased to recognize Dr. David Uhrik as the recipient of the 2013 Rita Patz Good Neighbor Award. The award was presented and received at the agency’s 2013 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 1, at The Yorktowne Hotel. Pictured with Dr. Uhrik is Bell’s executive director, Ike Hileman.

The presentation, as follows, was made by the chair of Bell’s Board of Directors, Dr. Robert Lease, Jr.  

Rita Patz Good Neighbor Award  Awarded to the individual or group that depicts not only being a neighbor of Bell, but close in association by providing neighborly time and/or resources to Bell.

When the Bell Club  – which would eventually become what is now Bell Socialization Services – was started back in 1966, there was a five year old boy being raised with his brother in Washington, D.C. by a strong, caring single mother.  Growing up in the nation’s capital, he witnessed Civil Rights demonstrations and Vietnam war protests. Inspired by his mother’s hard work and commitment to her sons, he worked hard in school, receiving one of only five scholarships in the District to be able to attend college.

Earning a degree, awarded his dental license, and then working in his profession in Baltimore for 12 years, Dr. David Uhrik moved to York, married a local girl, and together they raised two daughters.

This story connects to Bell because in 2004, Dr. Uhrik opened a medical assistance office exclusively to offer access to dental care for people in financial need. In fact, he is part of the only two percent of dentists nationwide who participate in medical assistance. Since opening West Side Dental, more than 25,000 unique patients on medical assistance have been treated. No one in nine years has been denied treatment due to inability to pay. A smile, handshake, or hug is frequently the only currency exchanged.  

He doesn’t mind if patients can’t remember his name but hopes they remember the process of giving, helping, and healing. Despite being recently diagnosed with a serious health issue, Dr. Uhrik continues to crusade for individuals living with their own challenges, and commits imagination and time to fundraising and volunteerism as his office still sees over 30 patients daily.

Nominated by Pam Respress, supervisor at our Valley Road intellectual disability community living home, please recognize this year’s Ritz Patz Good Neighbor Award winner: Dr. David Uhrik.

17.10.2013 Agency Announcements, Community Partners Comments Off

2013 Margo Atwood Community Service Award

Bell Socialization Services, Inc. recognizes Darlene Leonard as the 2013 recipient of the Margo Atwood Community Service Award. The award was presented and received at the agency’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 1, at The Yorktowne Hotel.  Leonard is pictured here next to Ike Hileman, Bell’s executive director.

The presentation, as follows, was made by the chair of Bell’s Board of Directors, Dr. Robert Lease, Jr.

Margo Atwood Community Service Award

Awarded to the individual or group that provides their time and resources to enhance Bell Socialization Services’ programs.

Last year this award went to the dogs. Well, actually to a loyal volunteer and her even more loyal therapy dog who still regularly visit Bell’s Adult Training Facility at the Brethren Home Community in New Oxford.

Our nominees for the Margo Atwood award THIS YEAR include Montaque Dubs, Darlene Leonard, and the sister congregations of St. Jacob’s Stonepile UCC and St. Jacob’s Stonepile Lutheran churches.   Let’s have a round of applause for all of our nominees.

One of the nominees this year stood out from the rest because once we read over the nomination submission, which came from our Bell Family Shelter program coordinator, Linda Haley,  there were other people in the room who piped up to say that the nominee was also connected to their department and agreed she should certainly be acknowledged.

In her capacity as president of case management at the Community Progress Council, Darlene was nominated specifically for her assistance in helping homeless families.  Through a collaborative effort established between Bell and CPC 15 years ago, Darlene works with Shelter caseworkers to faithfully support Shelter residents three days each week, acting as a financial resource to help them secure safe, affordable housing.

Darlene also attends weekly house meetings to offer even more encouragement and support to Shelter residents. Linda said Darlene remarked once that she feels like she’s part of two families, and finds much reward in knowing she made an impact on the lives of the many people she has met over the years.  We certainly witness the positive effects of her involvement, and enjoy knowing she’s in our corner.

Please welcome this year’s Margo Atwood Community Service Award recipient, Darlene Leonard.

16.10.2013 Community Partners, Stories, Thank You! Comments Off

Chapelsauce Time!

Nineteen pickers.

Fourteen jar washers.

Fifty workers on Saturday.

Fifty-seven workers on Monday.

You can do the math, and it won’t add up, but the result of all those faithful volunteer hands of St. Paul’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Red Lion, was 1,367 quarts of “Chapelsauce.”



Thanks to a brand new facility which helped streamline the annual process, Chapel Church congregent, Chapelsauce committee chair, and member of Bell’s Board of Directors, Aimee Miller, said production was more than doubled in nearly half the time this year.

Bell is one of several local entities that benefits from the cheerful toil of the volunteers of Chapel Church who dutifully set to making applesauce every year. Enjoyed in many of our community living homes, shared at program holiday gatherings, and with families in residence at Bell Family Shelter, everyone looks forward to Chapelsauce time.

It also becomes yet another reason for us to offer a big THANK YOU to the congregation, as they reach out in local mission work to actively live their faith.

16.10.2013 Community Partners, Stories, Thank You!, Volunteer Opportunities Comments Off

Bell Volunteer Group Recognized by Mayor

York City mayor C. Kim Bracey replaced her black and white cardigan with a bright Kelly green polo shirt yesterday afternoon as soon as she received the gift from members of Bell’s mental health services Volunteer Group. 

Giving it a stylish bit of flair by cinching the belt from her dress over the shirt, Bracey posed with the group for photos and then she grabbed a pair of gloves and pitched in to do some weeding. The Mayor – appearing happy to be free of the cast she’s been sporting the past few months - thanked the group for the work they’ve been doing to beautify public areas in the White Rose City.

 The Volunteer Group, which includes staff and service users from Bell’s vocational rehabilitation program, regularly clears litter and weeds from areas like the “garden” of gear flowers at Foundry Park, where they were met by the Mayor. Volunteer, Carrie, said opportunities to be of service outside are her favorite activities the group does. It was hard to tell if the sunshine of the clear October day or her cheerful enthusiasm for the chance to give back was the reason for her heartwarming smile.

Voc Rehab caseworker, Lynsey Huyett, said she and a former coworker in the program reached out to York City Recreation & Parks Bureau Superintendent, Tom Landis, to make arrangements for the group to help out around town at the suggestion of a group member.  Ideas for projects often come from the group, she said, and staff try to bring as many of those ideas to fruition as possible if it’s feasible.

A programming option at Bell for years, the group maintains some consistent and some transitional members as the three-month-long “semesters” change. They meet every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:15PM.

In addition to the City work, the Volunteer Group has been offering steady support to other local entities, too. At York Little Theatre they help move set pieces, pitch in with various cleaning assignments as needed, and weed around the perimeter of the building on Belmont Street in East York. They also assist residents with playing Bingo at Lutheran Social Services on the other side of town.

Other projects have included laying mulch at the Horn Farm Center, cleaning up walking trails and cutting back brush and weeds to give spruce trees room to grow at Lake Redman, making peanut butter eggs for a fundraiser at House of Hope, and making cards of appreciation for military service personnel as part of Operation Gratitude.

The newest addition to the Voc Rehab team, Courtney Erdman, said she thinks involvement with the Volunteer Group has been really beneficial to program participants. It helps as they seek employment opportunities, she said, especially when they can add volunteer experience to their resumes when applying for jobs.

09.10.2013 Adopt-A-Days, Community Partners, How YOU Can Help, Thank You! Comments Off

Horn Foundation Helps Local Families

Sincere thanks for faithful support of Bell Family Shelter from the Russell and Eleanor Horn Foundation.

Staff and residents of Bell Family Shelter offer gratitude to the Russell and Eleanor Horn Foundation for their support.

This year’s contribution from the Foundation allowed for eight full Adopt-a-Days at the Shelter.  Financial donations such as this are vital to our ability to helping about 40 mothers, fathers, and children each night, providing safe emergency housing, nutritious meals, and intensive guidance and counseling.  While the Shelter receives some federal, state, and county funding, half of our annual budget must be met through local contributions, which comes from United Way pledges, family foundations, and individual donors.


Are YOU in a position to celebrate the people and milestones in your life by considering a tax-deductible donation to help homeless York County families? Click here for information on our Adopt-a-Day program.

09.10.2013 Adopt-A-Days, Community Partners, How YOU Can Help, Thank You! Comments Off

Big Fat Daddy’s

Much gratitude to Wayne and Cindy Schafer of Big Fat Daddy’s  BBQ for their continuing support of Bell.

Staff and residents of Bell Family Shelter offer gratitude to Big Fat Daddy's for their support.

Every spring for the past number of years, Big Fat Daddy’s steps up to support Bell through their participation as a vendor in the Olde York Street Fair, held annually on Mother’s Day. All participating food vendors of the event must sign up through a local community benefit organization and promise to give at least half of their day’s proceeds to the nonprofit.

This year, Big Fat Daddy’s contribution was substainal enough for two full Adopt-a-Days at Bell Family Shelter; support which allows us to offer emergency accommodation to about 40 mothers, fathers, and children a night. We are grateful for such wonderful community support.


Are YOU in a position to celebrate the people and milestones in your life by considering a tax-deductible donation to help homeless York County families? Click here for information on our Adopt-a-Day program.

04.10.2013 Community Partners, Happenings Comments Off

Schweitzer Talks About Bell/Re-Source York Relationship

Tony Schweitzer, Bell’s assistant director of mental health services, also sits on the board of directors of Re-Source York.

Tony spoke at Bell’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at The Yorktowne Hotel, to share with the audience a little about our relationship:

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since we first ventured into this relationship to create  a retail operation that would provide job training opportunities for Bell service users, keep usable goods out of the landfills, provide low-cost materials to the community, and be a revenue generator to help Bell advance its mission.

We are grateful to the many donors who continue to provide all that great stuff – from flooring and appliances, cabinets and toilets, nuts and bolts, to bedroom sets and high chairs, collectible dinnerware sets, lighting fixtures, and much more.

We’re thankful for our customers, many of them regulars who are avid Do-It-Yourselfers who make Re-Source their first stop when it comes to home improvement projects. And the others who come to us as their “resource” for materials they turn into community art installations, backdrops for local school plays, and even big-time movie sets.

As you probably know, we now have two Re-Source York locations, one is in North York at 161 E. Ninth Avenue and the other is right across the street from the York Fairgrounds at 405 Carlisle Avenue.  Both are open six days a week and both employ people who’ve come through Bell’s vocational rehabilitation program.  Some folks in the program begin working at Re-Source for a short time just to get their feet wet, some stay awhile and then transition to other opportunities in the community, and some become valuable team members, helping with many aspects of keeping the stores in good order.

At this time, I’d like to recognize any Re-Source York board members, staff, volunteers, and workers who are in attendance, and offer a special welcome to our brand new executive director, Kristen Falenski, who just started last week.    

If you have any questions, please talk with these folks, and also pick up info at the table with the kitchen sink in the hallway.”

17.09.2013 Community Partners, Thank You! Comments Off

Fruits of the Season

A big THANK YOU to our faithful friends, Jerry and Judy Dietz of Aldersgate UMC, for another generous donation of fresh produce delivered to Bell Family Shelter this morning!


What a wonderful gift for the homeless families to share the bounty of the harvest season.

19.08.2013 Agency Announcements, Community Partners, How YOU Can Help Comments Off

Community Groups Offer Food and Goods to Neighbors

We’re happy to share the following, from our friends at Buchmyer’s Pools:

4th ANNUAL GIVE B.A.C.C.  (Because A Community Cares)

“Neighbors Helping Neighbors”

Saturday, August 24th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Location:  Buchmyer’s Pools, Inc., 713 Arsenal Road, York, PA  17406

PH:  717-757-2828 – York Office   |  717-630-2424 – Hanover Office

The community continues to make GIVE B.A.C.C. more successful each year. With help from local farmers, merchants and neighbors we have helped the less fortunate by giving to over  250 families in 2012.  At least three meals and fresh produce are given to each family every year.  This year, we strive to provide the same to 250 families or more

Once, again, we will be contacting local farmers, neighbors and other businesses for food donations.  We are hoping to give each family cereal and juice, bread, peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and sauce, along with fresh produce to anyone in need.  The, approximate, cost of each meal bag is $8.00.

With the help from our friends in the community we were also able to raise over $2,300.00 in monetary donations for the York Rescue Mission and York’s Helping Hand.  Additionally, well over $5,000.00 in groceries was donated for those in need and to the local charities. We are hopeful to exceed these amounts this year.

If you or someone you know is willing to donate food, please contact us at the above phone number.  Checks made payable to Buchmyer’s Pools will be used for sponsoring meal bags. PLEASE WRITE “GIVE B.A.C.C.” ON THE MEMO LINE OF THE CHECK.  (Note:  For tax deductible contributions, checks must be made payable to either York’s Helping Hand or York Rescue Mission and kindly mail to Buchmyer’s Pools at the above address.)

We will have boxes at both our locations for donations of canned goods and other items needed by both The York Rescue Mission and York’s Helping Hand.  I have attached a list of items they need or you can find them on their web sites at either: or

We are also counting on you, once again, to help us promote this event.  Please pass this information on to both those who can contribute as well as those who may be in need.  As you can see, we have a lot going on with this event and there is something to fit every budget.  Please reach into your heart and help us to make this a success!


Susie J Buchmyer