Community Partners

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

07.08.2013 Community Partners, How YOU Can Help, Uncategorized Comments Off

What’s Old is New Again: Preparing for Possibilities

 Work is in full swing on a building at the corner of E. Philadelphia and N. Pine streets in York City. The property, vacant since Bell operations moved to the current location at 160 S. George Street in 1996, is slated for new and exciting things.


Funded in part with monies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)and York County Planning Commission, rehabilitation of the structure will open the door of possibilities to homeless families, quite literally.

The Possibilities program will be a housing resource for four homeless families with children who are involved with York County Children Youth and Families (YCCY&F).  Participants will be referred for permanent housing placement from YCCY&F or Bell Family Shelter.  The typical family unit will be a woman between 18 to 25 years of age who is the mother of one to three young children. 

In addition to working with YCCY&F, Bell will coordinate services with the Community Progress Council, an organization providing generic case management service for York County, to assist with parenting skills, high school diplomas and vocational skills. The program will work with state and local unemployment services to secure employment for the residents. Services will be secured for daycare so mothers can attend classes, work or interviews. Mental health and substance abuse services will be provided by YCCY&F.

Crews from Trinity Construction Group are on site, busily readying the units for proposed occupancy in Fall 2013.


19.06.2013 Community Partners, Happenings, Stories Comments Off

Oasis House Welcomes State Visitors and International Monitors

DPW OMHSAS Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion and Executive Assistant Lynne Patrone

Members of Oasis House, the clubhouse program of Bell Socialization Services, held an open house on May 28 as part of the agency’s mental health awareness month activities. One of the visitors to the clubhouse was Dennis Marion, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services.  He told Bell’s Community Engagement team he was happy for the opportunity to see the program in person and meet members. Since taking office only a few months ago, he is making a concerted effort to visit many programs across the Commonwealth to better serve in his position with the Department of Public Welfare.

Executive assistant to the Deputy, Lynne Patrone – who was the recipient of Bell’s Pauline Whitacre Community Service Award in 2007 – also attended the event. Lynne was an essential piece of the start-up of Oasis House, serving on its advisory board in her former role as Consumer and Family Satisfaction Team Director for Mental Health America.

Designed on the model of Fountain House in Manhattan, New York, a clubhouse is a recovery-oriented joint operation between members and staff, where people with a history of mental illness can go for support in their efforts to become more a part of their community. Members and staff share all responsibilities in the clubhouse. Decisions regarding policy and procedure are made during house meetings, where all interested persons can be involved.

Visitors learn about Oasis House during the open house.

Representatives from Clubhouse International are in York this week to monitor Oasis House to be certain it meets the International Standards for Clubhouse Programs. Assessing Clubhouse quality is an important part of the process to maintain accreditation.

“The principles expressed in these Standards are at the heart of the Clubhouse community’s success in helping people with mental illness to stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational and vocational goals. The Standards also serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff, board and administrators. The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.” – Clubhouse International website (

For more information on Oasis House, contact program coordinator Joanna Witmer at 717-848-3566.

11.06.2013 Community Partners, Employee Recognition, Happenings Comments Off

Dedicated to Work

Bell’s Voc Rehab team is all about  work. When they do their jobs well, other people get jobs.

Thanks to supports from the four-person team, about 60 people receive services to help them prepare, enter and stay in the job market. Some two dozen are actively employed at local businesses.  

Always happy to do what it takes to promote their program, the crew cheerfully embraced  an opportunity this week to go a little  beyond their typical scope.  All four agreed to style makeovers to promote Bell’s upcoming Mad Men-themed fundraising party, which will benefit the voc program.





(Big thanks to community partners Hilary Arthur of Arthur & Daughters for styling, and Glen Oropeza of Glen Coco for Hair for sharing their professional services to the effort! More photos on the Bell Facebook page.