You know what it’s like. You’re in a relationship for a few years and it can be easy to start taking one another for granted. Sure, you express your appreciation on a somewhat regular basis, but it may not be all flowers and chocolates anymore, like when you were courting. And then one day, you look up, and you realize the time has come. You’ve got to let that special someone know just how important they are to you.
In an effort to more fully express the agency’s appreciation to our community partners, Bell’s former office of Community Relations and Development is taking its new name — Community Engagement — seriously. Director Averie Clark says,”The best relationships are two-way. Each participant brings something to the table and it takes effort to keep things running smoothly and in the best interest of all parties involved.”
“This is personal for us because what our community partners help us to do every day through their financial and in-kind investments in Bell is very personal to those who receive the services we provide,” she says. “It’s not about just accepting a check and smiling for a photo op.
So today when Margaret “Peggy” Selway showed up at the agency’s spring employee training for what she expected would be the obligatory “grin and grab” to acknowledge a $5,000 contribution by her employer, Glatfelter Insurance Group, she was taken aback when Bell’s executive director, Ivan “Ike” Hileman handed off the check and then got down on one knee.
Only she heard the words he spoke as the crowd erupted with applause and hoots of laughter when he knelt. Only those close enough to the scene saw the tears well up in her eyes as he slipped the giant, glittering ring onto her finger.
[Ring provided by Sunrise Soap Company, York, PA]
Quality Assurance Specialist, Lori Leister, shared a photo today from the conference she is attending in Baltimore this week with fellow Bell employees Teri Contino, Fiscal Manager, Paula Clymer Moore, director of finance, and Angela Wildasin, program coordinator, Assertive Community Treatment.
The crew is gaining a lot of valuable information at the Credible Partner Conference, Leister reported, saying they’ve picked up tips to better use the behavioral healthcare software system that helps manage Electronic Health Records (EHR), and learned about upcoming updates and changes our agency will need to know.
A team of Bell employees has been working together to integrate the EHR system, as required by law, in an effort to continue to provide quality services to those in Bell programs. The employees attending the conference will share the information they’ve gleaned to further assist the team in meeting meaningful use measures, with components to assure integrated, coordinated care to meet the needs of Bell service users.
Really? I should be wearing that size?
It’s a common reaction from many women when they realize their measurements don’t align with the size of the bra they’re wearing.
And it was one heard quite a few times coming from behind the screen on Friday, February 21, as a group of 30 or so female Bell employees and service users gathered in the agency’s community room for a mini event titled, “Close to Your Heart.”
The function was hosted to provide a comfortable environment in which women who receive Bell services could be measured so they would know where to start when shopping for a properly-fitting bra. It was also to introduce them, if they didn’t already know, to Bell’s Support the Girls program, which gives them access to purchase a brand new bra.
An initiative developed by Bell’s office of community engagement as part of Bell’s Women’s Empowerment Event several years ago, the Support the Girls fund accepts donations from community members – primarily women – who understand the need for proper foundation garments. Boosting self-esteem as well as the bosom, more than 40 women, coming from each of Bell’s main service areas, have already benefited from the program. The initiative was also selected as a finalist for the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal‘s 2013 Nonprofit Innovation Award.
One woman, interviewing for jobs so she could secure a safe place to live for herself and her children, was disappointed to learn through her caseworker that she was not a top choice because she didn’t present well – a direct result of not having an adequate brassiere. Thanks to the Support the Girls fund, she was able to shop with her caseworker and purchase two (buy one, get one deal!) bras. She subsequently secured the job, was able to pay rent again, reunited her family, and is confidently moving forward.
Serving also as a wellness event, attendees to “Close to Your Heart” were able to receive free blood pressure screenings, could pick up information from the American Heart Association (thank you, Wade) about heart health, and talk with representatives from P.I.N.K., a local group of breast cancer survivors, to learn about breast health. (Thank you, Lisa, Leslie, and Donna)
Special thanks go to nurse, Linda Schwab, for providing blood pressure screenings and bringing and talking with participants about good heart-healthy foods. A shout out, also, to Hayley Croom, owner of Paintbox Soapworks, for supplying nearly two dozen bars of specialty soaps which were offered as door prizes.
To donate to Bell’s Support the Girl’s fund, visit our Donate Now page.
Shelter house manager Jennifer Strine and program coordinator Linda Haley pose on the front steps of the Shelter with student volunteers from Brandeis University. front row: Eric Haavind, Jen, Max Shpilman, Alex Collin;. back row: Nick Levergood, Joey Kaminski, Linda, Deepti Kanneganti, Ian Christie, Sophia, Lavrentyeva, Sophie Brickman, and Kateri Spear. — at Bell Family Shelter.
The dedication of a group of students from Brandeis University (visiting York this week with Habitat for Humanity) epitomized “the old college try” when their original service project for the day fell through.
Searching the internet for alternatives,they landed on Bell’s Web site. Of all the places they looked at, student Kateri Spear said they really connected with the values the nonprofit demonstrated so they gave a call to Bell Family Shelter wondering if there was something they could do to help.
And help they did!
After several hours of heavy-duty cleaning on Thursday, they were still full of energy and bearing enthusiastic smiles when these photos were snapped as they gathered to debrief. Chatting with Bell staff, they received information about Bell’s additional services for individuals with mental illness and intellectual disability, as well as some general historic information about York and its current cultural resurgence. With two days remaining in their visit, they were encouraged to check out local flavor by attending the New Eastern and Central Markets.
Thanks, Kateri, Deepti, Alex, Max, Ian, Eric, Sophie, Joey, Sophia, and Nick!!
Wolf Furniture General Manager Chad Lamendola posed with some new friends on the steps of Bell Family Shelter on January 31. Lamendola (far right) presented a$500 donation to the shelter services program of local nonprofit, Bell Socialization Services, which was accepted by Shelter program coordinator, Linda Haley (far left). Members of some of the current resident families joined the photo. The annual support of the organization’s work in the community – specifically the county’s only 30-day shelter for homeless families – was made possible through proceeds from Wolf’s annual vendor golf outing.