Full of enthusiasm, wearing big smiles and their “Live United” tee shirts, they came . . . ready for action. Day of Action, that is!
As the 9:00 hour struck this past Friday morning, June 20, people both new and familiar to us began arriving at each of Bell’s six pre-arranged project sites to pitch in on one of the area’s biggest volunteer project days. The United Way of York Day of Action brings individuals and groups from local companies and organizations together with UW partner agencies and other nonprofits to make a difference.
At the Bell sites, 36 participants representing six organizations were greeted by Bell staff at the scattered project locations, welcomed with words of appreciation for their time and support, and an overview of who, exactly, they were helping. Quickly acclimating, the volunteers immediately set to the tasks before them: two car washes, three gardening/landscaping projects, and one painting project.
Volunteers came from The Bon-Ton Corporation, Columbia Gas, Emerging Leaders Society of the United of Way of York County, GEA Refrigeration, RAYAC, and SF&Company, and Bell’s Board of Directors president, Bob Lease, also popped in to lend a hand.
Bell’s volunteer coordinator, Janel Fox, oversaw the projects from the initial project listings through to the picnic and follow up. “Best one yet!,” she said. “The enthusiasm and capability of the volunteers floored me. It was absolutely wonderful, and really reflects the giving nature of the community we live in.”
Fox also wanted to extend big hugs of appreciation to all the Bell staff who went above and beyond to make sure Day of Action was a success, and special thanks, too, to Bell volunteer, Ray Bianchini, who helped pull things together for the landscaping projects . “It was, indeed, a coordinated team effort all the way around,” Fox said. “Many thanks to all who pitched in to make it a great day!”
Bell Socialization Services offers a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved with our 2014 Celebrating Mental Health Recovery art show, held May 22 to 30 at York College.
Deep gratitude is extended to Matthew Clay-Robison and his team at the York College Art Galleries for professionally curating the exhibit of 130 pieces submitted for the show. We sincerely value community partners who help to recognize and applaud the courage of those living with mental illness who share their hearts through creative expressions in paint, clay, textile, photography, and mixed media.
We further wish to acknowledge this year’s art show judges: Kevin Lenkner, executive director of York Arts, and local artists Susan Biros-Dawes and Rita King, gallery director of The Parliament. Thanks, too, to NAMI-York for allowing us to align with their efforts to promote Mental Health Awareness Month via the corresponding candlelight vigil, opening reception, and screening of The Anonymous People.
To these and any unmentioned, we offer appreciation for efforts to help eliminate the stigma of mental illness and recognize the valuable contributions of the one in four of the population living with mental illness.
Note cards featuring artwork from this and previous years’ shows are available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Bell’s mental health social rehabilitation program. Contact us for more information.
Sometimes, when the sky is grey and threatening rain, moods can turn a little cloudy, too. Especially if one is cooped up inside.
Well, no fear of that for the participants of Bell’s intellectual disability services’ Social Recreation program. They simply grab their sweatshirts and some umbrellas and head off to create their own sunshine.
Thanks to Christy and the fine folks at Royer’s Flowers & Gifts on Loucks Road in York, the Bell group enjoyed learning something new together today – floral arrangement. For a nominal fee of $5 each, the individuals in the group received a tour of the facility and then worked with staff to design their very own arrangements, which they were able to bring back to Bell and will then take home.
Apparently, we have some quick learners; these are beautiful, don’t you think?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! And that means it’s time for the Celebrating Mental Health Recovery art show! On display at the York Collge of Pennsylvania Galleries, the show runs from May 22 to May 30.
Monday 9am – 5pm
Tuesday 9am – 5pm
Wednesday 9am – 9pm
Thursday 9am – 9pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm
Wolf Hall, First Floor
Free visitor parking is adjacent to Wolf Hall. The art galleries are wheelchair accessible. All exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.
Volumes have been written touting the value of meaningful work. The social, economic, and mental health benefits gained from being employed extend far beyond stuffing dollars into a wallet.
Tim Barshinger, Britta Schwab, Michael Potteiger, Representative Schreiber, Edquina Washington
To help facilitate those benefits enriching the lives of local residents – particularly those living in or near York City, Bell’s human resources coordinator, Britta Schwab, spearheaded an effort to hold a York City Career Fair. Co-presented with the office of PA Representative Kevin Schreiber, the event is slated to be held Thursday, May 31, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at 140 W. King Street, York (at First Saint John’s Lutheran Church).
“This event is the culmination of efforts from many individuals and agencies working together to benefit our shared community and to promote opportunities for EVERYONE to work in our local community,” said Schwab at a press conference held this past Thursday morning at City Hall. (Fox43 video clip)
While the unemployment rate hovers around 6 1/2 % across the Commonwealth, according to Representative Schreiber, trends indicate at least a mild return to consumer spending, per conversations he has had with local financial institutions and representatives of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties (RAYAC). Schreiber added at the press conference that he is happy to promote this event and promote job availability for constituents through the first of what he hopes will become an annual event.
Edquina Washington, community relations director, City of York, and Michael C. Potteiger, chairman of the PA Department of Probation and Parole also offered remarks to the audience of press and a gathering of about 25 local people, including Bell employees and service users. (York Daily Record report)
Additional community partners instrumental in supporting the cause include the City of York, PA Department of Probation and Parole, York PA campus of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), York College of Pennsylvania, the York County Treatment Courts, First Saint John’s Lutheran Church, and Starbucks Roasting Plant.
Looking for employment opportunities? Schwab encourages people to come out to chat with representatives from more than 40 local business – all of whom are currently hiring and at least half of which are willing to screen applicants who may have a criminal record – and enjoy seminars offering tips on securing a job. “Dress your best and bring resumes to share with employers, too,” she suggested.
Schwab and Schreiber speak with York Dispatch reporter Candy Woodall
The venue for the Career Fair is “very walkable and bikable,” situated along the bike lane and the transit line, Schreiber added, thanking the City for their efforts to provide some additional free parking in the area (meters will be bagged) the day of the event.
Questions about the York City Career Fair may be directed to Britta Schwab at 717-848-5767, ext. 514 or email@example.com.
A big THANK YOU to our community partner, Susquehanna Bank, for their support of Bell Family Shelter by way of a recent $1,000 grant.
We are honored to work with businesses in our area who understand the importance of meeting the emergency shelter needs of York County residents. Financial and in-kind donations allow us to provide a safe haven for many families – more than 600 people each year – at the Shelter.
Pictured above are Jennifer Pitts, Senior Sales & Marketing Specialist, in the Concord Road office, Linda Haley, BFS program coordinator, and April Murray, Branch Relationship Manager, at the One E. Market Street bank location.
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.