In 1999, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) created the Community Challenge Weekend in an effort to help less fortunate individuals in the local communities served by the Association members. The Challenge is held in October of each year. ALA encourages its Chapters, its members and their employers, as well as vendors to work together to contribute time, energy and resources toward improving their local communities.
The Central PA Chapter of ALA is proud to have participated in every Community Challenge since its inception.
Each year, ALA members come together to contribute time, energy and good will toward a community service effort that will help those in need.
In past years, our Central PA chapter members volunteered at the Salvation Army to help with its Gift Giving program, they assisted the American Red Cross in its “National Night Out” campaign, and answered calls for WITF during its Fall Radio Pledge Drive. We try to reach out to different charitable and non-profit organizations each year.
We had 8 volunteers this year representing 7 law firms serve as line servers, bus, clean tables & help guests at Water Street Mission. The mission is located at 210 S. Prince Street in Lancaster. For more information on volunteering or donating to the mission visit their website at www.wsm.org.
Experiencing homelessness is traumatic. That’s why the mission works to provide a safe and healing environment. The mission provides shelter for 170+ people per day and serves 146,000+ meals per day.
The 7 law firms represented were: Appel & Yost LLP; Johnson, Duffie, Stewart & Weidner PC; Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess LLP; Russel, Krafft & Gruber, LLP; Barley Snyder LLP; Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP and Kegel Kelin Almy & Lord LLP.
This year, a few members helped pack and sort food at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is well known in our area as an organization whose mission is to reduce and eventually eliminate hunger in Central Pennsylvania. It started out in a converted movie theater in Steelton and has grown to a 43,000 square foot facility in Harrisburg. The Food Bank distributes food through a network of community agencies (i.e., emergency pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior citizen programs and childcare centers), and it’s all done with volunteers.
Our volunteers this year included representatives from two of our loyal sponsors: Phillips Office Solutions and LexisNexis.
If you would like to learn more about the Central PA Food Bank, please visit its website: http://www.centralpafoodbank.org.
2015: This year we assisted WITF with its Fall Radio Pledge Drive. Volunteers answered calls from people wanting to contribute to WITF. (This was not a televised drive – it was radio-only.) WITF’s broadcasts cover 17 counties in Central PA. You may know WITF for its classical music, educational television or information website. WITF’s goal is to “use technology to enhance education and enrich lives.”
Eight (8) legal administrators/leaders volunteered, representing 8 different law firms: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney P.C.; Daley Zucker Meilton & Miner, LLC; Johnson, Duffie, Stewart & Weidner; Goldberg, Katzman; Kegel Kelin Almy & Grimm LLP; McNees, Wallace & Nurick; Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP; Saidis, Sullivan & Rogers.
Although this was light-duty compared to prior year’s community service projects, we nonetheless learned more about WITF and how it helps educate and enlighten those in our community.
2014: Central PA ALA members assisted the American Red Cross by sorting and packing informational materials for its “National Night Out” campaign. We try to mix it up each year by assisting charitable or non-profit organizations that service our communities in different ways.
2013: Some Central PA ALA members donated part of their day on December 10, 2013, to help make the 2013 season a little brighter for some children in the greater Harrisburg area, by helping with the Salvation Army’s Gift Giving Program.
The Salvation Army accepted applications from families who needed assistance with food, clothing or gifts. Three thousand children were eligible in 2013 for the Salvation Army’s gift-giving program (up from 2,000 last year). Our ALA members helped with the first distribution of 1,500 children. New gifts were donated to the Salvation Army and displayed; the volunteers were then given lists of items requested by each child. The mission was to match a gift to the request as closely as possible, given the inventory.
Imagine trying to fill a request for a pair of size 10 pants, but only being able to provide a size 11 or 12, or a child asking for a Barbie doll and getting a paint set instead because there were no more Barbie dolls to distribute.
It was heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time… heart-wrenching that each child could not be given one perfect gift, and heart-warming knowing that each child would at least be remembered and would receive a present, of some sort, that might help make their holiday brighter.
2012: Central Pennsylvania Chapter members of the ALA got their hands dirty this year!
Our Chapter participated in the United Way of Central Pennsylvania’s Day of Caring. We were assigned to help clean, wash, rake and shampoo our way through Lourdeshouse Maternity Services in Harrisburg. Lourdeshouse Maternity Home offers housing and services to pregnant women during a very vulnerable time in their lives. Women are assisted during their pregnancy, as well as up to 6 months post-birth. Services include: counseling, adoption, parenting education, medical care, education, work experience, aftercare planning, and a safe home. Lourdeshouse is funded by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, Inc. and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.
The staff and mothers-to-be recently moved into their new home on Willow Road in Harrisburg just a couple of months ago. The facility was used as an elderly care unit previously and was in need of some severe cleaning. We had 8 volunteers this year who worked from 9 a.m. to 2-3:00 p.m. Our tasks that day ranged from washing drapes in the mothers’ rooms, washing the walls of the common areas and bedrooms, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning carpets, washing windows and yard work.
We hope we brought a little sunshine into the lives of those women who are struggling with a life-changing event that will require much strength and preparation on their part.
Eight (8) different law firms were represented in this year’s Community Connection:
Apple & Yost, LLP (Myrle Greiner); Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney (Holly Bratton); CGA Law Firm (Pat Klinedinst); Daley, Zucker, Meilton, Miner & Gingrich, LLC (Patty Patton); Johnson, Duffie, Stewart & Weidner (Laura Dobbin); McNees, Wallace & Nurick (Rick Burtnett); Rhoads & Sinon (Beth Lebo); Saidis, Sullivan & Rogers (Gigi Wentzel)
2011: Central Pennsylvania Chapter members of the ALA rolled up their sleeves this year to help the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank with the USDA’s monthly supplemental food program.
2010: The Chapter teamed with a no -profit that provides outreach programs for at-risk youth. The Chapter members collected wish list items for holiday gift bags for several hundred children between the ages of 5 and 14.
2009: Dress for Success: Chapter members worked with Dress for Success to collect articles of clothing and accessories for women. The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.
2008: HopeLine: Chapter members worked with Verizon to collect old cell phones and cell phone accessories. Verizon re-conditions these phones, and then re-sells them. The proceeds go toward the purchase of new phones that are then donated to victims of domestic violence.
A sampling of other charities the Central PA Chapter members have worked with over the years include Habitat for Humanity, the Bethesda Rescue Mission (Harrisburg) and the Water Street Rescue Mission (Lancaster).