Staying well is about more than doctor’s appointments and medications. The national medical community has increasingly come to recognize that many nonmedical factors can greatly impact patients’ ability to maintain their health and well-being. These factors, which range from housing and food insecurities to limited transportation, are known as “social determinants of health.”
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s mission extends beyond providing high-quality health care as it focuses on addressing the various social determinants of health. Often times, this mission drives the health system to lead and partner with community organizations to develop coalitions, like Lanc Co MyHome.
Lanc Co MyHome, formerly Lancaster County Homeless Coalition, is a network of organizations and individuals working together to provide people experiencing homelessness in our community with shelter and a place to stay.
The coalition relies on community support, including individual donations, to help achieve its mission. Recently, Lanc Co MyHome received two donations from the community’s youngest residents, which will help extend support to individuals experiencing homelessness in Lancaster County.
Lucas Kreider, age 7, presented the organization with a $1,500 donation that was raised through the Peace Kids to the Rescue Art Show held at the Lancaster Creative Factory in October 2019. Lucas, the curator of the annual art show that highlights children’s art and raises funds through a silent auction, felt compelled to donate the funds because he knows that so many people in our community need help.
In addition, seventh graders at Donegal Middle School donated $1,037. Christina Helfrick, a social worker at Donegal School District, led a lesson on empathy for others in the community. Together, the seventh-grade students collected their spare change for approximately three weeks. Their donation will directly support Lanc Co MyHome’s Schools First program that assists Lancaster County students and their families.
“I’m so humbled by the passion, empathy and strength that the young people in our community are demonstrating. I have such hope for us and for our future with youth taking such an active role in supporting the community and each other,” shared Jennifer Koppel, director, Lanc Co MyHome.
To learn more about Lanc Co MyHome, visit www.lanccomyhome.org.