As far as the dozens of young people at Lancaster Children’s Home are concerned, the dead-end road sign on Children’s Avenue is inaccurate. The road, and the agency operating there, offers an outlet and a passageway to a better life than the one each child originally inherited.
The Lancaster Children’s Home affords a chance for the children to press “reset” since many have been abandoned, neglected, or abused in some way. State funding and grants provide only a portion of the funds required to operate the facility in a “home-like” way.
Community support from companies like Haile Gold Mine helps the agency operate just a little easier for the children and dedicated employees.
Haile recently joined other local corporate sponsors to fund the 11th Annual Fall Flurry Clay Shoot – the biggest fundraiser event for the Lancaster Children’s Home. In November the operation donated 63lbs of wild boar sausage to stock the facility’s freezer.
Wild Boar pose a threat to infrastructure and humans. The Haile Gold Mine conducts a trap and kill program to reduce the onsite population when frequent sightings occur. The pigs are processed, and meat is donated in the community wherever a need exists.
“We absolutely love the Haile Gold Mine, they have been wonderful to us,” Director of Community Development, April Joplin said.
Haile also provided items for outdoor activities last summer, which April said was a great treat for the children. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited the agency’s ability to host onsite programs for the children. The need for other activities significantly increased.
“The outdoor activity items were wonderful for our kids and gave them things to keep them occupied outside. You can’t take a troubled teen and make them sit in their bedroom 24/7. That’s a recipe for disaster,” she said.
Community support is perhaps the biggest factor in the success of the facility. April said state support provides little more than enough for “three hots and a cot.”
According to April, considerably more is needed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the children. For example, many referrals necessitate maintaining counseling services. Some also need glasses, which means trips to appointments.
Part of April’s job is seeking opportunities for more funding. Lancaster Children’s Home relies heavily on grants and fundraising efforts. Food donations are important, but there are challenges because the facility cooks in bulk so small cans of food aren’t as helpful. AmazonSmile has been a big help.
The online portal is separate from Amazon’s main website. It offers the same items and benefits as Amazon.com but has a big charitable difference. When you purchase on AmazonSmile, 0.5% of the price goes to the charity of your choice at no extra charge to the charity or customer.
“We promote that a lot on our social media. We’ll have people go online and order the bulk food and it’ll be shipped to us,” April said.
Residents of Sun City Carolina Lakes have also been instrumental in their support of Lancaster Children’s Home. The panhandle community’s Friends of Lancaster Children’s Home and a Helping Hands group have stepped up to meet needs as they arise.
“Both of those groups go above and beyond to help us out,” she said.
There’s plenty of opportunities for you to help out with Christmas right around the corner. You can donate gifts to the children by checking Lancaster Children’s Home Facebook and Instagram pages. The agency frequently updates both outlets with a list of needs. Christmas wish lists will also be shared on social media.
April said the great thing about support from corporations like Haile is the example it sets for employees.
“We’ve had employees from Haile reach out and ask what they can do. When your employer is setting the example, it encourages the employees to be a philanthropist and want to do the same thing,” she said.
If you would like to support the Lancaster Children’s Home, please reach out to them at +1 803 286 5277, or follow their social media pages for donation information. The agency is a 501c3 non-profit organization.