Sam Bressi

Sam Bressi

These are uncertain and troubling times. COVID-19 continues to spread, and communities everywhere are reeling from this serious public health threat. The short- and long-term economic and social ramifications that accompany it are unknown. Unfortunately, Lancaster County is not immune to any of these challenging circumstances.

We’re all connected — from our families to our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces, to our towns, our county, the state, nation and beyond.

In this spirit of connectedness, generosity and concern for our most vulnerable neighbors, the Lancaster County Community Foundation and United Way of Lancaster County are working together to respond. To begin, we’ve created the Lancaster Cares COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund is hyperfocused on the critical needs — including food and housing — of Lancaster County families and our community’s ability to respond rapidly to emerging needs.

Lancaster Cares is the first phase of what may require a multiphase approach. The Community Foundation believes in this strategic, collective impact approach, and has made a lead gift of $250,000 to seed this much-needed effort. The United Way is bringing its deep knowledge, expertise and community connections to drive this effort. We’ve formed a steering committee of some of our community’s strongest social-service sector leaders to help us effectively and efficiently guide our work in the immediate now and the developing and unknown future. Our goal is to target dollars to reach more people more quickly.

Finally, Lancaster Cares offers a crowdfunding site that you will find at LancoCares.org. This gives you an opportunity to join us and support this crucial work. If you are in the fortunate position to be able to support the effort financially, we are truly grateful. If you are not able to provide financial support at this time, you can still work to promote this effort by telling your family and friends and through your social media networks. Your advocacy and endorsement are priceless.

These are undeniably hard and uncertain times. But Lancaster County is uniquely positioned to weather this storm; our community is built for the long haul. Our rich and diverse culture, our deep-rooted values and our extraordinary generosity will lift us through this challenging moment. We’re in this together.

We wish you, your family and our community health, safety and security today and continued strength that will ensure that we thrive tomorrow.

Samuel J. Bressi is president and CEO of the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Kevin Ressler is president and CEO of United Way of Lancaster County.

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