United Way of Bedford County
United Way of Bedford County’s goal is serving our Bedford County community through improving its Health, Education, and Financial Stability. Every year we award grants to local non-profits who are dedicated to helping and improving our community. Your contributions to United Way of Bedford County impact these non-profit organizations.
The Bedford County Library offers services to residents on the Western end of Bedford County through its Bedford Borough and Hyndman Borough locations. These two locations hold a host of materials for people of all ages, but their target programing for the United Way of Bedford County is through their children and teen programs. These programs help to foster a love of reading and education to its participants. They also teach our children and teens on a range of topics throughout their programming, not limited to but including health and financial literacy. Using PA Forward and the literacies they encourage libraries to help with Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy. The Bedford County Library develops their programs to help children and teens learn to become caring members of society. Their Story Time program teaches kids how to save, how to share, how to spend, how to learn to help one another, and how to create relationships with one another. Their teen programs allow for teaching local teens why helping in the community is good not only for them, but for others, as well as the Basic Health and Financial Literacies.
Home Nursing Agency’s mission is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, kindness, and individual pride. The following program descriptions explain the diverse services available to the residents of Bedford County through the support of the United Way of Bedford County:
The Healing Patch: The Healing Patch offers the surrounding communities support and resources for grieving children and their families dealing with the death of a significant person.
Services for the Healing Patch include:
Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries is committed to fulfilling their mission, “To serve people through a ministry of love, compassion, and mercy in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” ALSM reaches to touch the lives of the most vulnerable among us. From young children to senior adults, ALSM provides a variety of meaningful support to help many people live better lives. ALSM Children’s Services programs focus on children’s educational, health, and nutritional needs, while providing a safe and nurturing environment. While they have always been involved in working with children and families, their ministries took a giant leap in the spring of 1978 when they became the prime contractor for the Early Childhood Development Program. This program provides childcare services in Bedford for children of low-income families. Through this program, they gained expertise in providing childcare for children and now operate Growing Years Early Learning Centers in several locations throughout our eight county regions to families of all economic levels. In addition, beginning in 1989, they began operating programs called Kid Stop for before and after care of school aged children.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council, is to prepare young people of Western Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and parts of West Virginia to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Thus, the Laurel Highlands Council helps to shape the future of youth in Bedford County through this mission. Scouts are encouraged to follow the Scout Law by being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. The Scout Law inherently teaches youth to increase their own capacity for caring for others, including within their families, schools, and communities. Scouts are also encouraged to follow the Scout Oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
MidPenn Legal Services is a public interest law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income residents living in Bedford and 17 other PA Counties. Founded in 1969, they have successfully served thousands of low-income people facing critical legal problems. The success and growth of a community is directly related to the ability to ensure that the basic needs of its most vulnerable citizens are met. Partnering with the United Way, their legal advocacy is focused on the basic needs that affect low-income individuals, families, and children, which are: safety, shelter, food, and income. These are basic needs of all families, and they align with the mission of the United Way of Bedford, which is “To increase organizational capacity for people to care for one another, focusing on health, education, and financial stability.” As a United Way partner, MidPenn Legal Services is an integral part of a community effort to improve the lives of Bedford County’s most vulnerable residents, because their legal advocacy helps to keep families and individuals housed and safe, while helping them to gain access to an income stream and needed benefits such as Social Security Disability.
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors, and partners, is always there in times of need. All people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope, our communities are ready and prepared for disasters, everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products, all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use to use their Red Cross skills to save lives. The Red Cross in Bedford County provides immediate emergency services to victims of disaster/ usually single-family home fires, but not limited to floods, other natural or man-made disasters. Services are emergency food; clothing and shelter at the time of the event with casework to ensure the disaster victims are on the path to re-establishing their lives. Their volunteers are the shoulder on which a disaster victim can rest assured they are there to help them at a time when all seems so lost.
The mission of the Bedford County Regional Education Foundation is to make higher education geographically, academically, and financially accessible for individuals in Bedford County and the surrounding region and to enhance the quality of life available to those individuals. Through scholarships, tuition assistance, and emergency book funding support, the Foundation is making higher education possible for Bedford County residents. There is a strategic link between the United Way of Bedford County’s mission and the work of the Bedford County Regional Education Foundation’s emergency book funding program. The Foundation strives to give recipients of emergency book funding and other financial support access to higher education. This education enables the students to increase quality of life for themselves and their families. Together, the Foundation and the United Way of Bedford County partner to provide emergency book funding to Bedford County Campus students and the program increases the capacity of both organizations by increasing people’s ability to care for one another.
Your Safe Haven, Inc is the county’s only comprehensive crime victim center. They provide services to victims of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and other serious crimes. They assist people in filing Protection From Abuse petitions (PFA’s). They accompany victims throughout the court process for all crimes. They work in conjunction with Women in Need (WIN) to assist victims of sexual assault. They respond immediately to UPMC Bedford when a sexual assault occurs. They remain with the victim for the medical forensic examination and law enforcement interview. They work with Bedford County Children and Youth Agency to transport parents and children to forensic interviews at the Cambria County Child Advocacy Center. These children are victims of sexual assault and recently also physical abuse. Your Safe Haven, Inc. accompany the parents and children throughout the entire court proceedings. They counsel victims and assist them in obtaining restitution from the perpetrators for medical and other expenses. They assist clients in relocating if necessary for their safety. Your Safe Haven, Inc. responds to any victims of crime, anywhere it is needed, 24 hours a day.
The Girl Scouts of Western PA offers remarkable opportunities for girls of all ages to develop positive values, so that they can contribute to society as leaders, thinkers, and responsible citizens. Studies show that adolescents in high-quality programs are more likely to avoid risky behaviors, to have better performance in school, and to have greater social competence, than those who are not in a program, even taking account of additional factors. Girl Scouts is in a unique position to provide support to girls who need it the most. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania positively impacts the academic, social, and health status of young girls through their unique, inclusive, skill-building environment. Not only are girls’ minds challenged, but also their spirits are brightened through the encouragement of dedicated adult volunteers and social skills honed through being part of a tightly knit community. By addressing the social, cultural, and economic shifts that are rapidly impacting our local and global communities, Girl Scouts is best positioned to equip the leaders that this complex and uncertain world requires– one who values diversity, inclusion, and collaboration and is committed to improving neighborhoods, communities, and the world.
Bedford County Camp Cadet was started in 1991 by the late Sgt. Art Hershey. The camp is a week-long camp held in the summer at Camp Living Waters. It is modeled after the State Police Academy and is meant to teach kids respect, self-discipline, leadership, and many other qualities they can hopefully use in their lifetime. It is free of charge and has been since its inception. It has graduated approximately 80 cadets a year. Any child who is between the ages of 12- 15 and either resides or goes to school in Bedford is eligible to attend.
The Learning Lamp’s mission is to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. In Bedford County the Learning Lamp serves children in grades Pre-K through 12 in a variety of programs that range from preschool and summer camps to specialized emotional and behavior supports to drug/alcohol prevention and education/enrichment activities for gifted children. In all, the Learning Lamp provided direct services to 131 children in 2017. The agency manages subs for Chestnut Ridge and Tussey Mountain School Districts as well as Head Start of Bedford County.
Saxton Community Library is a free public library that serves the community of the Tussey Mountain School District. They provide programs for children including the weekly story hour for children K-3rd.In the summer they provide a 5-week summer reading program for children K-6th grade, and adult craft classes.