Local Heroes Newsletter
One of the many hashtags we’ve seen gaining traction lately is #ChesterCountyStrong. And for good reason. Our community has much to be proud of and to take comfort in as we consider how to prepare our path back to better times.
The pages of County Lines magazine are filled with stories of individuals and groups working for causes bigger than themselves and helping to keep our community strong. Periodically, we shine a light on some of the Local Heroes who fill us with pride as they quietly perform often thankless service. And our entire March issue, produced in partnership with the Chester County Community Foundation, is devoted to showcasing our rich heritage of local philanthropy.
And so we’re using this week’s newsletter share some uplifting content and return again to the stories of just a few who make our community what it is—#ChesterCountyStrong.
It’s “feel good” Friday!
Stay safe and well.
-Jo Anne Durako, Editor
-Ed Malet, Publisher
Profiles in Philanthropy—Betty Moran
Living by her personal motto—be kind, considerate, charitable and fierce—Betty Moran’s life was also defined by her philanthropy and love of family, friends and community before her passing earlier this year. Her leadership and generosity were felt by a wide array of local nonprofits, all of which are essential to our community’s strong future.
Chester County Food Bank
Last year they celebrated 10 years of mobilizing the community to help provide fresh, healthy food and more. Now they’re an essential lifeline to a growing number of our neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity during these difficult times. Consider supporting their good works if you can.
With over 125 years of service, the Women’s Auxiliary of Chester County Hospital continues to raise impressive levels of funding to support our local hospital through events like Chester County Day house tour, schedule for almost 80 years for the first Saturday in October. Their efforts are even more critical as additional strains are placed on our hospitals.
From the tragedy of their daughter’s 1986 rape and murder at Lehigh University, Connie and Howard Clery worked to pass the Jeanne Clery Act that revolutionized federal policy on campus safety reporting across and county, then later to establish the Strafford, PA Clery Center to address campus safety, now helping to address campus crime at its source. “When bad things happen to you and those you love, go help someone else,” says Connie. Words to live by now more than ever.
Carol Metzker & Jamie Manirakiza
Safety, strength, care, compassion, freedom. Important words for the victims of human trafficking that Carol and Jamie strive to help through the Salvation Army’s New Day to Stop Trafficking Program. Learn more about this dirty secret that extends even to our affluent suburbs in Carol’s book, Facing the Montser: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery and the work of New Day.
Case worker, Christine Natale says about her work at the West Chester shelter, “It’s my job to see what their needs are, to meet each person where they are, and work with them with the skill set they have.” She and the other staff provide more than shelter and meals—medical care, clothes for job, what’s needed for 25 years.
For 25 years Community Volunteers in Medicine has been providing care for those most in need—free dental and medical services funded entirely through philanthropy. In 2014 their 350 active volunteers served 3,000 patients, delivering $5 million in services plus $3 million in medications. No doubt the demands on their services will surge as a result of the pandemic. CVIM.org.
Roy Smith, Historic Preservation Leader
Preserving Chester County’s rich historic character—the charm and beauty of historic buildings and landscapes—is an enduring source of community pride. In recognition of his consistent and valuable efforts, A. Roy Smith was awarded West Chester Downtown Foundation’s first Preservationist Award. Smith was cited for helping “to foster the importance of retaining and restoring our historic fabric,” yet another value that helps add to #ChesterCountyStrong.