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Summer 2021 Newsletter

Hi ,

Ambassadors for Hope is delighted to report that it has received a $5000 grant from the Walters/Unitarian Universalist Trust. The purpose of the grant is to help children with a parent in prison understand the situation that they are in, maintain contact, when appropriate, with the incarcerated parent, and participate in activities that help build resilience and improve social development.

This grant will enable Ambassadors for Hope to provide financial assistance to children affected by parental incarceration so that they can attend summer camps, enroll in before and after school childcare, and participate in programs to build artistic, academic, and athletic skills. Some of the funds will finance the purchase of age-appropriate books about parental incarceration. Finally, the grant will help provide writing supplies to foster letter writing between the child and the incarcerated parent.

The Walters/Unitarian Universalist Church Trust is an endowment from Arthur and Selma Walters to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster. The grant supports programs that affirm the worth and dignity of all humans, a mission fully compatible with the work of Ambassadors for Hope. The Family Services Advocate at Compass Mark will handle requests for financial resources. If you become aware of persons dealing with parental incarceration who require assistance, please make a referral to the Family Services Advocate by calling 717-299-2831.

Family Service Advocate Report from
Lindsey Ober, Family Service Advocate

There are approximately 3,500 children in Lancaster County with an incarcerated parent. Children of the incarcerated are continuing to show resiliency through skill building and education despite the adverse experiences they live through.

  • Ambassadors for Hope sponsored two 30-day bus passes for two brothers who got summer jobs working in a print shop 6 miles from their home. The boys will work 25 hours a week and put 50% of their paychecks in a savings account for college.

  • 1 client will be attending a basketball camp with scholarship money from Ambassadors for Hope.

  • Ambassadors for Hope has given out $140 worth of gift cards to 3 families, providing 6 children with financial resources.

Staff Introduction:

Ashley Coblentz, Community Liaison for Ambassadors for Hope

Hi there! My name is Ashley Coblentz, I am so excited to serve as the new Community Liaison for Ambassadors for Hope.

I feel extremely lucky to be working to serve the needs of children that are experiencing parental incarceration. There are so many great things in the works, and I am honored to be a part of this organization!

We are currently in the process of curating a collection of trauma-responsive children’s books that center around their unique circumstances. We are working on collaborating with other child-serving organizations with hopes that each site can have their own collection to share with children that are experiencing this. Be on the lookout for our book drop-offs!

I have also been working with Ambassador for Hope’s Family Services Advocate, Lindsey Ober, to put together activity kits for children that receive her services. These kits will include one of the books from our collection, letter-writing materials and stamps, worksheets that integrate coping mechanisms, and information and literature for caretakers.

As a result of the recent grant we received, we have funding that we would like to put towards the cost of childcare and summer camps for children whose caretakers may be struggling financially due to a parent’s incarceration. I am hoping that we will help a lot of children participate in activities that they may not have been able to otherwise. I am so excited to continue moving forward with these projects, and to help give these children the support they really need and deserve.

Photo: Ashley pictured with staff from Lancaster Rec after she picked up book donations from the organization’s drop-off location

Thank you to our generous donors!

Weis
Giant
Wegman’s
Red Lobster

We are thankful to the local businesses who have donated gift cards. Each gift card donated is distributed to families in the community through Ambassador’s for Hope’s Family Services Advocate.

Ambassadors for Hope has created a Community Resource Guide that will be distributed to families, caregivers, and organizations in hopes of bringing awareness to the essential resources that are available for families in Lancaster County.

Click here to view the Community Resource Guide

Tip Sheet for Youth:
Youth Supporting Fellow Youth Who Have an Incarcerated Parent

Click here to access the tip sheet

If you are looking for additional information and resources for people who engage with children with a parent in prison,
visit https://www.youth.gov/

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