Giving Back to the Community

by Gail Shane
LNP Media Group

Carissa Garpstas with Younger Realty Group has been giving back to the community through The Junior league of Lancaster, PA, Inc. for the past three years. The Junior League of Lancaster is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

When I asked Carissa how she chose Junior League of  Lancaster, her response was, “I have always wanted to be active in the community and volunteer in some way, but I was
overwhelmed with all the choices that Lancaster had to offer. After speaking to some friends about where they volunteer, I decided to check out the JLL.”
In joining the JLL, Carissa commits to being an “active” member for a minimum of eight years. Each new League year, a member is placed on a new committee. This year Carissa is the Assistant Chair of the Children Aging Out of Foster Care Committee.

The Junior League of Lancaster has begun its 94th year of service to the Lancaster community, and its commitment remains unwavering—to develop excep-tionally qualified, female civic leaders who can identify a community’s most urgent and pressing needs and address them with meaningful and relevant programs and initiatives that impact and improve lives. Two years ago, the JLL adopted its Issue Based Community Impact (IBCI) model—the strategic filter through which the League engages its membership and works with community partners to research and address pressing community issues. The League’s current IBCI focus areas are Girls + STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Children Aging Out of Foster Care. The JLL also has a “Done in a Day” program whereby it dispatches its volunteers out into the community to complete short-term service projects. These projects sometimes relate to their IBCI areas, and other times they do not; so they are constantly forging new partnerships and learning about our community.

By giving back, not only has Carissa learned a lot about our community and its needs, but she also has learned a lot about herself. She has had to push herself outside of her comfort zone at times by doing things that she would not typically sign up for such as event planning, calling companies for sponsorships, chairing a committee and more. Carissa says, “But the best part of giving back is the people you meet along the way!”

Carissa’s one wish is that children and people in general would believe in them-selves a little more. Confidence can lead to so many great things—ideas, goals, work ethic, self-worthiness, happiness, etc. Carissa wants people to believe that they truly can do anything that they put their minds to . . . they just have to believe in themselves!Junior League of Lancaster, PA, Inc. • www.jllancaster.org • (717) 392-2415

Note: If you would like to be considered for a “Giving Back to the Community” feature, please email a summary of your charitable efforts to Gwenae at gwachter@LCARonline.com.

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