Making A Difference

A Pathway to Success: Via of The Lehigh Valley

By Jennifer LoConte The word “Via” is Latin for road or pathway. Via of the Lehigh Valley supports individuals faced with certain challenges or obstacles to reach their own road to success. Originally started in 1954, Via was formed by a group of 13 families who had adult children with disabilities and were looking for a place for their children to belong. Clara Morrow, on... »

The Program for Women & Families

By Jennifer L. Rodgers If you don’t learn from your mistakes, then there isn’t much point to a second chance. When those mistakes are big and they translate into time spent in jail, the learning curve is even higher – especially for women. Janet Jones (name changed to protect privacy) had a drug addiction and was in and out of jail “five or six times.” After each sentence ... »

One In A Million: Coco's Story

By Jennifer LoConte On August 24, 2009, Jim and Ali Lazaridis of Bethlehem welcomed their first child into the world, Khloe Coco,  a healthy and happy baby girl. At the age of three months, Coco developed a seemingly non-threatening fever. Upon further examination, their pediatrician noticed an enlarged spleen and immediately ordered multiple tests and blood work which con... »

One Bark at a Time: Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley

By Jennifer LoConte Our furry household members, those we call our pets, are an essential part of most American families. They enrich owners’ lives and, with each wagging tail or purr, bring a smile to our faces. Some pets are workers and enjoy helping their human friends while others prefer to lie around the house on a comfy chair. Whatever their preference, pets give unc... »

Helping Our Heroes: Veterans Sanctuary

By Jennifer LoConte They served our country throughout history and protected us both here and abroad.  Yet, our country’s bravest heroes are often the ones who suffer the most.  Drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and mental health disorders continue to claim the lives of our US veterans.  Veterans Sanctuary, an in-house treatment facility located at 24 S. Fifth Stree... »

Making Connections Through Reading: Cops ‘n’ Kids Literacy Program

By Jennifer LoConte You know you are doing the right thing in life when all the forces of nature conspire to make you successful.” Beverly Bradley, President of Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program, keeps this quote as a daily reminder of how a single book can forever change the life of a child. According to The State of Literacy in America, 61% of the poorest childre... »

The Miracle League: Lehigh Valley’s Field of Dreams

By Jennifer LoConte It’s a crystal clear summer day at the ball field. Parents sit on bleachers shouting words of encouragement while young players eagerly await their turn at bat. As the cliché goes, baseball is as American as apple pie; however for these players with special needs, it’s something they only dreamed about doing until an organization called The Miracle Leag... »

Curing Childhood Cancer, One Lemonade at a Time

By Jennifer LoConte What began as a simple lemonade stand to raise money for a children’s hospital has evolved into a national foundation to raise awareness and cure childhood cancers. Alex’s Lemonade Stand was founded by Alexandra Scott, a little girl with a big heart who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and wanted to help her doctors so that they could in turn, help othe... »

Pinebrook Family Services

by Jennifer LoConte Pinebrook Family Services, now in its 31st year, is a non-profit organization dedicated to children and their families. What began in 1979 as diagnostic foster care has blossomed into a full-service agency that strives to keep families together while meeting clients’ diverse needs. Its mission is “to promote the well-being and self-sufficiency of childr... »

A Dream Come True

By Susan Stets Imagine you’re a six-year-old running around Walt Disney World’s “Fantasyland” with Peter Pan and Captain Hook, or perching on Pluto’s lap for a train ride through “Give Kids the World,” where ice cream is served for breakfast and Christmas comes every Thursday. Orefield resident Cody Benedetto, now 10 years old, says those were his two favorite experiences ... »

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