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Fresh posts for January, 2013

YAFCAst – Leg Up Farms’ Tom O’Connor Discusses Their Use Of Horseback Riding As Therapy

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 By: Mark Boyd | Fresh topics: , | Fresh groups: Blog Feed, Partners, YAFCAsts

Welcome to this week’s YAFCAst!  This week Tom O’Connor of Leg Up Farm in Mount Wolf, PA (York County) talks about the work of Leg Up Farm with using horseback riding as therapy for children with disabilities and developmental delays.

LegUpPartnerPgLeg Up Farm is a progressive facility that incorporates horseback riding and numerous real activities that help both the mental and physical progress of every child. This is part two of our series of chats with Tom, and we hope you’re as impressed as we are with what Leg Up Farm has to offer as we are! Thanks for listening, and come back next week to learn more about our Creative Art Director, and more.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/77017667″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

YAFCA. org is a Social Services Directory provided by Your Are Finally Cared About Inc. This post is one of many provided to inform, educate, and improve the community we live in.

Preserving York: 2nd Interview

Posted on: January 26th, 2013 By: John Ellis | Fresh topics: , , | Fresh groups: Blog Feed, Interviews

This is the second of a two part segment with Blake Stough, of the recently established blog, and movement known as “Preserving York (PY).” In case you missed it,  here’s a link to the first installment.  If you would like to hear from Blake more often, please let us know with a comment, as we are exploring the possibility of creating an ongoing segment!

(YAFCA)  2012 was big in many ways for PY. What can York expect in the coming year?

(PY)  Preserving York had a fantastic 2012 and the next twelve months look like they will be even more extraordinary. The Second Annual Preserving York Picnic is already being planned with even more attractions for guests to enjoy. Details will be provided in future stories and on the PY group on Facebook.

In the coming year Preserving York would like to offer the community tours of local historic properties, photo walks, walking tours of area towns, and more. We don’t always focus on your typical “tourist attractions”, and some pieces of history we highlight you may pass every day without knowing about its importance.

With the number of history and community events in the area I would love for Preserving York to be an active participant or to have a presence in the form of a display, where we can share our interests with others.

There’s a vast amount of historic memorabilia in the area that is undocumented. Some of these pieces are irreplaceable and Preserving York would love to digitally document them for those who do not have the means to do so themselves.

The elderly in the York County community hold a wealth of knowledge that we’d like to capture through the recording of oral histories. These recordings would be transcribed and made available for others to learn from.

These are just a few examples of how Preserving York can support the local community.

The time has come to make Preserving York an “official entity” and serious consideration is being examined to make it a non-profit organization or join forces with a non-profit that shares a similar focus on community.

(YAFCA) How can someone learn more about these events?

(PY) Those interested in learning about future events organized by Preserving York are welcome to visit PreservingYork.com, where updates are posted often. I also invite those interested in York County history to join the active Preserving York group found on Facebook. Preserving York “news” is also shared on my personal social media accounts, such as Facebook , Twitter , and Google+ . Anyone with questions or who would like additional information can contact me at any of those places.

(YAFCA) Are you the driving force behind PY, and are there any plans to choose an executive board if you form as an official nonprofit?

(PY) While I may be the “driving force” behind Preserving York, its loyal followers are the primary component that makes it a success. Without their assistance, guidance, and support I would never have been able to make PY what it is today. PY doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the entire York County community, whether near or far. If Preserving York does indeed become a non-profit organization, an executive board would be a valuable asset to shape it into a viable community resource.

(YAFCA) Do you write more than the PY blog?

(PY) At the present time Preserving York receives the brunt of my writing attention, but I also do some light freelance writing for a local newspaper. I would embrace the opportunity to be a “guest writer” on blogs sharing similar interests as my own, and would also like to explore the possibility of Preserving York being a column in local newspapers or publications.

I can’t express strongly enough how much I want to engage those who rely on printed media versus the internet.

(YAFCA) Are there any other interests you have that stem from York’s history?

(PY) In addition to my work with Preserving York, I also collect any and all items related to the rich history of York County. When I say “any and all”, I mean no matter how insignificant it may seem to others. There’s a story behind every piece in my collection, but the challenge is listening to what it’s telling you.

At times I’m contacted by area residents who have items they would like to pass on to the Preserving York “cause”. If those items were ignored, there’s a strong possibility they could face life in a landfill or destruction in an incinerator, which occurs more than you can imagine.

Another interest of mine is exploring forgotten and abandoned properties and buildings, with the owners consent. I’ve explored church crawlspaces searching for tombstones and even a former prison with many secrets, but I’m always looking for the next opportunity.

YAFCA. org is a Social Services Directory provided by Your Are Finally Cared About Inc. This post is one of many provided to inform, educate, and improve the community we live in.

What’s behind Facebook’s changes and what does it mean for a York nonprofit?

Posted on: January 20th, 2013 By: John Ellis | Fresh topics: , , | Fresh groups: Guest Authors, News Media

Posted on January 20, 2013 by Hannah Sawyer

I first met John Ellis, founder and CEO of You Are Finally Cared About, when he tweeted me. In 140 characters or less, he told me he was launching a nonprofit to help other nonprofits capitalize on the low-cost or free advertising opportunities offered by social media sites.

John’s story became one of the first I wrote for the York Daily Record, and although we were in touch many times while I worked on it, we’ve still never met in person because John is a member of the Airforce serving overseas in Germany. He’s building his York organization while separated by not only an ocean, but also at least six time zones. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow him to reach out to many here in York without paying exorbitant phone bills and gives him the ability to answer messages at hours that are odd for us back in the states.

Last week, I started looking into a Facebook messaging test that offered the option of paying a $1 charge to send messages directly to the inbox of someone you’re not friends with. Choosing not to pay the charge means the message is sent to the “other” folder — a gathering place for spam. The question that kept cropping up was why would anyone message someone they don’t know to begin with?

I actually do it quite frequently to get in touch with potential sources for stories, but my use is pretty unique. I thought John, whose business model is built around social media, might have a better answer. But like many, John doesn’t cold-message others either.

“Honestly, YAFCA very rarely connects to Facebook users through messages,” he wrote in an email. “We find that the social dialog with messages is very limiting, so it doesn’t necessarily fit with our business model, which relies heavily on the virality, or social reach of our interactions with users.”

He said he had discovered the other folder a couple of years ago when he wondered why messages he sent to people who had liked his organization’s Facebook page went unanswered. It’s typical for profile owners to stumble onto the folder, and Facebook acknowledges many don’t know it exists in the first place.

The other folder is one of many changes Facebook applied to profiles without much fanfare. Another was to swap out most email addresses listed on profiles from Yahoo or Gmail accounts to arbitrarily assigned Facebook email addresses. According to an article published by Slate, the changes are all part of the company’s complex effort to revamp its entire messaging system — the end goal of which is to become a do-it-all social utility.

“All of your messages with someone will be together in one place, whether they are sent over chat, email or SMS,” the company posted in a blog in 2010 at the start of the messaging project. “You can see everything you’ve discussed with each friend as a single conversation.”

The post went on to imagine that some people will have access to an entire history of friendship, from the first hello to marriage, moves, kids and beyond. Its a feature that also aims to make phone numbers and email addresses obsolete. And combined with the introduction of the social graph search function, it’s part of a big push to put Google, one of Facebook’s biggest competitors, out of business.

All this does little to explain the $1 charge exactly, except to say that it’s not an effort to boost failing revenue streams as many users who were angry with the fee claimed.

As John said, you never know quite what Facebook’s plan is. The social media market is constantly changing, and while it’s a valuable resource, it can’t replace the act of outreach by a company.

“There are so many avenues to reach people these days – the key is to be honest, open, and professional, and usually you can make a connection,” he said.

A call to serve in York City on MLK Day

Posted on: January 19th, 2013 By: John Ellis | Fresh topics: , , | Fresh groups: Charity Events

By EYANA ADAH McMILLAN 505-5438 / @ydfeatures (See the original article on YorkDispatch.com)

Six years ago, LaShay Stevens was a first-time volunteer at the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service program organized by local Crispus Attucks Community Center.

Now she is the event’s chairwoman.

Stevens, 31, said she expects about 150 people of all ages to participate in the day of service on Monday, Jan. 21, the national holiday for King, a civil rights leader who was born Jan. 15, 1929, and assassinated April 4, 1968.

The King Day of Service program begins with a free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at Crispus Attucks, 605 S. Duke St. in York City.

“The event will be catered towards the youth,” Stevens said. “We will have speakers, youth reciting poetry and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and a praise dance performance by a group of local students.”

Then at 10 a.m., attendees will head out into the community to do volunteer projects, including a neighborhood cleanup around the center, a book read and giveaway for children, painting garages with the Salem Square Neighborhood Association and helping Crispus Attucks staff with game-day activities for youth at the center.

MLK Day Downtown York

“To be of service is what Mr. King was trying to get people to do … to come together and take part in the community,” Stevens said.  Volunteers are invited to return to the center at noon to receive free bagged lunches and to close the day’s events with a brief prayer, Stevens said. The day of service ends at 1 p.m.

Changed her life: Stevens said that becoming a King Day volunteer was a life-changing experience.

“After the first time I came to volunteer, I knew I had to be part of it again, to be of service to the community,” she said. “It encouraged me to (volunteer) throughout the rest of the year.”

Stevens became a volunteer with Crispus Attucks Rising Stars Youth and Family program, which provides after-school and summer programs, life skills classes, recreation activities and community service opportunities.

She now works in Crispus Attucks’ employment and training department and is a case manager for the Education Leading to Employment and Career Training (ELECT) program.

Stevens said she sees how the center’s MLK Day of Service is an inspirational experience for others.

“People have energy,” she said. “They’re kind toward one another and they’re ready to go out to serve. A lot of people bring their kids. The feel is a real sense of community.”

— Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.

Martin Luther King Day of Service at Crispus Attucks Community Center begins with a free breakfast program at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the center at 605 S. Duke St. in York City.

Volunteer efforts will be completed throughout the community from 10 a.m. to noon, when the CA will distribute free bagged lunches at its facility.

To volunteer, call LaShay Stevens at 848-3610 or email her at lstevens@crispusattucks.org.

YAFCA. org is a Social Services Directory provided by Your Are Finally Cared About Inc. This post is one of many provided to inform, educate, and improve the community we live in.

Preserving York: 1st Interview

Posted on: January 16th, 2013 By: John Ellis | Fresh topics: , | Fresh groups: Interviews

This is the first of a two part segment with Blake Stough, of the recently established blog, and movement known as “Preserving York (PY).” Walk with us as we explore the origin of the group, its current state, and what’s coming up next. If you would like to hear from Blake more often, please let us know with a comment, as we are exploring the possibility of creating an ongoing segment!

(YAFCA) How did you initially get involved with being interested in the history of York?

(PY) Following the death of my grandfather in 1997, my siblings and I received family heirlooms from his estate. Included were large, framed portraits of people from my grandparents family. Over time my father passed my grandparents entire photograph collection down to me, which included images from as early as the 1860s. I passionately worked to learn the identity of the subjects and how they connected to our family.

As my interest in genealogy grew, I found myself researching the areas where my family came from, which was York County on my father’s side. It didn’t take long before I became fascinated with all areas of local history.

(YAFCA) What lead up to the beginnings of your blog “Preserving York?”

Over the years I had attempted to create a number of different websites about York County history. Despite my attempts, none of them really “took off” and I moved on to other projects. Even during those early years, I wanted to include history that was submitted by others, which would do nothing but educate visitors even more.

As the use of social media grew I felt it was a great time to work on another local history project. Creating a blog seemed like a great pace to start. Despite my mediocre performance in writing classes during high school, I feel do a great job at getting my message across while including my own personal touch to each story.

After a slow start the blog really started to pick up steam, especially after I created the Preserving York group on Facebook. This is an extremely active local-history forum where members interact with others who share similar interests. Barely one one year old, the group is home to over 270 loyal members who consider each other family.

(YAFCA) You had a few events last year. Is there anything that stands out?

The First Annual Preserving York Picnic was truly the highlight of 2012. The idea for this event started as a simple picnic for members of the Preserving York “community”. The plans quickly evolved into a fundraiser that would support two local preservation groups. I had initially thought we would have 100 people attending, but the exposure given by the local newspapers caused interest to grow exponentially. We were fortunate to entertain over 200 guests who listening to several speakers and viewed displays from local historic groups. A catered meal was provided and as requested, guests brought their own pot-luck dishes for others to enjoy. Guided tours of the former distillery estate, Historic Shady Lane, were also given to guests who were eager to explore the 34-acre property.

Several thousand dollars of food and equipment were generously donated by local businesses and many volunteers helped throughout the day.

There is no doubt that social media is an essential component in today’s marketing. Can you share how this is part of the PY play book?

At the present time Preserving York is 100% an online entity. The marketing of PY is obtained through the use us several social media avenues including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Currently, the only PY social media account is found on Facebook in the form of a group page, which is discussed in another question. I’m struggling with the need to create additional accounts on other social media networks.

Because Preserving York relies heavily on the internet for exposure, it is virtually unknown to those who prefer printed media and have no access to the online world. While this may be an insignificant factor to some, it’s extremely important to a group specializing in local history. Elder members of our community who may not be “online” are a resource that I cannot ignore.

With that being said, PY needs to explore ways to capture that group of people, whether through a column in the local newspaper, a printed newsletter, or some other means.In your experience, would you say there are things that stand to make York’s history unique? If so, which of those are most significant, and why?

Every area of the United States and abroad has their own form of uniqueness, and York County is certainly no different. The problem we encounter is defining which piece of history is more significant than the next. Personally, I feel that each piece of history is significant, but I’d never put the importance of one in front of another….

Thank you for reading the first segment of our interview with PY. Come back next week for more, and be sure to check out the links in this article to learn more in the meantime.

YAFCA. org is a Social Services Directory provided by Your Are Finally Cared About Inc. This post is one of many provided to inform, educate, and improve the community we live in.

YAFCAst – Tom O’Connor Tells Us About Leg Up Farm’s Work With Childrens’ Disabilities

Posted on: January 14th, 2013 By: Mark Boyd | Fresh topics: , , | Fresh groups: Partners, YAFCAsts

Welcome to this week’s YAFCAst!  This weekTom O’Connor of Leg Up Farm in Mount Wolf, PA (York County) introduces us to the facility and the work they do with children with disabilities and developmental delays.


Leg Up Farm is a progressive facility that incorporates horseback riding and numerous real activities that help both the mental and physical progress of every child. This is part one of our series of chats with Tom, and we hope you’re as impressed as we are with what Leg Up Farm has to offer.


[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/74417024″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

YAFCA. org is a Social Services Directory provided by Your Are Finally Cared About Inc. This post is one of many provided to inform, educate, and improve the community we live in.