Community Organization Profiles and Needs

American Red Cross, Berks County Chapter

Research and Service Learning Needs

Communication System
The Berks County Chapter of the Red Cross is interested in developing a better communication system within Berks County including a more effective website.

Health and Safety Service Program
The Berks County Chapter of the Red Cross is looking to revitalize their Health and Safety Services program including research for the Measles and Malaria program and a marketing plan.

Youth Program
The Berks County Chapter of the Red Cross would like to revitalize their Youth Services program. They would like to explore ways to market this program to the youth of Berks County to make the program more appealing, and would also like research to be done on both the decline of interest in the program and the possibility of building new youth clubs.

For more information

Contact: Sonia Topiarz, Manager of Emergency Services
Telephone: 610.375.4383
Fax: 610.373.5455
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Berks County Parks Department

Research and Service Learning Needs

Implementing the Greenway Plan

  • Educating the public about the Plan
  • Educating the public about environmental conservation
Implementing riparian corridors
  • between Berks Leisure Area and Gring's Mill
  • demonstration projects to show public the ideal treatment of creek side - less mowing
Mowing to Meadows Project
  • delineating areas of natural parks that can be left as meadows
  • Heritage Center and Kaercher Creek
  • identifying both along Tulpehocken Creek
  • Native plant species
    • researching and planting
  • developing a rain garden
  • beautification - architectural landscaping
Hunsicker's Grover
  • freshwater jellyfish in pond
  • developing profile and signage for public
Education materials
  • for county commissioners, advisory board, and the public
    • riparian zones
    • Mowing to Meadows Project
Cleaning creek of natural debris

Antietam Lake

  • parking area and trailhead improvements
  • signage for natural resources in parks that identifies sensitive habitats
  • historical/archival research about land
  • education materials for park users
    • benefits of conservation vs. bike races and marathons through the parks
    • swamp vs. wetlands
    • sustainable forestry
Gring's Mill Visitor's Center
  • researching history of parks, buildings, and people who donated buildings to parks
  • floor plans and construction of center
  • materials for center
Gruber Wagon Works
  • historical and archival research
Public Relations
  • updating web site
  • newsletters
  • flyers
  • speaking to community
  • iMovies for web
  • survey of park users

For more information

Contact: Clare Adams, Director
Telephone: 610.372.8939
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Berks Encore

Research and Service Learning Needs

Educational Planning
Berks Encore would like assistance creating educational programming on a variety of subject areas including fall prevention, health and wellness, diet, inoculations and flu shots, and medication interactions.

Center Manager Assistant at each site
Assist in the planning, scheduling, promotion and implementation of health and wellness programs that are of interest and value to seniors and their families. This includes, but is not limited to, intergenerational activities that promote community partnerships and understanding between seniors and children/youth.

Berks Encore as an effective organization

  • Researching the trends in GI, Silent and Baby Boomer generations and molding the organization to fit the needs of these generations.
  • Examining the trend in changing senior centers to intergenerational community centers and the benefits to both children and seniors. Are there organizations in Berks County that would make good partners on this endeavor?
  • Researching how Berks Encore can become less dependent on charitable giving. Ideas include exploring the impact of their fee-based services and starting for profit organizations to help support Berks Encore.
  • Evaluating the efficiency of technology at Berks Encore


  • Researching how people can get supplemental insurance
  • Health care reform effects on Medicare/Medicaid
  • How to find the right insurance plan and the economic implications of too many insurance plans


  • Researching the impact of active lifestyles
  • Helping seniors stay current with technology

Aging Sensitivity

  • Expanding their current aging sensitivity program with children. Current projects include gloves, glasses, and hearing impediments for children to wear to better understand how seniors experience their surroundings.

For more information

Contact: LuAnn Oatman, President
Telephone: 610.374.3195 x222
Fax: 610.374.3483
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Berks Women in Crisis

Research and Service Learning Needs

BWIC would like to measure outcomes and evaluate their education programs ? designing and putting a system into place. For example, they run a summer camp that addresses issues of oppression and ally behavior, and in order to fund it for the future, they need good outcome measures.

For more information

Contact: Christine Gilfillan, Prevention Education Director
Telephone: 610.373.1206
Fax: 610.372.4188
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Camp Adahi

Research and Service Learning Needs


  • Camp Adahi would like help marketing their services. The Environmental Education and Self-Reliance Programs are traveling programs. How can they market their services to local school districts?
  • They are interested in researching how they can expand their client base. Could they offer their facility for team-building and staff retreat events?


  • How can they find more volunteers? Is there a centralized volunteer database? What would be involved in creating one?
  • Can students create a grant database consisting of links to possible funding and reportable data?

For more information

Contact: Cathy L. Lerch, Program Director
Telephone: 610.856.7250
Fax: 610.856.1487
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Friend, Inc. Community Services

Research and Service Learning Needs

Friend, Inc. Community Services as an effective organization

  • Grant writing and researching
  • Evaluating the current use of office space
  • Evaluating the efficiency of technology


  • Researching the differences between rural and urban poverty 

For more information

Contact: Erica Hesselson, Executive Director
Telephone: 610.683.9011
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Hope Lutheran Church

Research and Service Learning Needs

Hope's Hangout as an effective organization

  • They offer one-on-one homework help after school every day and can always use assistance with this.
  • Hope's Hangout is always interested in developing new activities for the program. They are open to any ideas.
Grant Writing
  • Hope Lutheran Church would like to create a grant database.
    • researching demographic information about the community Hope Lutheran serves
    • creating a list of grants Hope Lutheran could apply for
  • Students to write the grant proposals.

For more information

Contact: Lorraine Nicol, Coordinator of Social and Learning Ministries
Telephone: 610.374.2071
Email: [email protected]

Lutheran Home of Topton - A Diakon Senior Living Community

Research and Service Learning Needs

LHT Writer's Group
This group complies, writes, and edits stories about residents' lives or significant, life-changing events that maybe have valuable lessons for a younger generation. This project could also involve editing and graphic design. Might appeal to CAS, PW and Global Studies students.

Chili Fest Steering Committee
Help organize, promote and operate the one-day fundraising event held every March. Might appeal to Business, Marketing or PW students.

Wellness Edge at Topton
Be part of a steering committee or volunteer instructor in one or more of the following activities: walking groups, yoga stretch, natural foods cooking, LHT Garden Club, LHT Nature Conservation Club. Also opportunities exist to help administer the Wellness Edge at Topton program. Might appeal to a wide variety of concentrations.

LHT Players
A campus performance troupe that performs a play each May needs assistance with all areas of production, rehearsals begin in January. This group also performs during the Christmas season. Might appeal to theatre majors.

Pet Visitation
The Lutheran Home at Topton is interested in having a business management student develop and implement a program that manages the pet visitation on campus.

For more information

Contact: Lou Wentz, Director of Community Life
Telephone: 610.682.1542
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Monocacy Hill Conservation Association

Research and Service Learning Needs

Trail maintenance
  • removing invasive species
History of forest use
  • creating an elementary education project that can be used in schools to bring park to students
Creating nature area for children
  • maps, signage, educational components of forest
  • environmental learning kit
Invasive species prevention
  • research ways to communicate with public about invasive species
  • creating educational materials about threat of invasives vs. benefit of natives
    • two different audiences for materials
      • neighbors of park boundaries
      • visitors

For more information

Contact: Risa Marmontello
Email: [email protected]
Web site:

Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center

Research and Service Learning Needs

Historical Research

  • forest
  • buildings and their residents
  • Dan Hartman Conservation Leadership School
  • youth camps
  • activities within the park
  • geocaching trails
  • creating podcasts specific to Nolde Forest
  • inviting families of youth visitors to the park

Nature's Playground
  • developing programs around different pieces of playground equipment
  • researching 'nature deficit disorder' and finding programs that address this through use of playground
Sustainable Energy Committee
  • spring tour to visit places practicing different types of energy
    • organize and promote tour
  • Renewable Energy Festival
    • creating programming and manning Nolde's booth
  • Renewable Energy kits at public libraries
    • giving presentation at libraries
    • making new programs to accompany kits
Advocacy Issues
  • energy
  • climate change
  • pharmaceuticals in the water
  • native plants
  • Marcellus shale

For more information

Contact: Rachel Baur, Environmental Education Specialist Supervisor
Telephone: 610.796.3692
Email: [email protected]

Wisdom31 (formally Motivated Moms)

Research and Service Learning Needs

Classroom Assistants

  • teach ESL and Citizenship classes
  • teacher's assistants
  • nursery school attendants


  • expand resources for teaching ESL and Citizenship classes
  • expand resources to gain better understanding of Latino culture

For more information

Contact: Valerie Bean, the Executive Director
Telephone: 610.373.5777
Web site:



For more information, e-mail Dr. Laurie Grobman ([email protected]) or call 610-396-6141.