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Every year, MHALC celebrates the holiday season by having staff and volunteers work together to provide gifts to adults and children diagnosed with a mental illness in Lancaster County. These gifts mean so much to the individuals receiving them since they will not receive any other gifts during the holidays. This year, we are planning ahead by kick-starting the Holiday Gift Project by running an online campaign called Christmas in July with a goal to raise $5,000.

The Gifts of Joy Project serves over 600 mental health consumers each year and continues to grow. We receive referrals form case managers of individuals in need of a holiday gift. We then keep track of the names of the individuals and reach out to local churches, community groups, businesses, case managers and volunteers to help take names and purchase gifts, each worth $25. Last year, MHALC covered the cost of the remaining individuals whose names weren’t taken to receive gifts. The purpose of the Christmas in July fundraiser is to help cover the costs of the gifts to mental health consumers.

The type of gifts that are most requested are simple necessities like soap, deodorant and even toilet paper. These are items that individuals appreciate the most since some struggle with having to afford some of the basics.

Every year, Gifts of Joy reminds us all of the importance of working in mental health: that individuals deserve to be recognized to have their needs and requests validated, and that small acts of kindness and giving can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

To support the Gifts of Joy Project, make an online gift. If you would rather send us your tax-deductible donation, then please send it to: Mental Health America of Lancaster County, 630 Janet Avenue Suite B-110, Lancaster, PA 17601.

Your gift will be paid forward in the form of a special, personal holiday gift to a member of our community who has mental illness. For more information or questions, please contact MHALC with any questions by emailing mha@mhalancaster.org or by calling 717-397-7461.