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Conestoga Valley SEEDS was born out of a heart of love from Conestoga Valley school social worker, Katie Reiff. As she worked with families, she continued to see that there were many barriers that limited access to tools and resources needed for healthy thriving individuals. In 2019, Katie reached out to several people she knew personally, all with varying connections to the CV school district and all with a heartbeat for the CV community and those facing barriers.
She invited them to begin touring other local “hubs” in Lancaster County. This group wanted to learn more about what other "hubs" did in our surrounding communities; such as New Holland (CrossNet), Denver/Ephrata (Real Life), Paradise (The Factory), Elizabethtown (ECHOs), and Quarryville (Solanco Neighborhood Ministries). This group of 5-7 individuals spent about two years visiting these and other "hubs". They spent time meeting with their directors, touring their facilities, and asking lots and lots of questions, compiling information as they dreamed of starting a CV “hub.” One of the key things they noticed was that no one "hub" was the same; each one was created to uniquely meet needs within their community. Each community is different. The CV group began asking specific questions about what our community needs.
Then COVID hit, pausing any real forward movement for about a year.
In the Fall of 2021, the group relaunched, meeting monthly. They selected a core group of people to form their first board of directors: Michelle Kime (President), Kristen Hershey (Vice President), Katie Reiff (Secretary), Sue Orth (Treasurer), Sally Bredeman, Chris Lautsbaugh, and Dan Cloyd. In the Fall of 2022, SEEDS became an official 501c3 non-profit organization!
SEEDS was formed to cultivate a healthy, thriving Conestoga Valley community, focusing on three key areas: Health, Education, and Housing. We want to work smarter, not harder, building bridges and strong partnerships between SEEDS, the Conestoga Valley School District, the CV community, and other non-profit organizations who are already doing great work. SEEDS wants to walk alongside all our neighbors living in the Conestoga Valley community. We want to make tools and resources, many of which do exist in Lancaster County, more accessible to those within our CV Community. We don't want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to resources in Lancaster County, but we do feel like the spokes of the wheel need to be longer.
In October 2022, we launched our first program, Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes.
Sept 2022. 4 board members had a great meeting introducing SEEDS to those at the District Office.