Luthercare Broadening Its Reach Through Community Engagement

Luthercare is dedicated to improving the lives of older adults and children living in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. As part of our ongoing commitment and to carry out our mission statement, “Luthercare reflects Christ’s love through service to others,” we are furthering our reach as an outward-facing organization – being socially accountable to the greater community around us.

A task force was formed to focus on internal and external assessments of Luthercare’s socially accountable activity, which we termed “Community Engagement.” By that, we mean to tell the story of all the ways our team members, residents, families, donors and volunteers impact the communities in which we live and serve, enhancing lives and making better places.

Luthercare also engaged a nationally renowned consulting and research firm, Holleran, to complete a comprehensive Community Engagement Needs Assessment in 2014.

The goal was to evaluate the health and social service needs of those individuals in our two primary target populations, young children and older adults, who reside in the broader community, beyond the walls of a Luthercare Senior Living Community or Luthercare for Kids Early Learning Center. The study involved surveying key informants (individuals identified as community leaders living and/or working in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and representing a variety of sectors, including public health and medical services, non-profit and social organizations, and faith-based organizations), secondary research data and literature review. Following the presentation to the Luthercare Board of Directors, two specific issues were identified for further exploration: 1) intergenerational programming opportunities and 2) senior isolation and well-being. To this, we added a third category to address the vast need for navigating and connecting to services, even having services delivered more directly.

The key findings have enabled Luthercare to take an in-depth look at the issues facing older adults and children. We are now using the research findings to both inform and engage the greater community in a collective initiative to improve the overall quality of life of older adults and children.

“This work has been very energizing for us,” said Luthercare President and CEO Carl McAloose. “Luthercare is well positioned to use Community Engagement as a lens through which we make strategic and business decisions. It helps us look outward.”

Click here to view the 2014 Community Engagement Needs Assessment.

Click here to view the Community Engagement Needs Assessment 2015 Executive Summary.