First off, we want to say how much we miss seeing all of you. We can’t believe it’s been nearly two years (!) since our whole family was together. We’re planning an exciting online event for you this March 19-21, and in the weeks leading up, we’ll be telling you who you’ll see, what to expect, and how to join us. Before that, though, we have a small request to make.
We have a fantastic volunteer staff that works throughout the year on Zenkaikon. However, in the end, Zenkaikon is powered by you, the members. In 2020, we rolled over many existing memberships into 2021. Since we are putting on a free online event for 2021, we have rolled over many memberships again into 2022. The funds we usually would have from two years of Zenkaikons are missing. And while a virtual convention is less expensive than a live one, there are still costs involved in running an online event, as well as ongoing costs in maintaining the organization.
Therefore, instead of a membership fee, we are asking our friends to consider an optional donation to assist us in putting on Zenkaikon Online. We know the pandemic has made this a challenging time for many, which is why we have also made sure everyone will be able to participate fully in Zenkaikon Online, regardless if they can afford to donate or not.
In addition, we know there are many in the Lancaster community that are struggling during these difficult times, which is why 50% of all donated money will go to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, who we are happy to announce as our official Zenkaikon Online 2021 charity.
The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment.
Some of their impacts in the 2019-2020 program year include:
- Their Utility Assistance program, which served 540 households, keeping families from falling behind on utility bills and helping them avoid the risk of shutoff (a 391% increase over last year).
- Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County (a program of CAP), which sheltered 165 adults and children fleeing domestic violence, providing 8,109 shelter nights total. During the pandemic, they have provided shelter and supportive services in hotels to 56 adults and 58 children.
- Their food distribution center, which supplies food to 35 county pantries (including at Crispus Attucks Community Center, also a program of CAP), three soup kitchens, and one shelter, has increased pounds of food distributed by 805%.
- During the pandemic, the Crispus Attucks Community Center served 25,732 meals through its food pantry and hot lunch program. The Center also partnered with the Lancaster City Housing Authority to deliver meals to individuals who could not leave their homes due to disability or needed to quarantine.
- Throughout 2020, their Thrive to Five team provided over 1,350 Virtual Home Visits to early learners and their families.
The Community Action Partnership is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. You can find out more about them at www.caplanc.org.
You can donate to Zenkaikon Online and the Community Action Partnership at the link below. If you feel you can afford to donate, we also want to offer a friendly reminder that, since Zenkaikon is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization, any donations you give are 100% tax-deductible.
We hope you are all as excited as we are for Zenkaikon Online on March 19-21! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.