Pulse March / April 2016 - Page 39

Makes Scents Natural Spa Line Lancaster, Pennsylvania H M eather J. Kreider, owner of Makes Scents Natural Spa Line, says the company was inspired to support Clare House, a Pennsylvania-based organization that provides homeless children and women a support system and safe refuge, after a serendipitous meeting with one homeless woman named Elby. “While driving from work, my husband Nathan and I saw a young girl, maybe in her mid-20s, hunched over, sitting on a recycling bin, and holding a small cardboard sign that read: ‘Anything you can give is appreciated.’ While anyone who lives in or around Lancaster knows panhandling is a major issue in the city, this was different. I could literally see—and feel—this young woman’s broken heart and worn spirit. It was written all over her face: shame, embarrassment, hopelessness,” recalls Kreider of that touching moment. “Behind all of the sadness and dirt was a beautiful girl. I learned she sleeps in a graveyard and has nowhere to go. I asked her if she knew of any of the local resources for homeless women, like Clare House, but she knew of none. My heart ached for her,” she says. Kreider was so moved by that moment, even filled with guilt, that she was inspired to choose Clare House for their drive last year. In its second annual drive for the homeless community in Lancaster County, the spa plans to continue to build and grow the initiative each year. “During our first annual drive, we sponsored a One Warm Coat® Drive, and with the help of our community, we were able to help many in our local homeless community stay warm over the cold winter season,” she says. The company’s effort struck a chord in its local community. “Every day in Lancaster city, we are faced with the reality of the struggles faced by the homeless, low-income and uninsured population. The people Clare House serves could quite possibly be a previous neighbor, friend, or another person we’ve encountered in the past. None of us are immune to the possibility of the downward spiral that leads to homelessness. That’s why we feel so strongly that more compassion, more volunteerism, and increased social responsibility are needed to help make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most,” she says. Kreider believes that it’s important to reach out directly to those in need the most, much like Elby. To remind her of this, Kreider says she keeps in mind the words of Evalina Dombrowski, executive director at Clare House: “Our work is no good if the families who need us don’t know we’re here.” Elby may have been touched by the generosity of the couple on the day they met, but it was Elby who changed Kreider’s life. “I am so glad I got to meet Elby, because she reminded me how easily our wonderful lives can be taken away from us and how grateful I am for what I have. The homeless population is near and dear to my heart, and this community will continue to be at the center of our philanthropic endeavors,