Natural Spa Line
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,”
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,