Editorial: Giving thanks this season

York Dispatch
  • Blood drive honors fallen firefighters
  • Centers for Excellence to treat all stages of addiction
  • Activists seek to make peace in a post-election world

Thankful for: Local activists who have rallied for unity in our community.

Community members gather for the York City Unity Walk through York City, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Since the presidential election, many locals have felt the need to come together to promote unity, which some said was endangered by the words of President-elect Donald Trump during a particularly nasty campaign.

John Beck, of York City, and Tony Strouse, of Dover, set out to bring people together and have their voices heard. They organized a march through the city with chants of "One people, one voice!"

From Continental Square, Strouse led the nearly two dozen people down West Market Street, to Penn Park and back, all while holding signs and chanting. They were met with many cars honking, apparently in solidarity with the cause.

"I don't want this to be about politics," Strouse said. "It's about coming together."

Yorkers march for unity

Jerri Jadsek, of York City, joined in the march.

"We have to make peace, even if you don't like the person who was (elected) president," she said.

Thankful for: The American Red Cross for its Black Friday blood drive honoring former Loganville volunteer firefighters Zachary Sweitzer and his friend and mentor Rodney Miller.

Miller was 45 when he was struck by a repeat DUI offender in April 2013 while responding to a call to shut down Interstate 83 for a DUI-related crash.

Missy Sweitzer, left, and Elaine Miller, right, both of Springfield Township, are shown with photographs of their sons, Firefighter Zac Sweitzer, left, and Chief Rodney Miller, right, both of the Loganville Volunteer Fire Company, at Brown's Orchards in Loganville, Pa. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Both men were killed by DUI drivers-Sweitzer in 2008, and Miller in 2013. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

Sweitzer, 20, was an athlete, avid outdoorsman and loved to serve others before his death on Thanksgiving Day 2008, when he also was hit by an impaired driver.

“We’re hoping the community will come out and honor their memory by giving blood,” Red Cross external communications manager Regina Boothe Bratton said.

Black Friday blood drive honors firefighters killed by DUI drivers

The blood drive will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Grace Fellowship Church, 1405 Seven Valleys Road in North Codorus Township.

“People are busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Boothe Bratton said. “It’s not top of mind, but that’s when the need is most critical because of accidents.”

Thankful for: The Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services and the creation of Pennsylvania Counseling Services' Center of Excellence, a care navigating and a recovery support specialist.

Renee Zimmerman, of York City, talks to her son Xander Zimmerman, 9, as they walk for Xander's older siblings who suffer from addiction during the Not One More York Chapter Bob Glatfelter Memorial Walk and Overdose Awareness Vigil York College campus in York, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The center's York County psychiatric clinic was chosen to be one of the first 20 Centers of Excellence earlier this year. Of 116 applications, the state approved just 45 to receive state funds and be in operation by early 2017.

The center will serve as a central hub to treat all stages of addiction.

At least 10 Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose, according to the state's Department of Health.

Care navigators will work with the clients, their loved ones and service providers to connect them to programs and assistance that promotes recovery.

Agency seeks at least 2 to start state addiction program

Recovery specialists offer outreach prior to treatment, support throughout and follow-up. They will receive assistance in becoming certified recovery specialists.

“Change is difficult, and (addicts) need a lot of support and a lot of care,” said Trish Young, Pennsylvania Counseling Services' vice president of outpatient services, who is overseeing the project.