Carlisle Spotlight: Project SHARE

Project+SHARE%2C+located+on+N.+Orange+St.%2C+built+a+relationship+with+Dickinson+to+help+further+their+mission+of+providing+food+and+services+to+locals+in+need.
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Carlisle Spotlight: Project SHARE

Project SHARE, located on N. Orange St., built a relationship with Dickinson to help further their mission of providing food and services to locals in need.

Project SHARE, located on N. Orange St., built a relationship with Dickinson to help further their mission of providing food and services to locals in need.

Kathryn Davison '16

Project SHARE, located on N. Orange St., built a relationship with Dickinson to help further their mission of providing food and services to locals in need.

Kathryn Davison '16

Kathryn Davison '16

Project SHARE, located on N. Orange St., built a relationship with Dickinson to help further their mission of providing food and services to locals in need.

Kristina Rodriguez ’19, Staff Writer

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Project SHARE may be located on the edge of Dickinson’s campus, but it’s at the center of the college’s community service conscience. Project SHARE and Dickinson have built a mutually beneficial relationship since the organization’s arrival in the Carlisle community in October 2002, and students and campus organizations volunteer regularly with Project Survival Help and Recipient Education (commonly known as Project SHARE).

Dickinson College, alongside other entities, funds Project SHARE, which is an organization whose mission is to “provide food, nutritional education and links to other community resources to empower people in need within the greater Carlisle area,” as stated in Project SHARE’s informational brochure.

Elaine Livas ’83, founder of Project SHARE, said that Dickinson College provided Project SHARE with the building they occupy on North Orange Street for a dollar per year

“I like the fact that we are using a building that was under utilized before rather than putting up a new building,” Livas stated.

Dickinson students are involved in Project SHARE through internship and work-study opportunities. Students have helped Livas with another project in Mount Holy.

“Students will come as a group, part of either their Greek organization or maybe part of their class…Dickinson School of Law comes as a group, too… they are coming because they really want to help out,” said Livas.

Qiaolin Chen ’19 is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a Greek organization on Dickinson’s campus focused on community service. She felt a sense of community volunteering at the local food pantry and working with Project SHARE.

“I just gave the food to people who came to [Project SHARE]. There were fresh vegetables, cans and all kinds of food that people cook every day,” Chen said. “I really like to volunteer there….[I] could give people what they need and …have some conversation with them. I think it was a chance to get to know more people in the town and learn more about the community… They were really interesting and nice people.”

Since 2002, Project SHARE has continued to grow.

“We grew exponentially once we had a building that was handicap-accessible,” Livas stated. In the past four years, the number of staff and volunteers has increased.

“Project SHARE recipients are encouraged to take an active volunteer role in the work of the Food Bank,” reads a Project SHARE policy, as stated at projectshare.net.

“Their help is critical to the overall ministry at SHARE. In addition, there are 13 staff members, and a dedicated group of nearly 3,000 volunteers a year.”

Livas explained Project SHARE’s goal of being a “staircase” for those that rely on them.

“One of the ideas is Project SHARE’s model as a staircase, they start off [at the bottom] meaning they can’t feed their own family, provide for themselves, they may not have a place to live… and what we want to do is help them move up the staircase.”

Livas wants Project SHARE to get people to a stable place of living where they are able to have food and shelter. She hopes to develop a Co-Op where low-income individuals are mixed in with wealthy individuals and have a balanced and united community.

“The mixing of people together [makes it] so they aren’t so afraid of each other,” Livas explained. “People who are poor often feel outside of the community and we want to help them not feel marginalized, but inside the community.  We want to make them feel welcome. Project SHARE is a place where everyone is allowed in.”

“You are never too busy to volunteer somewhere. Volunteering helps you grow a grateful heart. There are people we dismiss because of our busy lives. Take that extra moment,” concluded Livas.

For more information on Project SHARE or how to get involved, visit projectshare.net.

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