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How We Started

Reach Out Lakota (ROL) was founded in 1992 when Sharon McGuire saw that some families in our community were struggling to provide basic needs for their families. She initiated a drive to help provide Christmas food and toys for these families. She was soon contacted by Kathy Franks and Sue Lewis from St. John's Catholic Church whose parish had collected food but did not have a way to distribute it to those in need.

In 1993, Lourdes A. Ward, a licensed social worker, was hired as the executive director. "I was very honored to be the director. I tell everyone that Sharon is our founding mother and she has given me her baby to grow and nurture. I hope I am fulfilling their vision for assisting our neighbors" In 2000, the organization moved into its current location at 6561 Station Road in West Chester. We wouldn't be here still if it wasn't for the support of our community and the dedication of our many volunteers," After 27 years of service, she retired.

Today, under the direction of CEO Scot Stephens, Reach Out Lakota continues to serve the ongoing needs of families struggling in our community. The staff remains minimal with just three paid positions; Director, Accountant, and Client Intake Specialist. This small staff is supplemented by a dedicated team of volunteers that serve nearly each and every day throughout the year. Direct service to clients has increased to three days each week and several periodic programs have been added.

Our current year-round support programs provide families with:

  • Fresh and shelf stable food options
  • New and gently used clothing
  • Gently used small household goods
  • Supplemental items such as paper goods, personal hygiene products, infant care products and cleaning products

In addition, Reach Out Lakota provides periodic programs including:

  • Thanksgiving Meals
  • Holiday Toy and Meals
  • School Supplies
  • Financial Literacy Classes
  • Refurbished Computer Distributions

Reach Out Lakota continues to operate as an independent food and clothing pantry and receives no government support or aid. We rely heavily on the West Chester, Liberty Township and Lakota Local School District communities for financial support, in-kind donations, and volunteers. We are continually thankful for the many years of support enabling us to continue to put help and hope into the hands of our community.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Gandhi

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