Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

NonProfit Focus: Enders & Dauphin County Library System


Why do you feel it’s important for your business to support our area’s nonprofits?

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that there are nearly 32 million small businesses in the United States, employing 60.6 million people as of 2020. These employers and employees make up the fabric our communities, but neither businesses, nor government, make up the fabric of our society alone. Nonprofits help to fill the void that exists for many.

As a small business operating throughout our region, Enders has been committed to community engagement for over 70 years. We actively engage in partnership with a curated group of nonprofits through advocacy, participation and financial support. We understand that, as a small business supported by community, we have a duty and obligation to do charitable works in that same community and beyond.

A key tenet of Enders’ values is to engage nonprofits that deliver services aligned with basic human needs and rights. We challenge one another to identify nonprofit partners that would benefit from our time, energy and financial contributions. Through the aggregation of effort, partnering with well-positioned nonprofits enhances our community.

Why do you support this particular nonprofit and what does your business do to benefit the organization?

Communities often underestimate the value of the public library, relegating them to the notion of old, dusty buildings filled with books. We know that the most cogent argument disrupting this antiquated view is to testify to the living spaces that are the Dauphin County Library System facilities. It is not the brick and mortar alone, but rather, the vibrant professionals who systematically organize information so that it might be shared with all those that seek understanding, especially the members of our community that may not know where to turn.

While libraries of old were quiet fortresses of knowledge that offered a privileged few the ability to secure entry, today’s libraries are lively hubs of equality and robust resources. As the Dauphin County Library System embarks on the restoration of the stunning McCormick Riverfront Library and the adjacent, historical townhouse at 27 N. Front St., we recognize the value that this will bring to our community through additional resources.

Support for the Library means that more members of our region will have enhanced access to technology, more resources for securing gainful employment, and safe environments in which to get direction on health providers. This project includes the return of the first floor of McCormick Riverfront Library to its intended purpose: a space for our children to engage with one another in the pursuit of education and learning.

Dauphin County Library System (DCLS)

Describe your organization and the importance of corporate or foundation support to further your mission.

Whether it is to find jobs, learn new skills, examine new perspectives, or connect with one another, our community relies on the Dauphin County Library System (The Library). The Library’s unique mission statement embraces this important community-building role. The Library builds community and transforms lives by connecting people, ideas and opportunities. From early explorers to seasoned learners, The Library provides resources to improve individuals’ lives and expand a community’s possibilities.

The public library’s role always evolves along with the community and its needs. One critical role is the provision of equitable access to information and to serve as a workforce developer. As we turn our focus outward and connect more fully with our community, we recognize the need to serve as functional, inclusive space. The Library also understands that the spaces, services and access to important information it provides will play a critical role in our community’s pandemic recovery.

A public library is a partner with the community it serves—one that relies on our corporate citizens and foundations for both financial help and assistance with identifying community needs and developing opportunities to serve them. Through dialogue and partnerships, The Library can reach more people and create a more equitable, inclusive community.

For 2021, what is your greatest need for corporate or foundation support?

The year 2021 presents an exciting opportunity for The Library. In addition to an ever-evolving calendar of programs, The Library is engaged in a significant capital campaign supporting the award-winning “Your Place to Belong” project.

The $3.5 million expansion of McCormick Riverfront Library, which has won a Dauphin County Premier Project award, includes connecting the adjacent, 5,458-square-foot residence to the existing library. The McCormick Riverfront Library expansion will offer a 2,000-square-foot, dedicated children’s library. This bright and engaging space will be fully equipped to support both individual and collaborative learning. Beloved and time-tested library storytimes and children’s literature will be offered alongside science-based toys and coding play, virtual reality enhanced storytelling, and cooperative project activities. In addition, the project will provide unique public meeting space in the historic residence, added public computers to the main library floor, improved job-seeking and small business support resources, and expanded library space to support community partnerships.

This project seeks to reflect and support the downtown area and broader community it serves. We are counting on everyone who calls Harrisburg home to offer their ideas on how this space can address the needs of our community, support the growing STEM community downtown, and provide resources to lift up those citizens facing homelessness, job loss, food insecurity and other challenges.

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