I originally intended to write this month’s blog post with a focus on encouraging our local residents to experience the activities and attractions at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center throughout the winter and inviting the community to learn more about the Gettysburg Foundation and what we do in partnership with the National Park Service. The focus of this column quickly changed at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, when Governor Tom Wolf’s new COVID-19 restrictions took effect, temporarily closing the Museum & Visitor Center for the second time in 2020.
As challenging as it has been for the Gettysburg Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic, I reflected on the fact that it has been just as challenging, and even more so, for many of our area businesses and organizations, as well as our hospitals and healthcare workers—let alone for individuals and families who have been ill with the virus or have lost a loved one because of it. Aware of the financial stress, uncertainties and life-changing circumstances that have been created by the virus and its impact, we as a community are all in this—and getting through this—together.
You may be asking, what does all this have to do with the Gettysburg Foundation? It is quite simple. Although located in Cumberland Township, the Gettysburg Foundation is a vibrant part of the local community. We are appreciative of our community relationships and business associations. Our interactions with the people who live in Gettysburg and Adams County are especially meaningful. So, it is in this season that is characterized by kindness, giving, and love that I want to take the opportunity to let you know how much the Gettysburg Foundation cares for and appreciates the support of the community.
This holiday season, the Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to again give back to our local community in several areas. Foundation staff members volunteered and rang the bell at Walmart as part of The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign that benefits those in need here in Adams County. We also participated in the holiday food drive benefiting South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP), which assists local displaced families. And, staff members handcrafted Christmas cards to help spread holiday cheer to residents in The Gardens at Gettysburg nursing home who will not see their families for the holidays due to the pandemic.
On behalf of the Gettysburg Foundation, I wish you all the joy and peace of the Christmas season and best wishes for the new year. Our sincere hope is that 2021 will bring healthier times and a return to some degree of “normalcy.” Whatever the future holds for us individually and collectively, the Gettysburg Foundation stands with you in support.
Interim President, Gettysburg Foundation
First appeared in the Gettysburg Foundation's column in the Dec. 28, 2020, edition of the Gettysburg Times.