Benevolent Care Fund | Giving Options | Messiah Lifeways

Designation Options

You are encouraged to give to an area that best matches your philanthropic interests and passions with the needs of our ministry.

Endowment Fund for Benevolent Care 

A gift to the Endowment Fund for Benevolent Care is a gift that honors the past while simultaneously supporting the future and the present. Established in 1939, the Endowment Fund was created to ensure that no Messiah Village resident would ever be asked to leave their home. When residents outlive their resources through no fault of their own, the Endowment Fund stands in the gap and covers the cost of lifelong care.

Gifts to the Endowment Fund are not spent in the year they are received. Rather, they are added to the principal of the endowment, currently valued at more than $18 million. Each year, the investment income is allocated to help offset the cost of compassionate benevolent care. Currently, more than $900,000 per year is generated by the Endowment Fund.

Current Support of Benevolent Care

Current-year gifts for Benevolent Care are utilized in the year they are received to help make up the difference between what Messiah Lifeways spends on Benevolent Care and what the Endowment Fund provides. These are vitally important gifts for our ministry because every dollar provided can immediately help offset the rising costs of Benevolent Care. Last year, Messiah Lifeways provided Benevolent Care totaling more than $3 million. The Endowment Fund provided $900,000 to help meet that cost; outright gifts help to make up the difference.

Direct Support for Adult Day Programs

As part of Messiah Lifeways Community Support Services, the Adult Day program serves approximately 100 clients whose lives are truly enriched by attending Adult Day programming. Adult Day clients and their families never pay the full cost of attending Adult Day because we don’t want the program to be prohibitive for families who benefit from this service. Messiah Lifeways covers 20-50% of the cost of the Adult Day program, depending on the client’s individual circumstances. Gifts to this portion of our ministry directly enhance the lives of clients and their families by:

  • Providing friendship and companionship to older adults who otherwise might spend the day alone.
  • Offering stimulating and life enhancing activities that give clients purposeful and zestful ways to invest their time.
  • Giving family members and caregivers an affordable option to care for their loved one so that they can continue to work or receive much needed respite.

Mount Joy Country Homes – Good Samaritan Fund

The Good Samaritan Fund at Mount Joy Country Homes was established in 2016 to support benevolent care needs of residents who live at Mount Joy Country Homes. Should unexpected expenses or emergency situations arise, residents of Mount Joy Country Homes who need a helping hand may apply for assistance in covering their monthly fee.

Residents who have become limited in their financial resources need to apply for benevolent care support through an application process and be approved by the Messiah Lifeways CFO. Benevolent care beneficiaries receive assistance by paying a reduced monthly fee to Mount Joy Country Homes. Mount Joy County Homes then uses donated funds to subsidize the full monthly fee owed.

If approved for benevolent care, a resident’s guaranteed entrance fee refund will be used to satisfy the monthly fee obligation to MJCH, before the Good Samaritan Fund would support the benevolent need.

New! Endowment for Lifelong Learning
(supporting the Pathways Institute)

The Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning®
is one of the most dynamic, forward-thinking, and
well-loved programs offered at Messiah Lifeways. Each year, hundreds of residents, clients, and community members participate in interesting and unique classes taught by volunteer instructors. The Pathways Institute provides myriad opportunities for anyone 55 or better to engage in intellectual, cultural, and spiritual courses and activities to improve overall wellness.

Established in 2005 by three visionary women – Lenora Stern, Dorothy Gish, and Raeann Hamon - the Pathways Institute has continued to grow and expand its course offerings. In support of this continued growth, the Endowment for Lifelong Learning was established in 2018 with a generous gift from Ron and Lenora Stern. This new endowment will enhance and support lifelong learning by providing:

  • Resources to plan feature events and projects with partners such as Messiah College, the Harrisburg Symphony, and others
  • Funding to plan exciting educational trips and excursions
  • Scholarships for individuals who are not able to pay the tuition for classes or transportation to feature events or service projects
  • Resources for staff development for the furthering of the Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning
  • Purchase of video and photographic capacity for use in the programs
  • Seed money to cultivate service-learning and additional experiential learning opportunities

New! Snelbaker Music Therapy Program

The Snelbaker Music Therapy program
was established by Carlyn B. Snelbaker in memory of her late husband, Richard Snelbaker, Esq, who was a resident in the Hampden and Greenwood neighborhoods. The program will utilize board-certified Music Therapists who are trained to provide a personalized, clinical service to improve outcomes, behaviors, and wellness for residents in the Messiah Village nursing neighborhoods living with a variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Music Therapy is a professional, research-based discipline. Board-certified Music Therapists have training not only in music, but also in psychology and medicine and are required to complete 1,200 hours of clinical training. Music Therapists build relationships with their clients over time and learn what therapies are most effective in bringing about desired results in pain management, memory, behavior modification, mood, and overall wellness.

In Fall 2018, Messiah Lifeways began contracting with WB Music Therapy based out of Harrisburg, PA to implement the Snelbaker Music Therapy sessions. In the future, the vision is to create a part-time or full-time position to provide leadership that will allow the impact of music therapy to grow and expand beyond our nursing neighborhoods to touch lives in Enhanced Living, Residential Living, and Adult Day. The Richard C. and Carlyn B. Snelbaker Endowed Music Therapy Fund will provide a perpetual source of funding to ensure that this exciting new program will continue to grow and thrive year after year. Additionally, the Snelbaker Music Therapy Operating Fund will supplement the proceeds from the endowment to provide the budgetary dollars to implement and grow this program.

Additional gifts to the Snelbaker Music Therapy program are welcome at any time.

Special Projects & Wish List Items

Periodically, the Development Office undertakes fundraising campaigns for special capital projects. For instance, more than $2.3 million was committed in philanthropic support toward the recent Project Envision expansion.

In addition, each year, members of the Organizational Council submit requests for items to be funded from the Capital Budget. Given that there are limited funds available for renovations, equipment purchases, and other needs, some items are placed on a “Wish List” to be funded if donors step forward to provide the funds. To learn more about Wish List items, please contact Rachel Pease, Director of Development.


Request Information