First Annual Ephrata Recovery Day

Join the local Ephrata community in celebration of recovery!

We are excited to host our first annual Recovery Day for the Ephrata area on September 14, from 11-3 at Grater Memorial Park. There will be food trucks, addiction and recovery resources, a recovery speaker, and more. Join us for this FREE, family friendly, fun event to celebrate that WE DO RECOVER.


August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

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Join us for pizza, and a film screening of “Pleasure Unwoven”

Dr. Kevin McCauley – Pleasure Unwoven


Kevin McCauley, is a qualified medical doctor and he focuses the important question about addiction: “Is it really a “disease?” This video essay, filmed in high-definition and recipient of NAATP’s Michael Q. Ford Journalism Award 2010, presents the arguments for and against this question. Reviewing all the latest research about addiction along the way. Uses the spectacular landscape of Utah’s State and National Parks to describe the brain areas involved in addiction, turns complex neuroscientific concepts into easy-to-understand visual images that will help people in recovery feel better understood, and their families and friends feel hope that recovery is possible.

We are also hosting a NARCAN training, Q&A and free kits available to anyone who needs them.

This event is FREE, but please RSVP by email or on Facebook.

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National Prevention Week 2019

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Join the National Prevention Week movement each year on social media by participating in the NPW Prevention Challenge. En Espanol

2019 Prevention Challenge: #PREVENTIONCHAMPION IN ONE WORD

Pre·ven·tion Cham·pi·on

Noun: a person, activity, program, or organization that inspires others to take prevention actions every day that change lives and create healthier futures for ourselves and our communities.


Inspiring. Friend. Truthful. Listener. Brave. Hero. Strong. Teacher. Gift. Survivor.

  1. Take a photo or video of your Prevention Champion.
  2. Include one word that best describes how your Prevention Champion inspires you to take action to live a healthier life and practice prevention every day.
  3. Share your photo or video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat using the hashtags #PreventionChampion and #NPW2019 by May 2019.

We will add your post to the NPW Prevention Challenge digital mosaic and may feature it in a future NPW video.

Share your #PreventionChampion today!

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What’s the NPW Prevention Challenge?

The NPW Prevention Challenge is an interactive social media activity that ties your local prevention efforts to the larger movement of National Prevention Week. Each year, a new challenge activity and hashtag are announced at SAMHSA’s Prevention Day in early February, and continue through the end of May.

Join Us for our National Prevention Week Events


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Character Matters Program

The prevention portion of Ephrata Cares focuses on the Character Matters Program in conjunction with partners Ephrata Area School District, the Ephrata Public Library, Wellspan Health, COMPASSMARK and the Northern Lancaster Hub.


CHARACTER MATTERS Community Initiative Kicks Off
Reinvented concept resembles “Character
We’ve Got It” from 20 years ago

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How can a community embody character? What is a trauma-informed community? These questions are driving the work to launching a community initiative, CHARACTER MATTERS. You may remember the late 1990s community initiative
“Character We’ve Got It” that aimed to inspire community members and Ephrata Area School District students to make good decisions and demonstrate admirable character traits. While the work of this initiative spread across local schools,
churches and more, it eventually faded away after about 10 ten

The Ephrata Cares organization, a coalition formed to address the opioid crisis in our community, has inspired the reinvention of a similar concept, CHARACTER MATTERS. Representatives from Ephrata Area School District, WellSpan, The Ephrata Public Library, Compass Mark, the Northern Lancaster County  HUB, and more are working together to inspire a trauma-informed community, bring awareness to the initiative, and encourage students and community members.

What is a trauma-informed community? In the late 1980s, an important research project was completed that clearly showed a relationship between early childhood experiences and health and social problems. Those early childhood experiences include what we now know as traumatic experiences that may include living in poverty, having a parent with an addiction or mental illness, and suffering neglect or physical abuse. Typically, the more adverse the experiences the more serious the physical and emotional effects.
A trauma-informed community acknowledges traumatic experiences and wants to foster resiliency, which can help lessen long-term, damaging effects. A trauma-informed community works toward building a community that is safe and trustworthy and provides opportunities for working together.These communities across the nation and the Commonwealth of PA show improvements throughout the community, including less crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy. Data also shows increases in graduations rates, healthy lifestyles, and more.
Being a trauma-informed community and living a life with moral character not only aligns with the mission of Ephrata Cares, but parallels much of the Ephrata Area School District Life Ready Graduate program. Together, with additional community partners, the group created CHARACTER MATTERS to inspire the Ephrata community.

Identified traits will drive the CHARACTER MATTERS initiative each month:
October – Accountability & Responsibility
November – Honesty
December – Altruism
January – Adaptability
February – Compassion & Empathy
March – Integrity

April – Perseverance, Resilience and Grit
May – Continual Learning and Growth Mindset
June – Self-Control
July – Patience
August – Cooperation
September – Respect

Being a community-wide effort, it is the hope that messages highlighting these CHARACTER MATTERS traits will be incorporated in our community library, school classrooms, church sermons, and more. Additionally, look for information to come soon to help grow the initiative through logo-designing contests, social media demos of CHARACTER MATTERS traits in action in the community, and more. By instilling positive and understanding character traits within our community members, it is the hope
that many opportunities will follow to build resiliency and ways to cope with adverse experiences.

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Remember Me: A Candlelight Vigil

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 12.56.59 pmDecember 12 was the first annual candlelight vigil remembering those lost to addiction. Despite the chilly temperatures, the turn out was positive, and stories of loss, as well as hope in recovery were shared by speakers. The evening included participants placing memorial ornaments on a tree and ended with a symbolic sharing of light together with hot chocolate and fellowship afterwards at CityGate Ephrata. Watch the WGAL News 8 coverage of the event on our Facebook page.