How One PA City’s Annual Secret Holiday Gives Back to the Community

There are plenty of reasons and ways to give back to your community all year long, and every little bit counts. But there is something special when a group of people works together to make a difference, and all those little bits add up to more. Well, take that idea and multiple it by an entire city — Lancaster, PA, in this case — and you’ve got something extraordinary: ExtraGive. ExtraGive is a like a secret holiday in Lancaster that rolls around every November, and the entire city gets involved. This year, it’s scheduled for Friday, November 22.

Over the past seven years, ExtraGive has raised more than $42 million for more than 500 organizations. The 2018 ExtraGive took place on November 16, 2018, and 23,547 donors raised just over $10 million in 24 hours! The funds raised go to a number of charities and nonprofits that, according to ExtraGive’s website, “impact local kids and families, education, housing, and healthcare, environment and economic development, the arts, history, culture and more.”

This city-wide day of giving and fundraising uses friendly competition, with leaderboardsprizes and plenty of social media engagement to keep participants motivated and connected. We love seeing local bars and restaurants get involved with special events and fundraisers, like Tellus360‘s Great Giving Getaway party, where the bar will be transformed into the ultimate beach getaway with activities, food and live music. Representatives from the 12 Great Giving Getaway organizations will be tabling with information and opportunities to give, and anyone who visits all of the tables will receive a free pint!

In 2018, Taproom by Spring House Brewing Co. hosted a dance party to benefit Lancaster Pride, offering a $20 Spring House gift card to anyone who donated $100. This year, the brewery Pony Up, a special ExtraGive beer in collaboration with Lancaster Community Foundation. Portions of the proceeds of this tasty hazy IPA will go to the 2019 ExtraGive Stretch Pool, a $500,000 sum that the Foundation and its presenting sponsors created to help the Extra Give dollars go further.


And these are just a few of the businesses, organizations and schools that band together to raise an almost unbelievable amount of money each November. Later in the evening after ExtraGive, participants gather at the ExtraGive Fest at the Lancaster Marriott to watch the final numbers rolls in, and to celebrate all their hard work together!

In these days of division and tension in our country, it’s so heartwarming and encouraging to see a whole city coming together in such a positive, life-affirming effort. We are excited to share that in 2020, PA Eats will be participating in ExtraGive! Our three-part mission as a Pennsylvania non-profit includes: celebrating local food, drink and agriculture; supporting efforts to provide fresh, healthy food to those in need; and teaching people to cook with affordable healthy foods. We’re proud to be based in Lancaster, and couldn’t be more thrilled to participate in ExtraGive in the coming year.

Don’t forget: this year’s ExtraGive is right around the corner! To get involved, check out the ExtraGive website, which is loaded with tons of info, including a toolkit for new participants.

ExtraGive is a project of the Lancaster Community Foundation, located at 24 West King St., Suite 201 in Lancaster; (717) 397-1629.

  • Feature photo: Pexels
  • Video: ExtraGive