Tucked away in an unassuming back office of the Pajama Factory, a small group of locals are making a tremendous impact abroad. For over 15 years, ACES North America has been taking people, resources and ideas to impoverished communities in the Dominican Republic. Travel teams are organized through local colleges, churches, and word-of-mouth.
Why the Dominican? Alongside a paradise of exotic culture exists a fragile society facing numerous challenges. Corruption, human rights abuses, an underdeveloped educational system, and inadequate health services are a daily hazard.
ACES is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit. The board includes Karen Lehman, Patty Beggs, Sue Myers, John Sacharok, Jayson and Beth Miller, Mark and Kelly Uhland, under the direction of Linell Stabler, Executive Director.
In February, ACES committed $9000 to their latest project, a community center in Barabocoa. This project needed funding and it was the perfect fit for ACES’ requirement for sustainability. By empowering local people to actively lead projects such as these, rather than trying to manage them from Pennsylvania, the chances for long-term success skyrocket.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, ACES still hopes to hold their major annual fundraiser The Dominican Plate Dinner on July 20th. Largely supported by the Williamsport Crosscutters, tickets can be purchased by calling 570-326-3389 or visiting www.acesna.org.