The North at a glance

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Free meals are a Christmas tradition 

Free holiday meals — ham with all the trimmings — will be served on Christmas Day at three locations of St. Barnabas through the generosity of St. Barnabas Charities.

The dinners will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at these locations:

• St. Barnabas Nursing Home, 5827 Meridian Road, Richland; 724-443-0700.

• The Arbors III at St. Barnabas, 6005 Valencia Road, Richland; 724-625-1530.

• Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas, 85 Charity Place, Valencia; 724-625-4000.

Reservations are appreciated. No questions will be asked of those enjoying the dinners and confidentiality will be honored.

The free Christmas dinners have been served at St. Barnabas since 1900.


Catholic high school graduate awards

Graduates of Catholic high schools who are accepted to La Roche College and enroll for 2014-15 are eligible to receive $1,000 to $2,000 per year through the Catholic High School Award.

La Roche offers the tuition assistance to students attending Catholic high schools.

The award for students in the Diocese of Pittsburgh ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 per year, depending on the students’ grade point average. Students must hold a GPA of at least 2.0 to be eligible.

For others, the award is $1,000 per year.

The award is renewable for up to four years as long as the student remains in good academic standing at La Roche. The award is offered in addition to any other scholarships or awards that a student may receive.

Information and to apply: 412-536-1272 or 


Free hospice care speakers bureau

The Hospice Speakers Bureau at St. Barnabas is available to address civic and community organizations, clubs and churches about the meaning of hospice — comfort, compassion and quality of life.

The free presentations can be catered to a particular topic of interest and meet the individual needs of the group.

Among the topics are Hospice and Psalm 23; Hospice: yesterday, today, tomorrow; Hospice: fact and fiction; and Could hospice be your ministry?

Information or to schedule a speaker: 724-444-5541 or

St. Barnabas Hospice is operated by St. Barnabas Medical Center to support terminally ill patients and their families. Services include pain management and care for the patient’s physical and spiritual needs plus counseling and support for the patient’s family members.


Helping children for the winter

Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV covering Butler County and Feed the Children have partnered to kick off the holiday giving season.

MIU IV staff members spent the month of November delivering backpacks filled with school supplies, nonperishable food, and personal care items to homeless children throughout the region. Feed the Children, an international relief organization, partners with organizations throughout the country to deliver essentials to children in need.

Unit IV is an educational service agency that provides programs and services to 27 school districts in Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties.


Toys for Austin's Playroom

The Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department and corporate sponsor, Butler Media Group, have collected toys to donate to Austin’s Playroom and to the Family Services department at Butler Memorial Hospital.

The toys were to be delivered earlier this week to children from toddlers to teens.

The fire department chose Austin’s Playroom and BHS’ Family Service department as a project that will extend well beyond the holiday season.

Austin’s Playroom Project is an initiative of the Mario Lemieux Foundation that establishes playrooms in medical facilities.


Citrus sale benefits North Hills Community Outreach

North Hills Community Outreach is accepting orders through Feb. 5 for its annual box sale of grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and pears.

The items are hand-checked by volunteers and are available for pickup March 1 and 2.

Purchases benefit NHCO, which served 5,031 local families in need last year

Boxes of fruit can be donated to NHCO’s food pantries.

To order online: 412-487-6316 or,

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