Associated Charities welcomed a new executive director last fall after Connie McIntyre, the previous executive director, decided to retire. Cricket Wencil-Tracey was hired in the beginning of September and worked with McIntyre for three weeks before she retired.
Wencil-Tracey served on their board for the past eight years, so she was somewhat familiar with what the organization did.
“But until I came here to work on a daily basis, I had no idea the array of services we offer to those in need in our community,” she said. “Or the generosity that outpours from different businesses and individuals that support the charity.
“We have the thrift store in the front which is open to the community to come in and shop, and we accept donations from the community as well.”
Clients of Associated Charities receive free items from the store once a month, with respectable limitations in place. Wencil-Tracey said that if there are needs, they work with each client individually to meet their needs if possible.
Through donations from the community, the Associated Charities offers a back-to-school program, food pantry, Emergency Utility Assistance, Clothing Assistance, School Clothing and Christmas Boxes.
“I’m grateful for the generosity that people extend,” Wencil-Tracey said. “One thing that really enables us to do what we do are the volunteers who come in and help us.”
She explained that volunteers come in on a weekly basis and help sort donations, clean and organize in the back of the store.
“Without the volunteers we have, it would be difficult to do what we’re doing here,” she said.
“I like my job because it’s always changing, there are so many aspects to it, working with the food in the food pantry, to greeting customers and clients when they come in. The days just fly by, and people are so appreciative of the help that we offer. There are just so many aspects of this that I love.”
Before joining Associated Charities, Wencil-Tracey worked at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville for 30 years in admissions and helped with recruiting. She enjoyed serving in the community and has done work with March of Dimes.
After leaving Pitt-Titusville a year and a half ago, she worked at steel mill before joining Associated Charities last year.
“I have always been very involved in our community and leaving Titusville to work made me realize how much I missed working here in Titusville and working with the other people in the community,” Wencil-Tracey said. “And so I was drawn to come back to Titusville to work, and to be a part of the community again.
“There’s so much good that comes out of people giving back. It’s very rewarding for the individual volunteering, but the amount of good that enables people to extend to other people is invaluable,” Wencil-Tracey said.
Schrecengost can be reached, by email, at email@example.com.