About Us

Our History

 Today, Join Hands is supported by and partnered jointly with over 60 Perry County churches, the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, business, civic groups, foundations, clients, and individuals. Many persons in Perry County sought help from the religious community with a myriad of needs.   The faith community was being confronted by:

  • Lack of awareness of such needs in the community
  • The availability of existing public service agencies
  • Duplication of services among the churches (repeated help given to the same family for the same concern)
  • Contradiction of existing services (non-compliance with agency/case management stipulations)
  • The inability to verify the legitimacy of the need being requested.

Therefore, the Perry County United Methodist Cluster accepted the challenge of responding to the needs in this rural community.  Join Hands Ministry was formed by the Cluster to be a central point of contact and services with the purpose of making these needs known among the area churches, filling in the “gaps” for persons in need, and creating a standardization of qualifying true poverty needs while establishing lines of accountability for responsible management of funds and goods donated to the cause. The Perry County Food Bank:The Perry County Food Bank was started in 1992 by a local church in Duncannon to respond to hunger in rural Perry County.  In 1996, the local Community Action Commission operated the Perry County Food Bank for three years.  In 1999, the County of Perry assumed the operations and maintenance of the food bank.  The Perry County Food Bank thrived under the management of the local government and sustained services.  The Perry County Commissioners maintained their ongoing commitment to ensure this program continued, but actively researched local non-profits to eventually assume the management of the Perry County Food Bank.  Join Hands was approached by the County of Perry to operate the food bank, which began on September 1, 2008.  

What We Do

 Join Hands is a collaborative community outreach program providing direction, intervention and support to persons facing a variety of daily living challenges in Perry County. Join Hands Ministry is a contact and support center for persons living in Perry County, who are seeking assistance with daily living concerns.  Referrals are accepted from all sources with no referral restrictions beyond Perry County residence.The mission of Join Hands is to serve as a contact and support center for persons living in Perry County who are seeking assistance with daily living concerns.  Services include yet are not limited to: 

  • Guidance
  • “Where to turn” referrals
  • Links to faith based counseling and 
  • Connect to community and church affiliation
  • Limited direct financial assistance
  • Helping persons fill a spiritual void
  • Helping maintain or achieve independence. 
  • Direct one-on-one mentoring
  • Life skill support
  • Decision making
  • Financial planning
  • Coordinate Medical transportation
  • Emergency heat response
  • Moving assistance
  • Automobile repair
  • Free furniture/household items/clothing
  • Back to school and holiday assistance
  • Volunteer opportunities

Our Supporters & Partners

Join Hands is a collaborative community outreach program providing direction, intervention and support to persons facing a variety of daily living challenges in Perry County.Since 2002, Join Hands has received funding from private foundations  and has received awards from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

In 2017 Join Hands supporters and partners included, 215 Individuals & Families and,


Church Supporters/Partners (Financial/Donations


1. 1st Pine Grove Church of God 

2. Abundant Harvest Church/Tabatha House 

3. Bethany UMC 

4. Bethel UMC/Ladies Group 

5. Bethel UMC 

6. Bible Baptist Church of New Bloomfield 

7. Bucks Valley UMC 

8. Calvary UMC - Dillsburg

9. Centre Presbyterian Church 

10. Christ Community Church

11. Christ Lutheran Church 

12. Church of the Nativity and St. Stephen's Church 

13. Church World Service 

14. Cornerstone Christian Church 

15. Dellville UMC

16. Donnally Mills UMC/Action Class 

17. Faith United Church of Christ

18. Glenvale Church of God

19. Highland Presbyterian Church

20. Hill UMC

21. Hope Eternal UMC

22. Incarnation UCC

23. Loggania Church of God 

24. Mannsville Lutheran Church/Youth 

25. Marysville Church of God

26. Marysville Council of Churches

27. Mercersburg Association Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ 

28. Messiah Lutheran Church

29. Millerstown UMC 

30. Mt. Gilead UMC 

31. Mt. Zion Free Lutheran Church/Friendship Circle of ELCA 

32. Mt. Zion Lutheran Friendship Circle 

33. Mt. Zion UMC – Enola

34. New Bloomfield U.M.C.

35. New Buffalo UMC

36. New Germantown UMC

37. New Hope Church of Christ 

38. New Hope UCC 

39. Newport Assembly of God 

40. Newport First Church of God 

41. Otterbein UMC

42. Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic

43. Pfoutz Valley UMC 

44. Red Hill Church of God

45. River of Life Community Church 

46. Roseglen UMC 

47. Salem UMC 

48. Sandy Hill UCC 

49. Shermans Dale SDA Church

50. Shermans Dale UMC 

51. Snyder's UMC 

52. St. Bernard's Catholic Church 

53. St. Paul Lutheran Church of Loysville 

54. Susquehanna Conference UMC

55. Three Springs Church of the Brethren

56. Tressler Mem Free Lutheran Church

57. Tressler Memorial Free

58. Trinity Christian Church 

59. Trinity Reformed Church

60. Trinity UMC Charge/Hill & Bucks UMC 

61. Walnut Grove UMC 

62. Wesley UMC/Wesley Women

63. West Perry Ministerium 

64. Young's UMC (Shermans Dale)

65. Zion Lutheran Church 

66. Zion UCC

Civic Supporters of JHM (Financial)

1. Chattnooga Club 

2. Ickesburg Lions Clubs

3. Ladies Aux - Ickesburg Fire Co

4. Landisburg Lions Club 

5. Marysville Lioness Club 

6. Moose Riders

Business Supporters of JHM (Financial)

1. Community Aid

2. Curl Up & Dye w/ Style

3. Entech Engineering, Inc.

4. Myers Furniture

5. Pennian Bank (all Perry County branches)

6. Shollenberger, Januzzi & Wolfe, LLP

Church Partners of JHM (Donations)

1. Faith United

2. Good Shepherd Lutheran

3. Grace Brethren 

4. Messiah Church

5. Morgan Tressler team & Bible study group

6. New Life Assembly 

7. Young’s UMC (Mechanicsburg)

Civic Partners of JHM (Donations)

1. Aurora Center

2. Bethesda Mission 

3. Bread of Life Outreach

4. Carson Long Cadets

5. Dry Bones Wheel Association

6. Linda House – YWCA 

7. Perry County Domestic Relations

8. Perry County Food Bank

9. Rep. Mark Keller’s Office

10. Susquenita Midget Football Association

11. The Sisters Book club

12. United Way of Capital Region

13. Volunteers of America

Business Partners of JHM (Donations/Service Partners)

1. Affordable Fuels

2. Bloomfield Pharmacy

3. Blue Cross & Blue Sheild

4. Brother’s Pizza

5. Cnesta Group

6. Country Footwear & More

7. Curl up and Dye w/ Style

8. Czekaj, Dusharm, LCC 

9. Dollar General – Shermans Dale & Carlisle

10. Family Dollar – Lousville & New Bloomfield

11. Freysinger – New Bloomfield

12. Holman & Holman Law

13. Orrstown Bank (all Perry County branches)

14. PNC Bank

15. Premier at Perry Village

16. Newport Family Practice

17. Sylvester Services

18. The Podium Awards

19. UMPC Pinnacle Health

Our Team

Michael J. Burns, director

Since 2003, Michael has served Central Pennsylvania as a youth/student pastor, college lacrosse coach, event organizer, Drug & Alcohol Counselor while mentoring and training adults who work with youth.  He is originally from the eastern shore of Maryland.  His wife Lauri Burns whose maiden name was Lauri Long grew up in Millerstown, Perry County.  Michael and Lauri have two children, Addison and Thaddeus. Michael graduated from Whittier College in Whittier, California with a B.A. in Psychology and Child Development.  He too holds a Masters in Theology from Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Sheree D. Seifert, assist. to director

Sheree has worked with Join Hands since May 2013. Prior to that, she was a stay-at-home mom busy with her church, the PTO, and volunteering at Newport Elementary School.  In her life before motherhood, she worked with children with behavioral problems for Keystone Family Services and Catholic Charities.  Sheree is a Juniata County original but moved to Perry County with her husband Steve in Oct. 1998. They reside with their 2 children, Taylor and Jimmy along with a beloved mutt, Daisy. Sheree graduated from Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.  

Perry Countians, YOU!

Join Hands was created to serve the needs of "our" Perry County neighbors.  You are our greatest resource!

 Donate to Join Hands through,