Homeland Chaplain Todd Carver: Choosing a life of service and helping others


Homeland Chaplain Todd Carver

Though Todd Carver grew up watching his father serve as a pastor in Hagerstown, Maryland, he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to take a similar path.

When his parents offered to pay for one year of Bible college, he took them up on their offer and attended Lancaster Bible College – and found his calling.

“The defining question of my life went from ‘What do I want to do’ to ‘God, what am I here for?’ and that is when everything changed,’’ Todd said. “I’m now 24 years living out that question.’’

Today, Todd is one of four chaplains with Homeland Hospice, an outreach program that cares for patients in the comfort of their homes or wherever they live. A former chaplain in the Army reserves, Todd also helps run Vet to Vet, a program helping Veterans who are served by Homeland Hospice, as well as residents of Homeland Center.

“I refuse to call what I do a job,’’ said Todd, who came to Homeland last fall. “To me, this is what I’m put on this earth to do.”

After graduating from Lancaster Bible College, Todd initially took a position as a full-time youth minister at Groton Heights Baptist Church in Connecticut. He then served as assistant director of the Monadnock Bible Conference in New Hampshire, a year-round non-denominational camp and retreat center for children and adults.

In his mid-30s, Todd felt the need to answer a parallel calling: serving his country, a desire harbored since his teens.

“I felt I could combine my love of country with my ministry skills,’’ he said. “I believed it was a combination that could be very effective in supporting soldiers and their families.’’

As a chaplain in the Army reserves, Todd and his family lived in Virginia, and he often spent weekends and months during the summer away from home. In 2015, he had a choice: take a promotion to captain, which would entail at least one deployment, or find a position that would give him more time with his wife, Holly-Mae, and their children, Cassie and Calvin.

“The children were entering their teenage years, and they wanted me home, so the result was saying we should do something we can together, and let’s do something where we have family,’’ he said.

His wife’s sister lived in Lancaster, and when they saw an opening for residential house parents at the Milton Hershey School, it seemed a perfect fit.

“It was something we could do together, and we are already parenting and have a good foundation for our kids, and we thought we had something we could offer to other kids,’’ Todd said. After four years, however, Todd and Holly-Mae felt it was time for a job that allowed them to focus more on their own teenagers.

Holly-Mae took a full-time position at the Hershey Medical Center, and Todd worked on getting his chaplain credentials at the hospital. Then, the director of chaplains told Todd of an opening at Homeland Hospice.

“I found the mission of helping patients and families finish well to match my education and experience in pastoral care,’’ he said. “It all merged, and I found it so easy to make connections with patients and families and remind them of their spiritual beliefs, which they can draw from as they face the greatest challenge of their life.’’

Soon after his arrival, Homeland Hospice began the Vet to Vet program as part of its work with We Honor Veterans, which offers hospices and community organizations guidance on assisting veterans. It was yet another way Todd’s background and experience allowed him to serve veterans receiving care from Homeland Hospice and those living at Homeland Center.

“I wake up every day excited to come in,’’ Todd said of his work as a Homeland Hospice chaplain. “I am on a phenomenal team of like-minded ministers who are passionate about serving patients and families in times of crisis.’’

Laser-cut works by artist Charlie Hubbard bring dimension to Homeland gallery


Artist Charlie Hubbard

Charlie Hubbard was blessed with wood crafting and photography talents and an eye for intrigue and fascinating designs.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said of his intricate woodcuts now hanging in the Homeland Florida Room gallery. “It makes just about everything a little bit different when you use different media.”

Hubbard is the latest in a long line of artists whose work comes to Homeland via the Art Association of Harrisburg’s community gallery initiative.

Every three months, a different Art Association member hangs an exhibit of their unique, high-quality art in the Homeland gallery. All the artists are specially chosen by the Art Association of Harrisburg Executive Director Carrie Wissler Thomas for their appeal to residents, brightening their days with landscapes, seascapes, and streetscapes.

Hubbard brings a new dimension to the exhibits – literally. His laser-cut woodworks layer finely shaped wood to give depth and symmetry to geometric forms, words, and images.

Hubbard, who lives in the Dillsburg area, grew up in Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg before serving in the U.S. Navy for six years. After retiring from active duty, he stayed in the Navy’s orbit by working at the Mechanicsburg Naval Supply Depot, now Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg.

Since retiring in 2018, he considers himself lucky to follow the plan he has had all along to pursue his art full-time. He has always had an artistic bent. It started with woodworking – “little knickknacks, boxes, and things like that.” After turning some goblets and bowls, he asked a friend to take photos for an album before he gave them away. Looking at the pictures, he thought, “I can do that.”

“I borrowed my mom’s single lens reflex camera–and couldn’t do anything with it,” he said with a laugh. “It was terrible, so I spent time at the library and learned how to use it.”

In those days, around 1990, his early photographic work explored his fascination with bare trees and ship’s riggings. Then, he bought a printer that came with Photoshop and a plug-in for “fractals,” and he discovered a new passion.

The software for fractals uses mathematical equations to repeat shapes and designs in seemingly endless formations. Then the artist applies color gradients and adjusts the images. Hubbard’s resulting images create intricate interplays of swirling and layered lines for ethereal representations of hearts, masks, and trees.

Charlie often carries two cameras. One captures atmospheric scenes in nature and at historic sites around the region, from Gettysburg to Cape May, NJ. The other has a special filter that captures the infrared spectrum, washing out colors and creating ghostly black-and-white images.

“I like black and white in general, but in the infrared pictures, all the green foliage comes out white,” he said. “The chlorophyll in the foliage gives off radiation, which kind of overexposes the image. It just looks so magical to me.”

Charlie has always liked doing things that few others are doing, so about two years ago, he found his way to laser-cut wood.

“It’s new,” he said. “Nobody around here has ever seen it. It’s good to be the first.”

Using purchased patterns, Hubbard laser cuts thin pieces of plywood or medium-density fiberboard, then paints and stains the pieces, stacking the layers. Like his fractals and landscapes, they present interplays of lines and curves.

He shows his work at the Art Association of Harrisburg and local galleries. A small gallery in York has sold several of his laser pieces.

In fact, a Homeland resident bought two of the laser-cut works hanging in the Homeland exhibit. One depicted an Asian-style great wave, and the other showed a sun and moon.

“I think people like the depth and the three-dimensional side of it,” he said. “It’s visually confusing. You can stare at it for so long. Like the fractals, you see something different every time you look at it.”
Hubbard has shown his fractals in the Homeland gallery before and, this time, was especially pleased to know that a resident bought two pieces for his own room.

“That’s the reason for doing it, that people appreciate the work and they’re willing to buy it,” he said. “I’m retired. I’m not making a living at this, so it’s really rewarding when somebody wants to hang it in their home.”

For a look at Charlie Hubbard’s diverse portfolio, visit www.charliehubbard.com

Homeland resident Bonnie Clapp: Looking out for the well-being of others


When it was time to choose a retirement community, Bonnie Clapp knew where she wanted to live.

“I picked Homeland because I wanted a place with a good reputation,” she said. “They run a good place here.”

Since August 2022, Bonnie has been a Homeland resident–enjoying the activities and crafts, helping other residents, and approaching life with a healthy outlook.

Bonnie grew up in New Cumberland before moving to Camp Hill at age 16. Her father worked at the local Navy depot, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom who sometimes worked evenings at a local store.

“I was there for my kids, too,” Bonnie said. “They’re only young once, and if you don’t get to enjoy it, you don’t get it back. I said I’d rather do without some things.”

Bonnie graduated from Cedar Cliff High School in 1962, part of the school’s second graduating class. Until the COVID epidemic, she organized her class reunions.

“I knew where all the kids were and what they did,” she said. “I loved doing that.”

In 1954, Bonnie contracted a non-paralytic form of polio, but her mother wouldn’t let her slow down. Even years later, as an adult, she climbed the Statue of Liberty spiral steps “right up to the tablet.”

“My mother never raised me to be helpless,” she recalls. “She said, ‘You try to do everything,’ and I could do everything. She had a wonderful attitude. So, if I can see it, I can do it, or I can try, anyway.”

After graduation, Bonnie attended medical arts school and worked for a doctor’s office until she started her family. That’s when she got a part-time job, working evenings in the fabric department at the former Pomeroy’s department store.

“I’m a people person,” she said. “I like to be out and about.”

At Pomeroy’s, she got a discount on fabric, plus discarded patterns for free, so she was able to enjoy her favorite pastime–sewing.

She would stay up late, making clothes for her two daughters and sometimes sewing them matching outfits. Bonnie used skills she learned from an aunt who could, and did, sew everything, including drapes made from sheets.

“She sewed coats and made hats, and she never had a sewing lesson in her life,” said Bonnie. “That woman was so talented, and I guess a little bit rubbed off on me, but not to the extreme that she did.”

Bonnie also loves volunteering. For many years, she worked with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program to teach Cumberland County senior citizens about the dangers of Medicare fraud and other scams. In 2015, she earned the Cumberland County Volunteer of the Year Award.

“I just had the time, and I loved doing it so that I couldn’t say no,” she said. “I loved the seniors, and you learn so much from them. They all have different life experiences. I met wonderful people.”

For 18 years, Bonnie worked at the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging, now LeadingAge PA, performing meeting planning and public policy duties, retiring in 2003. While working for the organization, she learned about all Homeland offers and decided to make it her home.

At Homeland, Bonnie enjoys spending time with her 95-year-old roommate and joining her in numerous Homeland activities.

Bonnie loves Homeland’s beautiful chapel and the musicians who present programs every weekday.

“I can’t say I have a favorite because they have many guitarists,” she said. “They’re all good, and it’s wonderful to go to them.”

She also enjoys the holiday decorations put up by Homeland’s Board of Managers, the unique, all-women board responsible for maintaining Homeland’s renowned homelike atmosphere.

“Above the diner door, there’s a stuffed Santa Claus and packages,” said Bonnie, who used to have a Santa Claus collection. “He is so cute. Out in one of the courtyards, they have a Christmas tree all lit up. They really decorate around here to make it festive.”