Who are we?

Emily Gochenaur, President and Founder

Emily created Central PA Operation Warm Hearts during her time at Messiah College. She is always busy and holds a fulltime job while also fulfilling all her duties for Operation Warm Hearts. She is a dog mom to Dingo and loves to knit. You can find her at most events, at the office sorting, or coming up with the next challenge.

John, Vice President

While maintaining his role as Vice President, John is also a full time real estate agent – a career he loves and has served in for years.
During John’s first year with the organization, he was able to secure $25,000 in grant funding as well as initiate and cultivate relationships with other organizations. Prior to Central PA Operation Warms Hearts 7th Annual Silent Auction, John was able to secure donations from the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Phillies to name a few. He recently proposed to Emily, and they are now engaged!

Kelly, Secretary

Kelly caught the Operation Warm Hearts bug from Emily by learning to knit on a loom almost 10 years ago.  Soon after, she joined the Board to help with many projects including meeting agendas and minutes, early website content, social media, and annual reporting documents.  She enjoys being involved with a team of volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in her hometown community. Kelly loves volunteering, and being outside in nature, and now works professionally as a District Executive with Boy Scouts of America. She’s a mom to 4 adult kids and a dog mom to Snoop. 

Melinda Gochenaur, Administrative Support/Interim Treasurer

Melinda works full time as administrative assistant to the principal at the Kindergarten Academy. She is Granny to Kimber, Emily’s dog! Her duties with OWH vary depending on what’s needed. Some of her duties include: tracking all donations received in the donation box, respond to emails and
phone calls, anniversary event planning, represent OWH at community events, and anything
else that lands on her plate when Emily says “can we have a pre-meeting”!

Emma Parrish, Distribution Coordinator

By night, Emma spends her time with Operation Warm Hearts, sending emails agencies and distributors to coordinate pickup times. By day she works as a Clerk for the US Postal Service. She loves to knit, sew, bake, and do puzzles.

Kelsie Hall, Social Media Coordinator

Kelsie has been volunteering since spring of 2022, and continued to take on more formal responsibilities with OWH because why not?!  Crafting is not necessarily Kelsie’s…”gift”… BUT thankfully she is able to contribute in other ways.  Kelsie just recently got married to her husband, James, and in her free time she enjoys exploring new places, thrifting/visiting antique stores, and watching sappy Hallmark movies!

Abby Lefin, Website Administrator

Abby has worked hard on revamping the Operation Warm Hearts website. She updates, organizes, and creates pages every month to make sure everything is easy to read and up to date. Abby also works full time as a news producer for a television station in Washington DC. In her free time she loves spending time with her boyfriend, hiking, and being outside with her dogs Kima and Figaro.

Volunteer Opportunity Available!

Operation Warm Hearts is run completely on volunteers from the top to the bottom, and we are always looking for some extra help. We volunteer our skills, talents, and time to help those in need and fulfill our mission. If you are interested in how you can be a part of the team, or simply want some additional information – send us an email! We would love to chat.