About TamaquaArea.com

“Bringing Good People Together”

Your Local Website For Tamaqua Area News, Events, Photos, Videos, Links, Community Information, Organizations, Businesses and More Great Stuff!

Andrew Leibenguth (3)

 Hello all.  My name is Andrew Leibenguth.

I created and maintain TamaquaArea.com as a hobby.

I use this free community website, local charities, social media postings, community signage, and video/photo coverage as time-consuming ways to overcome personal issues I deal with since my return from Iraq.

This website was made to help bring all the great people, families, organizations, and businesses in and around Tamaqua together in one place to share stories, events, photos, and much more.

TamaquaArea.com community website isn’t your normal boring or non-updated community website. I routinely upload and maintain my site by adding events, photos, videos, community news, organizations, businesses and much more.

And best of all… My website (to include all my photos and videos) are all free for everyone to use!

Below is an explanation about why I do what I do:

Since my return from Iraq over 10 years ago, I battle with anxiety, depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), TBI (traumatic brain injury), and control issues.
During the last month of my tour in Iraq in 2003, I was transported to a military hospital in Kuwait after a fellow Marine under my command tried to take my life. Oddly, the Marine was not charged with any serious crime in my assault. In addition, my chain of command harassed me and did their best to hide it. These actions, combined with war-time anxiety, eventually resulted in myself fearing the Marine Corps. I couldn’t accept that I had no control over what happened to me.
Despite numerous prescribed medications via military doctors, my depression worsened to a level of constant fear, paranoia, anxiety and anger. I was eventually medically discharged from the Marine Corps for PTSD, TBI and other issues in late 2004.
Following my medical discharge, I found myself becoming more and more angry at everyone and everything. Over time, all of my problems worsened and I felt increasingly out of control and depressed. On the verge of taking my own life in early 2006, something miraculous changed in my mind that told me to stay in control by fixing everything I can. I chose to focus my attention on my community, as I felt I didn’t have anything else to love anymore. This resulted with me to volunteer heavily with a number of local organizations (IE Salvation Army, Red Cross and Toys For Tots). This kept me very busy and positively focused for a number of years.
Wanting to help further, I made a simple free website for each of these local organizations using an easy online website making tool. That eventually resulted in me creating and maintaining a larger community-wide website (old TamaquaArea.com) which incorporated all non-profit organizations in my hometown. Not wanting to feel incompetent, the website provided me a way to stay in semi-comfortable control of my life and surroundings.
That worked for a number of years, but the level of “positive satisfaction” diminished as I felt like I couldn’t help enough. Over time, I began submitting related photos and short articles to local news medias in hopes of helping more victims of tragedies. Most medias accepted my free photos on a regular basis, so I chose to keep submitting non-profit photos to them as a “helping” hobby.
In appreciation for news stations using my non-profit photos, I also chose to submit all types of community event photos free of charge. This eventually provided me a better level of control in my life and even led to a paid freelance reporter position with the local Times News newspaper in 2008.
Due to the passing of the Times News newspaper’s Tamaqua borough news chief in early 2010, I was asked by the paper if I wanted to fill his full-time position. At first I said no since I still suffered greatly with many mental issues and long-term social inabilities. Hoping for the best, I accepted the position and served as a full-time photographer and reporter. Sadly, this resulted in me sleeping 1 to 2 hours a day and turned me into a depressive workaholic. The job only provided me a time-consuming way of ignoring my depression and keeping pace with my chronic anxiety. Sadly, I knew it was making my issues worse.
My depression, combined with anxiety-driven work ethic, turned into an unhealthy and constant need to be liked. Unable to slow down or say no to anyone asking for a news story, I eventually made the decision to leave the Times News and focus my efforts on my self-help projects I had more control over (such as my community website).
Realizing the positive impact and control my website can have over the community, I opted to change my TamaquaArea.com community website to include short articles rather than only photos and videos.
Sadly, my constant anxiety, long-term social inabilities, depression and control issues prevent me from gaining long-term employment.
For now, my community website, my photo-taking and community involvement give me the needed control I crave in my life. They also provide me the positive means to stay productively busy, as my mental status won’t let me do anything else.

14 replies

  1. Great work Andy, If only more people would show the passion you have for the area it would be a much better place to live. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We moved to Hometown about 3 years ago now and always struggle to find out when and what events are happening in the area. This is a great website and the calendar function is a nice way to see what is going on in the town. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You rock Andrew! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. best way to keep up with what`s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I get so much enjoyment from this…..Thanks Andy….You are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Andrew! Your hard work and dedication is such an asset to the community of Tamaqua … your site is so ‘real time’ and because of you, two little lost puppies found their way home to their owners in lickity split time!!!! (the little doggies were so happy to see their human mama!!!) We are all lucky to have you Andrew. Thank you very much for all you do!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Andrew for doing such a great job. You are one of the best and a rare breed. Please keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for your service. You work and dedication allow the most positive aspects of Schuylkill County to shine and are an inspiration to those who may be struggling. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My brother in law passed away suddenly. In the process of coming from NJ to Pa to empty his home, I need to locate a shelter or a food bank to donate clothing(good condition-menus) and canned goods. I also have a large number of books, and DVDs. I would be happy to donate to any organization that would like them. Thank you.


  10. Thank you so much, Andrew, for your wonderful coverage of our Horses & Horizons’ Open House last Sunday. We really appreciate all that you do for our community.


  11. I just found your site and cannot adequately express how impressed I am with what you are doing. I grew up in Lansford and now live in Colorado. I do genealogical research on my ancestral lines which include Schuylkill County and many ties to Tamaqua.
    Thank you for what you have created.
    Bronwyn Tippett Bauer


  12. Your willingness to share your story openly will make a huge difference to other soldiers who suffer the same illnesses. Your ability to help others is an enormous achievement and you rightly deserve to be proud of yourself. Good luck to you Andrew. I will remember you in my prayers.


  13. Thank you Andrew for taking those pictures/video of our 40th class reunion. What you do is great! And you have given many people who will look at these class reunion pictures a lot of laughter! It was a an awesome day! And you captured a great deal of the fun and laughter we had, thank you again! Keep up this valuable work, I know our communities enjoy this !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,895 other followers

%d bloggers like this: