Monthly Archives: October 2018

You DID Have Heart for PCRC, and We are Grateful

You Gotta Have Heart program

Click image to view the program

On Thursday, October 4, 2018, the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) friends and staff gathered at The SunnyBrook Ballroom for an evening of fun — including a Photo Booth and event photo backdrop — and fun-raising benefitting the organization. Once again, Joe Ciresi generously donated his time and talents as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, engaging guests with his affable presence and sense of humor, and even entertaining and leading the crowd singing “You Gotta Have Heart” (with his personal accompanist, Marie Anderson, who kindly attended the event to share her talents as well!).

PCRC’s staff member Danielle Gadsden shared her inspiring and emotional story, as well as her gratitude and support of PCRC in a video presented during the program. At the end of the video, she made a compelling plea of a call to action that hopefully inspired others. (video below)

PCRC is grateful for the major event sponsors that included, at the “Big Heart” level, the Scott and Susan Bentley Fund; “Beating Heart” Specialty sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Voytilla; “Happy Heart” Specialty sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Karl Glocker; “Compassionate Heart” Specialty sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Rick Dhein and Sager & Sager Associates, and “Hungry Heart” Specialty sponsor Brownback’s United Church of Christ. “Heart and Soul” sponsors included Mr. and Mrs. Don Gill, Pottstown Hospital Tower Health, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation, The Hill School, Body-Borneman Insurance, Wolf Baldwin and Associates, and Reed’s Fuel Oil.

The “You Gotta Have Heart” event committee — Linda Voytilla, Mary Ann Glocker, Elizabeth Peters, Gayle Wolf, Barbara Wilhelmy, and Merri Brown — provided countless hours and resources to support this event. Without their tireless efforts, the evening would not occur. On behalf of the staff, Board of Directors, and all the individuals we serve, PCRC extends its heartfelt thanks.

You Gotta Have HeartThe evening’s social hour entertainment was local artist and “Rising Star Contest” winner Stephanie Grace and her band. Despite the dismal weather, forcing the band to set up indoors, (originally planned for the outdoor patio) they played with great energy and brought their own sunshine in!

A hearty thank you to all who donated the wonderful raffle baskets, including a “Mystery Basket” donated by our Board of Directors, which generated a lot of interest and “fun-raising!”  

New PCRC Community Awards

Helping Hands AwardPCRC instituted and presented two new awards at the event: the Cluster Community Award and the Helping Hands with Heart Award.

The “Cluster Community Award,” which honors someone who advances PCRC’s mission, making an impact in the community, was awarded to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Josh’s commitment to Montgomery County, including his strong support of Your Way Home Montgomery County, has made a significant contribution to PCRC’s ability to improve the lives of those we are serving in the County.

You Gotta Have HeartThe Attorney General sent a video message, as he was unable to attend the event, with personal remarks about the award and PCRC, mentioning how he “was always happy to have any opportunity to support PCRC,” and how PCRC “brings together people of all faiths, and from a wide variety of service organizations to give a helping hand to those in need.” Anthony Luker, the Attorney General office’s Education and Outreach Specialist, accepted the award on Mr. Shapiro’s behalf. Mr. Luker offered kind, supportive remarks, thanking PCRC for the work it continues to do in the community addressing food security, housing stability, and supportive and educational resources. (see the video message below)

You Gotta Have HeartFrank Cebular, dedicated PCRC volunteer and Board member, was presented with the Helping Hands with Heart Award by current Board president Mary Ann Glocker. This award honors someone for dedicated service to and support of PCRC’s mission. Frank has been on the PCRC Board of Directors for six years. He currently serves as the Vice President, Chair of the Property Committee, and sits on the Governance and Finance committees. During his tenure on the Board, he has also been in the positions of President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Along with his wife, Cindy, Frank has been volunteering for several years at the PCRC pantry in the warehouse, and he spends at least two days a week at PCRC’s new property, 61 North Franklin Street, working diligently and tirelessly for the PCRC staff to be able to start working in that space. (see feature story on Frank here)

PCRC is thankful to all who “Had a Heart” for PCRC at this event, and we look forward to our continued partnership helping us to serve our neighbors in the greater Pottstown area, providing tangible services, support, and spiritual guidance to address our clients’ basic needs. We strive to Nourish Lives and Strengthen Families, and you have helped us reach that goal. For that, we are most grateful.

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Slideshow of the You Gotta Have Heart event

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Frank and Mike

Mike and Frank

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) VOLUNTEER HEROES FRANK CEBULAR and MICHAEL BEHE have been working tirelessly and faithfully several days a week from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm for many many months, renovating PCRC’s newest property, known as “61,” so that programming can be expanded and PCRC’s staff can live into its mission to provide tangible services, support, and spiritual guidance to address the basic needs of persons within and beyond the Greater Pottstown area more fully and comprehensively.

“We are trying to return this house as close as it can be returned to its original glory, while at the same time providing much needed office and educational space for PCRC,” offered Frank Cebular, a familiar and friendly face at both the current PCRC building — which has been in use by PCRC over eight years — and the property next door, a historic Victorian-style home built in 1887. There were many challenges along the way, but with Frank’s leadership and dedication, the space is shaping up and should be ready for occupancy in the near future. When asked why he volunteers for PCRC, Frank responded, it’s “a way of giving back in service to people who need that service. A way to give my gifts back to the community.”

"61" constructionMichael Behe got involved with PCRC through his wife Anne’s congregation — Brownback’s United Church of Christ — which is also the congregation of PCRC’s Board President Mary Ann Glocker. Michael noted that Mary Ann often advocates for PCRC and informs fellow parishioners of the Cluster’s activities, and that inspired Michael to be interested in volunteering for the organization. He retired a little over a year ago, worked his whole life behind a desk, and likes doing physical work, so it was a perfect fit. “I get to come here and help a needy cause, and do something that I enjoy doing,” he said. Adding, “Frank definitely needed the help. Him trying to do this alone is just crazy!”

Michael wants to encourage others who are looking to volunteer, advising, “… they ought to do what I did — just come and take a tour and see if there is something here that they would like doing to help meet a need. Find something that interests you and is in pursuit of a worthy cause. That’s what this did for me.”

PCRC is in need of volunteers to help finish the renovations at “61,” especially laying floors and cleaning. All supplies are provided, as well as fun and fellowship! If you are interested in helping our volunteer heroes Frank and Michael, contact Frank at webedancing@yahoo.com.

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At work on “61”

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This past June 25, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., and Dr. Val Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, along with Renee Gorski, Patrick Druhan, and PCRC’s Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy and staff member Danielle Gadsden, participated in a SNAP benefits Roundtable panel discussion held at PCRC. This was just ahead of the 2018 Farm Bill vote in the Senate, coming a week after the House passed its partisan measure.

SNAP Roundtable

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and is still commonly called “Food Stamps.” The program helps feed nearly 140,000 people in Berks, Chester, and Montgomery counties.

PCRC Roundtable

From The Mercury:

Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh said about 10 percent of Montgomery County’s population — about 80,000 people — suffer from “food insecurity,” meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from and 51,000 of them are children.

Many of them “make too much money to qualify for SNAP,” but even those who do receive an average of only $123.51 per month from the program, which covers, at best, two weeks of food bills.

“As a result, parents often sacrifice their own health and nutrition to feed their children,” said Arkoosh, who is also a medical doctor. “Cutting funding in the SNAP program will be devastating to these Montco families.”

A bill now coming out of committee in the Senate “with strong bipartisan support,” would restore the SNAP program to its current level, and even add a little more money to encourage the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, Casey said Monday.

Calling the cuts in the House bill “draconian,” Casey said “this is wrong. This is a program that works. If you want to talk about return on investment, for every dollar you spend on SNAP, the economy gets $1.80 in return.”

“But beyond that,” said Casey, “there is the moral gravity of this issue.”

Read The Mercury’s coverage of the event here. Watch the CBS3 Philly feature below.

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Senator Bob Casey (center) with PCRC Board President Mary Ann Glocker and Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy

Senator Bob Casey and PCRC Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy

PCRC Executive Director Barbara Wilhelm and Senator Bob Casey discuss food issues in the PCRC Pantry

PCRC staff member Danielle Gadsden was part of the panel with Senator Casey and Commissioner Arkoosh

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Mary Ann Glocker, Board President

Mary Ann Glocker, President of the Board

Message from Mary Ann Glocker, President of the Board of Directors

The PCRC Board of Directors had a very busy and exciting past four months. The group participated in “A Day of Clarity” that focused on achieving excellence through best practices in board governance, facilitated by Laura Otten, PhD, Director of The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University. The Board quickly embraced its challenges, and as a result, revised the ByLaws and Committee Structures to reflect best practices learned — combining and streamlining committees and editing Bylaw language. Moving forward, the Board Committees are Finance, Development, and Governance.  

The Board also reviewed its programs and parts of the Strategic Plan to focus on Food Security, Housing Stability, and Educational and Supportive Resources. These changes will enhance PCRC’s ability to continue to provide tangible services, support, and spiritual guidance to address the needs of persons within and beyond the Greater Pottstown area.

A new Board, consisting of several new members will convene in January 2019.

We look forward to a new year of serving and supporting PCRC in any way we can.

If you are interested in serving on a Board committee, please contact Mary Ann Glocker, at maryannglocker@gmail.com.

PCRC 2018 Board of Directors

Mary Ann Glocker, President
Nurse Practitioner, Retired

Frank Cebular, Vice President
Retired Engineering Manager, Professional Engineer

Robert Rettinger, Treasurer
Vice President/Bank Manager, KeyBank

Elizabeth Peters, Secretary
Business Development Officer, TriCounty Area FCU

Roberta Body
Executive VP/Chair of Board, Palmer International

Charles Gulati
President, Sunnybrook LLC/Stokesay Castle LLC

David Kaplan
Attorney, O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, PC

Richard Knarr
Pastor, Grace Covenant Church

Bob Larkin
Real Estate Investor

Amy Lehman
Director of Partnership Programs and Leadership Coach, The Hill School

Rich Newell
CEO, Pottstown Hospital

Janet Simmons
Retired Business Administrator

Pantry ParticularsPantry Particulars

Currently, our needs include: canned fruit, laundry detergent, small dish soap

Volunteers – Drivers are needed to pick up food donations and deliver to our facility; a warehouse volunteer needed from 8:30 – 11:30 am who must be able to lift 50+ pounds.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Outreach Center Director Vicki Bumstead at vbumstead@pottstowncluster.org or call 610-970-5995.

Volunteer VoicesVolunteer Voices

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are a vital part of our ability to provide services and assistance to our clients. Volunteer opportunities are available at the Cluster Outreach Center and at our community meal sites. Got a large group? Special group projects include: receiving and sorting large food donations, the holiday toy and food program, and special projects in the Dry Goods Department.

Opportunities at the Cluster Outreach Center, 57 North Franklin Street, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

  • Warehouse: accept food donations, unload trucks, sort and distribute donations (ability to lift 50 lbs)
  • Host/Hostess for Pantry: escort clients while shopping in the Food Pantry
  • Client Intake: enter client information in our database (must have strong computer skills)
  • Clothing/Housewares Coordinator: sort clothing and housewares to display
  • Administrator/Receptionist: data entry, general administrative duties, answer phones, assist clients

Opportunities at 61 North Franklin Street

  • Renovations

Ongoing Opportunities at the Community Meals

  • Meal preparation
  • Serving meals
  • Cleanup after meals

For more information about volunteering please contact Vicki Bumstead at vbumstead@pottstowncluster.org or call 610-970-5995.

Pastor Rick Knarr

Submitted by Pastor Rick Knarr

Word from PCRC’s Delegate Assembly

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Community’s (PCRC) Delegate Assembly is a meeting of the representatives and clergy of various religious and other organizations in the Pottstown region. It is a place where a meal is shared and relationships are formed with the staff of PCRC’s Cluster Outreach Center, the delegates, and clergy. PCRC staff members report on the need for fundraising, volunteers, goods, and services, as well as current projects and uplifting experiences. The delegates are then charged to pass this information to the communities they represent to motivate active participation in the work of the Cluster Outreach Center.

This group of assembled individuals representing the many faith communities in the Pottstown region is seeking to find the best ways it can continue to serve the needs of the Pottstown community through the work of PCRC. As the “Cluster” has broadened its scope of community engagement, so has the work of the Delegate Assembly adapted to the growing and changing needs. There is a place for you at the table. If you are connected to a local faith community or part of an organization in the Pottstown area that would like to participate with others in various service projects and opportunities, we invite you to come and join with others who are engaged in meeting very real needs of our neighbors.

We meet nine times throughout the year on the first Thursday of every month at 12:15 pm (except January, July, and August). You’ll find us in various local worship centers spread throughout the greater Pottstown area. (see below for this year’s schedule)

Come and See. Come and join us!

For more information contact: Pastor Rick Knarr at rickknarr@gmail.com or Julie Hardenstine at jmhardenstine@gmail.com.


Pottstown COMMUNITY MEALS Schedule

Monday

Lunch – 11:45 am
Christ Episcopal Church
316 East High Street | 610-323-2895

Dinner – 5:00 pm*
Chesmont Church of Christ
699 North Pleasantview Road | 610-970-1630

*Van pick up at Library

Tuesday

Dinner – 5:00 pm
Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ
60 North Hanover Street |610-326-2243

Dinner – 6:00 pm
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
150 North Hanover Street | 610-323-4312

Wednesday

Lunch – 11:45 am
Salvation Army
137 King Street | 610-326-1621

Dinner – 7:00 pm**
First United Methodist
414 East High Street | 610-326-0560

**June through September Only

Thursday

Dinner – 5:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church
750 North Evans Street | 610-326-0620

Friday

Lunch – 11:45 am
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
150 North Hanover Street | 610-323-4312

Saturday

Dinner – 5:00 pm
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
150 North Hanover Street | 610-323-4312

Drop in Center 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ
60 North Hanover Street |610-326-2243

(November through April)

Sunday

Lunch – 12:10 pm
Pottstown Bible Church
431 East High Street | 610-340-0738


2018/19 Delegate Assembly Dates and Locations

Thursday, November 1, 2018 | 12:15 pm

Coventry Church of the Brethren
1373 South Keim Street, Pottstown 19465

Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 12:15 pm

Emmanuel Lutheran Church
150 North Hanover Street

Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 12:15 pm

Location to Come

Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 12:15 pm

Location to Come

Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 12:15 pm

Location to Come

Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 12:15 pm

Location to Come

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Everything you need to know happening at PCRC!

Fall Appeal

You will soon be receiving our Fall Appeal in your mailbox as well as your email inbox. We depend on your generosity, especially around the holidays, to help the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) continue to help our clients improve their overall stability. We thank you in advance for supporting this annual appeal!

PCRC Holiday Info2018 Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities Holiday Program

WHEN: Sign up Monday, November 5,  from 1:00 – 3:00 pm or Monday, November 12, from 9:30 am – noon

WHO: The first 200 families/250 children (must be currently registered to use the PCRC Pantry)

WHAT: Holiday food box and gifts for children ages 0-16 years old

QUESTIONS: Email Kelli DeSieno at KDeSieno@PottstownCluster.org or call 610-970-5995

PLEASE BRING A PERSONAL CARE ITEM TO DONATE (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) Thank You!

download a flyer to copy and share

Cradles to CrayonsCradles to Crayons Partnership

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive — at home, at school, and at play. The organization supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

As opposed to working directly with families, Cradles to Crayons has built a highly efficient network of approved Service Partners. The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) is one of these network Service Partners.

How it Works

PCRC’s Intake Administrator will work with a client, filling out the appropriate form, then sends the form to Cradles to Crayons through its website. Cradles to Crayons then fulfills the order, and the order is distributed to the client at its 57 North Franklin Street facility.

It can take up to a week to fulfill an order, but an emergency situation will be considered.

For more information, visit cradlestocrayons.org or contact Kelli DeSieno, Food Services Administrator, at kdesieno@pottstowncluster.org.

“61” Grand Opening Update

The Grand Opening of our new facility, known as “61” will be happening soon. Volunteers are working feverishly to complete the finishing renovations, so staff can occupy the building and our educational programs can be expanded. Stay tuned for details!

Check out the progress photos in the slideshow to the right.

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Wegmans

Wegmans Collects for PCRC Once Again!

Checkout for HungerWegmans Food Market cashiers in Collegeville, PA, will once again be asking customers to support its holiday hunger drive “Checkout Hunger” to benefit PCRC October 21 – December 15.

The cashiers will ask you to either round up your change or donate any amount to PCRC. It’s a quick and easy way to support your neighbors this holiday season! Wegmans, Collegeville, has been running this drive for PCRC for over seven years, and we are grateful for their community leadership and support. The store is open 24-hours and is located at 600 Commerce Drive, in Collegeville.

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