Monthly Archives: March 2019

From the Executive Director

Greetings Friends,

With the eternal hope of spring right around the corner, I am excited about the initiatives sprouting up at PCRC you will read about in this issue. Because of your generous and continued support, these program enhancements are possible as we strive to serve our community in many different ways. Through collaboration with area organizations, we are strengthening what we already do to address the needs of our neighbors in ways not previously possible, taking the next step to stabilize households. Read more here.

Also in this edition, you will meet our newest Board of Directors members — Michael Cross, Matt Green, and Judy Watts — and get to know Dawn Varady, a longstanding and active Delegate Assembly member. We also bid farewell in a tribute to another faithful Delegate Assembly member, Linda Moyer. I encourage you to check out “Around PCRC” and “Events, Happenings, and Opportunities,” paying special attention to our MARCH MADNESS Cleaning Supply Challenge!

I hope you will find ways to continue to be engaged with our work and be excited to hear about the difference your support is making for those we serve. Please keep our work in your prayers and share your interest in our organization with a friend. Together, we are helping to nourish lives and strengthen families in this community, and for that I am truly grateful.

Sincerely,

Barbara Wilhelmy, LCSW
Executive Director

P.S. I encourage you to look through the enewsletter and let us know what you think in the Comments Section as well as share the newsletter with your friends and family and invite them to subscribe! (Social sharing options at the bottom)

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PCRC Launches a Series of Pilot Programs in Partnership with Area Organizations

“Ending Hunger. For Good.” – PCRC Partners with Philabundance and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties to Improve Food Security and Financial Stability

Ending Hunger. For GoodThe Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities has formed a unique partnership with Philabundance and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware County to offer critical services and supports to decrease the number of people facing hunger in the Delaware Valley. The three organizations will collaborate through a series of pilot programs that will pair food plus other critical life services to improve food security, household, and financial stability for its clients.

Programming will offer a suite of services, including education, financial literacy, health services, housing and/or job assistance. The goal is to end the cycle of no-win decisions: Do I buy food or medicine? Heat or eat? Pay for lunch or a bus pass?

The first pilot program began in February 2019, primarily providing food, financial literacy coaching and case management, to help approach other issues, including housing challenges. To date, nine families have committed to the pilot.

Impact of the programs will be monitored and reported over time, with joint goals focused on increasing food security and other indicators of household stability, helping determine which pilots are effective and which to replicate to help end hunger for good.

Read more on Philly.com.

A Digital Effort to Improve Food Pantry Access

Montco Anti-Hunger Network logo

Visiting a food pantry can be a challenge. The limited hours, the stigma, the difficulty of finding transportation, and some people’s physical disabilities all can make visiting a daunting experience. A convenient solution to this problem is for hunger-fighting organizations to mimic online grocery ordering and provide people with the option to order pantry food from a website.

To improve food pantry service, the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities has joined MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN), Advanced Living Communities (parent company of Schwenckfeld Manor, a Lansdale housing site), and the HealthSpark Foundation to participate in a pilot food program that connects low-income people to food pantries via computer, a twist on online grocery ordering designed to serve low-income consumers.

In all, around 130 Montgomery County households now take advantage of the service. Read more about the program on Philly.com.

Community Volunteer Leadership Program (CVLP)

Leadership Tri-countyThe new Community Volunteer Leadership Program (CVLP), set to kick off in July, is designed to provide individuals the education and foundational skills needed to serve as volunteer leaders with a nonprofit community, such as serving on a board, or to contribute in some other way. This is a program of Leadership Tri-County, in collaboration with the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC), and funded by The HealthSpark Foundation. PCRC will be active in the education piece of the program in a series of workshops.

An ideal candidate to participate in the program would be a person with lived experience utilizing nonprofit communities and/or health and human services.

For more information, contact Jennifer O’Donnell, Director, Leadership Tri-County, at jennifer@tricountyareachamber.com.

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Leadership Tri-County

Leadership Tri-County, an organization that works to prepare community members for leadership positions in the tricounty area, has selected the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities as a nonprofit participant. Leadership Tri-County is a division of the Tricounty Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The two organizations will work with emerging leaders on human resources related projects for one month.  

The Leadership class will be comprised of ten to fifteen individuals who have been selected for their potential to expand their involvement in the development of the tricounty area. Each member has demonstrated a commitment to leadership in both their community and place of employment. Program participants can expect to grow as a leader in the community, develop personal and professional leadership skills, create long-lasting connections and friendships, gain knowledge of tricounty community assets and programs, and expand their network.

Since its inception in 1993, Leadership Tri-County has prepared more than 200 community members for leadership positions in the tricounty area.

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Message from the Board of Directors:
Introducing PCRC’s Newest Board of Directors Members

PCRC welcomed three new Board members in the new year. They are immediately getting to work to help support the organization. PCRC is grateful each have decided to serve us with their time and collective talent and experience, and passion for our mission. We welcome:

MICHAEL L. CROSS

Michael CrossMichael L. Cross, CPA, is a Senior Consultant at Herbein + Company, Inc., located in the Pottstown office. His initial affiliation with Pottstown began in 1958 when he and his father visited Bechtel’s Sporting Goods and he received his first baseball glove. In September 1982 he opened the Michael Cross & Co., Ltd., CPA firm. He owned and operated the firm for 35 years until it merged with Herbein + Company Inc. in 2017.

Michael’s interest in the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) began while attending its annual fundraiser event in 2017. He was very impressed with its operation and direct support to the local community. Given his 46 years of expertise and experience in the financial and business environment, he believes he can be of assistance in the fundraising area at PCRC, and help enhance an already very successful organization.

MATT GREEN

Matt GreenMatt Green is a 35-year resident of Pottstown with previous work experience at the Pottstown School District and the Borough of Pottstown. Matt is a 15-year veteran of law enforcement, including eight years with the Pottstown Police Department as a patrolman. For the past four years, he has been working as a Realtor for Glocker and Company Inc., a local real estate brokerage. Matt has deep roots in the community and hopes to use his knowledge, skills, and experience to advise and assist the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities with a focus on housing and local government issues. In his free time, Matt enjoys outdoor activities and spending quality time with his friends and family, especially with his three teenage sons.

JUDITH L. WATTS

Judith WattsJudith L. Watts is an associate with the Pottstown law firm Yergey Daylor Attorneys at Law.  She has a diverse general practice that includes criminal defense, family law, and wills and estate law. Judith has been practicing law in the Pottstown area since 1994 and believes in the mission of the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. She is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of this well regarded organization.

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UP3: Understanding Poverty to Plan and Preserve Spring 2019 Session

PCRC UP3 program

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities’ UP3 program, “Understanding Poverty to Plan and Persevere,” kicked off its 2019 spring session with 11 participants on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. UP3 is 16-week workshop series that utilizes Bridges Out of Poverty framework concepts and involves under-resourced participants who are working to overcome poverty.  The program allows for a “kitchen-table” discussion-style investigation into poverty, where participants, as investigators, explore their resources, and forge further stability through establishing partnerships and by bridging social capital within their community.

Since its inception in 2013, UP3 has positively impacted the lives on over 100 participants living in poverty by helping them forge stability and accomplish individualized goals. Goals have ranged from getting a better job to improving housing and enhancing social capital to increasing hope.   

For more information contact:
Ryli Meyer, Community Engagement Specialist, RMeyer@PottstownCluster.org

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Pantry Particulars

Are you ready for the MADNESS of our March Donation Drive?

Learn more in Bring the Basics  – and join the MADNESS of the Cleaning Supply Challenge!

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Volunteer Voices

April 7-13, 2019, is National Volunteer Week! If you are a current or past PCRC volunteer, or if you are considering becoming a volunteer, we want to celebrate you at our Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast! Join us on Thursday, April 11. 2019, 8:30 –  10:30 am at The Hill School Center for the Arts. R.S.V.P. deadline is April 5. Click here for details.

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Word from PCRC’s Delegate Assembly

Meet the Members of PCRC’s Delegate Assembly: Dawn Varady

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) Delegate Assembly is a meeting of the representatives and clergy of various religious and other organizations in the Pottstown Region who meet periodically with representatives of PCRC helping to support its mission. PCRC is indebted to those who faithfully support us in this way. We’d like you to meet Dawn Varady, a faithful volunteer and Delegate.

Dawn VaradyDAWN VARADY came to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pottstown at age 15. She was invited by friends and immediately loved it. Over time, she participated in the congregation’s Luther League group, choir,  the Worship and Music Committee, and served on the Congregational Council for nine years, then after a two year hiatus, served for three more years.

Volunteering as a Way of Life

Dawn was brought up in a service-oriented family where, “It was a given — we helped other people in any way we could.” This led to her long-standing relationship with the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC). Dawn volunteered at PCRC when it was located on Walnut Street as well as in its current space (the old American Legion building) which she says was “like home to me”. She felt it gave clients dignity, as they were able to have a choice about the food they received. She bagged home orders every Tuesday. “It was a continuation of what I did growing up,” she said. “Following what God has put out there for us to do.” She loved working at PCRC, helping people in need.

Delegate Assembly Service

Dawn is a faithful supporter of everything PCRC does, and a great ambassador. Her volunteer work at PCRC led her to become part of the Delegate Assembly about 12 years ago, when, because of Emmanuel’s childcare center, the church wasn’t eligible to be a shelter, so Dawn and other congregants asked themselves, “What can we do?” It turns out there was a need for a host church for PCRC’s Community Meals program. Emmanuel has been hosting every ever since and Dawn is a big part of keeping it running smoothly. She is the coordinator for Emmanuel’s meals, taking care of scheduling, room and kitchen set up and breakdown, and is a liaison for any issues and challenges that come up.

The mission of the Delegate Assembly is “a place where a meal is shared and relationships are formed with the staff of the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, the Delegates, and clergy. Staff members of the Cluster 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 communities they represent to motivate, lead, and accomplish active participation in the work of the Cluster.” Dawn takes the mission of the Delegate Assembly seriously and strives to include PCRC updates and information in Emmanuel’s weekly Bulletin, as well as relays the needs to the congregation.

Personal Life

Dawn attended LPN school while raising eight children, graduating in 1983. She was employed as a nurse by Montgomery County Geriatric and Rehabilitation Center (now Parkhouse Nursing and Rehabilitation Center) and retired in 2005. She keeps very busy as an avid scrapbooker and gardener, loves music, and as someone who loves to dance, is an active member of United Singles! She raised eight children, is the proud grandmother of 21 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren!

Dawn shared that her favorite part of being a Delegate is “The camaraderie with the other delegates and staff members of PCRC all working toward a common goal: Nourishing Lives, Strengthening Families, and helping clients improve their overall stability.”

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Delegate Assembly, or for more information, please call 610-970-5995, or email communications@pottstowncluster.org.


Remembering Faithful Delegate Linda Moyer

Linda MoyerLinda K. (Kachel) Moyer, a dedicated member of PCRC’s Delegate Assembly, passed away Monday, February 18, at Sanatoga Court, Pottstown. She was born in Pottstown and was the was a daughter of the late Donald H. Kachel and the late Florence M. (Stoudt) Kachel. Linda worked as a secretary at her beloved St. John’s United Church of Christ, Pottstown, for 27 years, worked in the nutrition department at PMMC for four and a half years, and worked in the office at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. for seven years. She was a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ where she was a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and a member of the choir. Linda also was a delegate for the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) and a delegate for Church Women United. She was a member of Senior Circle, the Pottstown Area Senior Center, and a volunteer at Rupert Elementary School.

According to fellow PCRC Delegate Assembly members, Linda and her husband David were dedicated to the work of the Pottstown Cluster, and remember that Linda had a flair for decorating and cooking when St. John’s United Church of Christ hosted the Delegate Assembly luncheons. But she was known mostly for doing a superb and timely job of calculating the Redner and Professional Pharmacy tapes, which was so helpful, and for her great sense of humor, often joking about the Redner receipts!

Not only did Linda volunteer her time and talent to the PCRC Delegate Assembly, but she and her husband also were consistent supporters.

Linda is survived by three sons, the Rev. Michael D. Moyer of  Berlin, MD; Jeffrey S. Moyer and his wife Erica of Schwenksville, PA; and Matthew D. Moyer and his wife Jennifer of Barto, PA; and five grandchildren: Sasha, Andrew, Isabelle, Addison, and Erik.

A memorial service was held on Friday February 22, 2019, at St. John’s United Church of Christ, officiated by the Rev. Karen Nuscher Creasy.

Linda Moyer’s homegoing leaves a gap in all the areas where she served her community so well. Her commitment to the Cluster and her presence at the Delegate Meetings is something we remember and celebrate. We are grateful for her legacy of service and inspiration — her grandsons, Andrew and Erik, have contacted PCRC inquiring “If we can help and do community service work at the Pottstown Cluster for our senior project. We are always looking to help the Pottstown community just like our grandmother did.” A heartening legacy indeed.


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, May 2
12:15 pm | Location to Come

Thursday, September 5
12:15 pm | Location to Come

Thursday, November 7
12:15 pm | Location to Come

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Everything you need to know happening at PCRC!

Are you ready for the MADNESS of our March Donation Drive?

Learn more in Pantry Particulars – and join the MADNESS of the Cleaning Supply Challenge!

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Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on Thursday, April 11

If you are a current or past PCRC volunteer, or if you are considering becoming a volunteer, we want to celebrate you at our Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast!

Volunteer Breakfast Invitation

R.S.V.P. Today: 610-970-5995 ext. 108 or email communications@PottstownCluster.org . R.S.V.P. deadline Friday, April 5.

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Upcoming Events – more information to come!

  • Ladies’ Night Out Event – Coming this Spring, Details soon!
  • Annual Signature Page Fundraising Opportunity in June – Information coming soon!
  • Save the Date! Fall Fundraising Event on Thursday, September 26

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Community Challenge Donation Drive - March

March MADNESS Community Challenge Donation Drive

We invite you to help your local friends and neighbors in need of everyday self-care and household items by Bringing the Basics to our personal care pantry during our monthly community challenge donation drive.

Each month, through social media and our website, we will announce a new household or self-care item and goal. You are invited to make a direct impact and help us reach our monthly goal by simply delivering donated items to our personal care pantry located at 57 North Franklin Street on M-F between 8:30AM-4:00PM. Asking your family and friends to participate or even hosting a drive at your work or school is also encouraged. Be sure to follow the progress of the challenge throughout the month as we will be posting status updates on social media.

About Our Personal Care Pantry:

Our personal care pantry is a resource for senior citizens, families, and single parents in need of emergency household and self-care items. The pantry in open to anyone in need and serves approximately 120 families per week.

Challenge Schedule:

March Goal: Are you up for the MADNESS of our MARCH challenge? Our March goal is to help our families in need get ready for spring cleaning by securing 100 bottles of multipurpose spray cleaner and 100 rolls of paper towels. If we receive only 4 a day we will surpass our goal of 100.

April Goal: 30 bottles of dish soap

May Goal: 31 bottles of shampoo/conditioner

Drop off: 57 North Franklin Street Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

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