Posts filed under: Cluster Chronicles

The 2020 Toyota Hunger Relief On Demand X1 Video Series Features The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities in Partnership with Philabundance to Raise Awareness About Food Insecurity Throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area

 

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, as a Philabundance partner, is featured in the 2020 Toyota “Hunger Relief” On Demand X1 three-part video series to raise awareness about food insecurity throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. The three-part video series is available in a “Hunger Relief” folder in a Toyota On Demand X1 destination and Xfinity subscribers can use their X1 voice remotes to say “TOYOTA” to learn more.

The videos are also available below.

Part I – What is Hunger?

Have you ever wondered what the face of hunger really looks like?

Part II – Bold New Strategies

Take a look at the “Bold New Strategies” of “Ending Hunger. For Good.” – a partnership program between the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, Philabundance, and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties. “Ending Hunger. For Good.” provides critical services and supports to improve food security and financial stability as well decrease the number of people facing hunger throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. “It’s not just about handing out food, it’s about helping people create stability in their lives through counseling services, life coaching, education about how to manage and save money, and building resources,” Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy said.

Part III – “Hunger Relief Partners”

Take a look at the local Tri-State Dealers Association 13th annual Toyota Haul Away Hunger Event which not only provided nearly half-million pounds of food to Philabundance in 2019, but also raised awareness about the severity of food insecurity throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. At least 90,000 people will benefit from the truckloads of food, but organizers said “it’s just a fraction of the people who need help in the region.” “There are about 700,000 people who require food and are food insecure. Of that, about 60% of them have somebody in that household that is working,” former Philabundance Executive Director Glenn Bergman said at the time. The majority of these food insecure households are the working poor.

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Greetings Friends,

Summer is officially here and I hope you are doing well, staying safe, and in good spirits.

While the past few months have been challenging to navigate, I am proud to report that despite a decline in volunteers and on-site staff due to limiting the number of people in the Pottstown Cluster Outreach Center and following health and social distance guidelines, we have been able to keep our public community food pantry open and operating as safely as possible to meet growing demand. We have also been working to support and protect our most vulnerable by delivering food to older adults and high-risk individuals so they can remain safe in their homes as well as provide easy access Community Meals at several locations for anyone in need of a meal. Additionally, we have housed and maintained housing for the families we work with through our Pottstown Housing Resource Center (HRC).

While all of this has been going on, we have been blessed to have strong support from our community in many ways. We have had many, many offers of support, volunteers wanting to help, monetary donations, storage space – both dry and refrigerator, and transportation assistance to move food. All this speaks to how a community can come together in a difficult situation and do the best for everyone in need.

As you read this issue of Cluster Chronicles, 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. In this issue you will read about the 2020 Signature Page Showcase of Support. I encourage you to join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Signature Page. While the page is always a demonstration of your commitment to ending hunger in our community, this year’s page will offer an opportunity to thank our volunteers, employees, and local heroes who have been supporting the Pottstown Cluster’s response to COVID-19 and committed to providing food security and housing stability to those in need.

In this issue, you can also watch the Pottstown Cluster in the 2020 Toyota Hunger Relief On Demand X1 three-part video series that was created to raise awareness about food insecurity throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. I also hope you enjoy reading more about the many acts of kindness we have been receiving over the past few months from our #COVIDCaringPottstownCommunity.

Check out “Take Action”, paying special attention to opportunities including ways you can help neighbors in our community. From volunteering to donations, all help is greatly appreciated.

And remember, your support is a reflection of your deep commitment to our mission and local families and neighbors in need of food security, housing stability, and supportive services and education. 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.

Thank you for your faithful commitment to the work we do.

Sincerely,

 

 

Barbara Wilhelmy, LCSW
Executive Director
bwilhelmy@pottstowncluster.org

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Hello friends,

Greetings to you and best wishes for this new year. We hope you have recouped from the holidays and are ready to roll up your sleeves and join us in our work throughout the year ahead. We are excited to announce that this new year has already brought about some exciting changes, changes we hope will encourage you to renew your commitment to our mission and local families and neighbors in need of food security, housing stability, and supportive services and education.

In this issue of Cluster Chronicles you will read about upcoming events such as our inaugural non-event, “All You Need is LOVE” on Thursday, February 6, 2020, our second annual Women Helping Women “Wine” Not event, and the George Bell Plaque hanging ceremony and reception to honor the tremendous work of our board presidents; meet our newest Board of Directors members — Ann Maletsky-Morton, Jill Dennin, and Rev. Joshua M. Caler — who have already started getting to work to help support our organization; learn how we are planning to have focused discussions around topics that relate to our programs and community throughout the year as well as the successes of our educational programs’ graduates. I also encourage you to check out “Around PCRC” and “Events, Happenings, and Opportunities”, paying special attention to other exciting upcoming opportunities including information about our monthly donation drive challenge, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help.

I am also happy to report that we have occupancy of the 1st and 2nd floors of our 61 N. Franklin Education and Administration building. We will be providing more information about a grand opening celebration when we are moved into the full building. Stay tuned!

Please remember, your support is a reflection of your deep commitment to our mission and local families and neighbors in need of food security, housing stability, and supportive services and education. 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.

Thank you as always, for your faithful commitment to the work we do.

Sincerely,


Barbara Wilhelmy, LCSW
Executive Director
bwilhelmy@pottstowncluster.org

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UP3 logo

On December 11, 2019, the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) celebrated eight empowered UP3 (Understanding Poverty to Plan and Persevere) graduates during a ceremony and celebration at The Hill School Center for the Arts. It was great celebrating and hearing directly from our graduates and we couldn’t be more proud of them! The UP3 graduates successfully completed a 16-week UP3 program dedicated to getting out of poverty, building social connections, and goal planning. We are proud to announce that our graduates are now on a path to creating a brighter financial future for themselves.

Understanding Poverty to Plan and Persevere (UP3) is a mentored 16-week program which builds on the framework of Bridges Out of Poverty, and helps individuals build their resources and social capital. The program has made a positive difference in the lives of so many people over the years.

For more information click HERE or contact Ryli Meyer at 610.970.5995 or RMeyer@pottstowncluster.org.

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Get the Latest Updates Here!

Pantry Particulars: Monthly Donation Drive Challenge and most needed items

Volunteer Voices: Volunteer Opportunities

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

Delegate Assembly: February Delegate Meeting and 2020 meeting schedule 

PCRC PANTRY PARTICULARS

Donate Goods

When you donate gifts-in-kind, you are bringing resources to individuals and families in need of food security, housing stability, supportive services and education. Donations of all sizes help further our work and make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.

Below is a list of our current most needed items and information about our monthly donation drives. We update our most needed items on a regular basis.

Pantry

Our Current Most Needed Items:

*Seasonal Update: We are in need of new or clean and gently used men’s winter coats and hats and gloves for men women and children.

  • Kids plastic cups
  • Kids Microwavable plates and bowls
  • Kids Silverware
  • Shower Curtain Kits
  • Toilet bowl brush sets
  • Toilet Bowl Plunger
  • Pots and Pans
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Baking Dishes
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Silverware
  • Microwavable plate sets
  • Drinking glasses
  • Cooking utensils
  • Laundry baskets
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning buckets
  • Can Openers
  • Kitchen size trash cans
  • Kitchen size trash bags to fit trash cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic Wrap
  • One-gallon Food Storage Bags
  • Half-gallon Food Storage Bags
  • Sandwich Bags
  • Plastic Bag
  • One-inch brown Masking Tape

DONATIONS ARE ACCEPTED Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

PANTRY HOURS: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm; Call 610.970.5995 for special circumstances

Bring the Basics to our personal care pantry to help local friends and neighbors in need! We will announce a new item and goal every month.

Each month, you can help us reach our goal by simply delivering donated items to our personal care pantry. You can also ask your family and friends to participate or even host a drive at your worship center, congregation, work, or school!

Want to host a drive or help share this monthly event? Download the DONATION DRIVE FLYER HERE!

PCRC Volunteer Voices

Volunteer

Volunteer Slider

Why Volunteer at PCRC?

 In 2018, PCRC volunteers provided 21, 567 hours of service in all program areas. Volunteers are the heart of our organizations and a vital part of our ability to provide food security, housing stability, and supportive services and education to the families we serve within and beyond the Greater Pottstown area.

 

When you Choose to Volunteer You Will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the community’s critical needs in relation to poverty, food security, and housing stability.
  • Directly see the impact you are having on local people in need and the community as a whole.
  • Affect change as an individual and as a greater part of a team.

Volunteer Requirements

  • You must be 18 years or older and have a current child abuse, FBI and criminal clearance in order to volunteer.
  • Volunteers will complete a brief volunteer interview to match them with the appropriate opportunity.
  • Volunteers will complete a brief orientation/training to prepare them for assigned tasks.

 

 

Current PCRC Volunteer Opportunities

Delivery Drivers Needed in a Digital Effort to Improve Food Pantry Access

Looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity that allows you be a part of a hunger-fighting solution? We are in need of volunteer delivery drivers to deliver food to homes in a digital effort to improve food pantry access.

  • Delivery drivers who can be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Ability to report to PCRC at 9:30 am
  • Make 2-6 food deliveries to homes in the area
  • Must have reliable vehicle (using own vehicle)
  • Ability to lift 35 lbs (loading and unloading vehicles)
Food Service Program Volunteers

Opportunities are available in the Food Services Program Monday through Friday between 8:30 am–4:30 pm.

  • Drivers pick up food donations between 8:30 am–10:30 am
  • Warehouse volunteers unload donations and stocks shelves between 8:30 am–10:30 am (Must have the ability to lift 50 pounds)
  • Food is then distributed to families between 10:30 am–1:00 pm
  • Food is then sorted and scanned between 8:30 am–10:30 am and 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
Outreach Center Volunteers

Opportunities are available at the Outreach Center Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

  • Host/Hostess for Pantry — escort clients while shopping in the Food Pantry
  • Client Intake — enter client information on our database (must have strong computer skills)
  • Administrator/Receptionist — data entry, general administrative duties, answer phones, assist clients.
Community Meals Volunteers

Opportunities are available at various participating worship centers. Lunches are served from 11:45 am–1:15 pm and Dinners are served from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.

  • Prepare community meals
  • Serve meals
  • Cleanup after meals
Mentor a UP3 Graduate

What will volunteer do? Mentor a UP3 graduate once a week for an hour for at least six months. Mentorship will be determined by mentor and mentee; Mentor can offer a set of individual skills they would like to offer (could be anything from cooking to time-management, budgeting, mindfulness skills, etc.)

What is required? Must complete UP3 Community Cohort for six weeks — only once a week; demonstrate empathy and ability to be open and understanding. Mentorship training opportunity is available for additional resource if interested.

Time commitment: One hour per week with a matched individual for at least six months.

Requirement: Must possess driver’s license.

Who to contact for more information about becoming a mentor?

Ryli Meyer
rmeyer@pottstowncluster.org
cell: 215-882-0952

 

For more information visit pottstowncluster.org/volunteer or contact volunteer@pottstowncluster.org.

A WORD from the PCRC DELEGATE ASSEMBLY

 

 

Please Join Us!

Our 2020 Delegate Meetings will include focused discussions around topics that relate to our programs and to our broader community as well. We hope you can join us in February to discuss: 2020 Census and How it Effects All of Us

 

Our first Delegate Meeting will be held:
Monday, February 24th from 9:00 – 10:00 AM
At PCRC’s Education and Administrative Building
61 N. Franklin Street, Pottstown

Yes, we have occupancy of the 1st and 2nd floors and we are excited to show you that space!
Light refreshments will be served between 8:30-9:00
Topic Focus:
 2020 Census and How it Effects All of Us

We plan to hold three other meetings during 2020, around the following topics:

May – Meeting Focus will be on our Women Helping Women Initiative

September – Meeting Focus will be on Food Security and how we are all working together

November – Meeting Focus will be on Housing Security and how we are all working together

Specific Dates, Times and Meeting Place will be announced at the beginning of each month.

We encourage you to join us for all meetings or for those meetings whose topics are of interest to you. We also strongly encourage you to bring a friend, from your congregation or beyond, as we welcome the opportunity to share our work with anyone in the surrounding community who wants to partner with us.

Introducing PCRC’s Newest Board of Directors Members

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Introducing PCRC’s Newest Board of Directors Members

PCRC welcomed newest Board of Directors members — Ann Maletsky-Morton, Jill Dennin, and Rev. Joshua Caler   — in the new year. They are immediately getting to work to help support our organization. We are grateful they have decided to serve us with their time and collective talent and experience, and passion for our mission. We welcome:

 

Jill Dennin

Jill Dennin has most recently worked as a substitute teacher and she also has served on the Boyertown Area School District School Board for the past six years. She has lived in Gilbertsville for the past 25 years, where she has been involved and volunteered for many community organizations.

Jill has worked in federal/state relations and as a fundraiser for the Leukemia Society. She strongly feels that the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities provides an important and vital service to our community and she plans to use her experience with development, fundraising, and networking to support the organization’s development and fundraising goals. The PCRC Development Committee also welcomed her as a new member in January. 

 

Ann Maletsky-Morton

Ann Maletsky-Morton has worked in progressively responsible financial positions over the past 15 years. Her areas of expertise are; Budgeting/ Forecasting, Ad-hoc Analysis, Financial Statements, Innovation Management, Six Sigma practices, and preparation of monthly reporting packages for report to Senior Leadership. 

She has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Innovation Management from Drexel University.

Ann  joined the PCRC board to help make an impact in the Pottstown community. She strongly believes in the organization’s mission and vision and feels the work PCRC does in the Greater Pottstown ares is desperately needed.

Rev. Joshua M. Caler

Rev. Joshua M. Caler, a (Western) Pennsylvania native, has served as the 27th Rector of Christ Church, Pottstown since Easter, 2018. Previously, Fr. Joshua lived and served at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford with his family while working on a post-graduate degree with the theology faculty of the University of Oxford. A graduate of Grove City College (B.A., 2004) and Duke Divinity School (M.Div., 2011), he had previously served as Canon for Evangelism and Parish Life of Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, Tennessee

Fr. Joshua strongly believes in PCRC’s mission and vision. He joined the PCRC board to help make an impact in the Pottstown community.

 

PCRC thanks its “Big Heart+” Supporters and its Community Partners!

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Everything you need to know happening at PCRC!

      • “All You Need is LOVE” Non-Event on February 6
      • George Bell Presidents Plaque Ceremony and Reception on February 13
      • February Delegate Meeting on February 24: The 2020 Census and How It Effects Us All 
      • “Wine” Not Women Helping Women Fundraiser on May 7

 

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