Posts filed under: Cluster Chronicles

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

Share this:
Continue Reading →

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 


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.


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 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
cell: 215-882-0952


For more information visit or contact




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

Hand Only

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!

Share this:
Continue Reading →

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


Share this:
Continue Reading →

celebrate serviceThe Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities community came together on Thursday, September 26th at The SunnyBrook Ballroom for the eighth year in a row — this year to “Celebrate Service with Heart” — for fellowship and fundraising, and to recognize its Caring Community Awardees. We are grateful to our 2019 major event sponsors: Scott and Susan Bentley Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Karl Glocker; along with all our other sponsors shown below.

Event guests enjoyed a social hour during which two students — Isabella Feldman and Matthew McCray, both from The Hill School, superbly performed songs from The Greatest Showman and Dreamgirls the Musical respectively; buffet dinner; awards; raffle items including a “Mystery Basket” auction; raising funds for our critical Wish List items; inspirational stories; and a video premiere. PA State Representative Joe Ciresi served as the evening’s emcee who opened the program with an energetic and inspiring rendition of the song “Heart” from the movie Damn Yankees, with Dr. Myra Forrest as his accompanist. The invocation was offered by PCRC’s Head Chaplain, Pastor Rick Knarr.

Special guests included Pottstown Mayor, Stephanie A. Henrick, who addressed the guests, and PA State Representative Tim Hennessey. The event theme, “Celebrate Service with Heart,” was a call to action that brought together stakeholders from the Greater Pottstown area and will directly impact 450 local families per month in need of Food Security, Housing Stability, and Supportive Services and Education.

The 2019 Caring Community Awards presented honored four individuals who have made significant contributions towards improving Food Security, Housing Stability, and Supportive Services and Education within and beyond the Greater Pottstown area. The 2019 Cluster Community Awards were presented to Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPH, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and Ken Lawrence, Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. 

(Acceptance speeches can be heard here).

Additionally, the Helping Hands with Heart Awards were presented to Barbara Cooper, PCRC Community Meals volunteer and Dr. Myra Forrest, volunteer and supporter: past PCRC Board Member; Community Meals; past fall fundraising event Chair and member. The awards were presented by PCRC Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy and PCRC Board President Mary Ann Glocker.

Check out the You Gotta Have Heart slideshow below and order your print of individual shots taken in front of our event banner for $10. A great holiday gift idea! Purchase high-resolution images of the event here.

YGHH 2019 Sponsors

2019 You Gotta Have Heart Slideshow!

Meet PCRC!

Share this:
Continue Reading →

Greetings friends,

As we enter the most colorful time of the year, there is a chill in the air, and with that here at the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) comes a renewed commitment to caring for those we serve. Colder nights and less abundant fresh foods means we all are tasked with making sure our neighbors have a warm place in which to shelter and enough food to sustain through the long winter months.

In this issue of Cluster Chronicles you will read about our recent successful event, “You Gotta Have Heart”; upcoming events such as the Pottstown CROP Hunger Walk and The Amazing Raise, and how you can be part of the fun to help our PCRC neighbors; learn how we are reaching out to seniors in the community to better serve their needs with an online food-ordering option (part of our SmartChoice program); our educational programs’ graduates; learn of the progress of our new Pilot Programs, our four new collaborators, enhancement of partnerships — specifically our Community Volunteer Leadership Program (CVLP) with Leadership Tri-County and funded by The HealthSpark Foundation with new possibilities for those we serve; as well as other exciting upcoming events and opportunities including information about our annual Holiday Program (toy and food box distribution), and how you can help!

I’m also excited to report PCRC is very close to occupancy in our newest space, “61”, working on final ADA projects. Stay tuned!

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.


Barb signature




Barbara Wilhelmy, LCSW
Executive Director

Share this:
Continue Reading →

Pottstown CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, OCTOBER 13, 2019

Join TEAM “Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities”


Walk.  Give.  Change the World.

The Pottstown CROP Hunger Walk is a community-wide event sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world.
The Pottstown CROP Hunger Walk is the heart and “sole” of Pottstown. It is the only event that brings together all members of our community — young and old, all faiths and walks of life for a common goal — to end hunger, one step at a time! This year we invite you to join our team or gather a team and help end hunger and poverty in the Greater Pottstown area.
The Pottstown CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, October 13, 2019, will support the efforts of the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC) to eradicate hunger in the Greater Pottstown area. A portion of the funds raised here in Pottstown will go to the hunger-fighting work of PCRC.
The 2019 CROP Hunger Walk will take place on Sunday, October 13, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church located at 750 N. Evans Street, Pottstown, PA, 19464. Registration will open at 1:30 pm and step-off time is 2:00 pm. Participants have the option of walking one or five miles.

Join team “Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities” here:


Share this:
Continue Reading →


On October 15, 2019, hundreds of area residents are going to show their support for their favorite nonprofit during the Amazing Raise. On that day, every donation and donor we get will go further to help us claim our share thousands of dollars in matching funds. What we are really excited about is that this is going to be a big event, and everyone will be talking about who they’re supporting. Think “American Idol” and we’re in the try-outs but need your support to make it to the top.

You can help by doing these three things:

1. Mark October 15, 2019 on your calendar and add this link:

2. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and help build the buzz.

3. Spread the word!  Tell your friends and family why you think they should help us with their donation. Please be our champion, and help us see it to the top!

We can’t wait to celebrate the difference your generosity will make on October 15, 2019!

Share this:
Continue Reading →