Salute to Karla Romberg
Unsung Hero honored for 20 years of community service to Pottstown
Karla Romberg has embraced the Pottstown community for 20 years. Soon she will be leaving to live in Switzerland. But first, we salute this Unsung Hero.
Working with its founder, Joanne Class, Karla Romberg served as co-chair of the Committee for the Nameless. The group coordinates services and efforts across different agencies and churches to help folks struggling with low incomes and housing instability. “I love pulling ideas and people together to ensure that change continues to happen,” said Karla. “We collaborate and share resources and information. We make programs and things happen.”
“Karla builds positive relationships with community leaders and enlists their cooperation in finding solutions,” said Committee for the Nameless co-chair, Deacon Robin Robb. At the same
time, she builds connections with the disenfranchised and their advocates.”
Karla is also proud of her work with Fellowship Farm, where individuals of different colors and backgrounds are brought together to socialize and get to know each other. “Typically, people gather together in their own churches or in their own little neighborhoods. They don’t have that opportunity to learn about others, to mix,” Karla explained.
Fellowship Farm offers many programs for student and adult groups, all following the Gandhi Principal of nonviolent protest and changing the world peacefully. There are ropes courses and team building activities. Karla was trained in both. “Falling in someone’s arms and trying to get the entire group up and over the wall is a memorable experience,” she said. She has helped with Fellowship Farm’s organic gardening event each April, and with their Autism Family Fest which is scheduled this year for Oct. 3.
In 1995, Karla got her start as director of the YWCA Tri-County Area, where she ran the Young Women Employment Group.
She volunteers at many local organizations, and serves as a board member at the Child Guidance Resource Center, the agency that runs Fellowship Farm. Additionally, she helps with The Ministries at Main Street where overnight-shelter, breakfasts and dinners are offered to the homeless during the coldest months of year. In the summer, they provide an outdoor community meal every Wednesday at 7 p.m., at Washington and Chestnut streets. She also volunteers at In Ian’s Boots, an organization that collects and distributes shoes to the underserved.
She is a resource for the Pottstown Cluster Outreach, Your Way Home, Pottstown Recovery and Education Center, Mosaic Garden and the Pottstown Salvation Army.
Karla was born in Newtown Square where she lived with her parents and two sisters until she was five, when her family relocated to Spring City.
“My parents were great role models. My mom, an RN, BSN, taught me that life was about caring and giving to others. She worked to improve people’s lives. After Pennhurst closed, she helped folks transition to life outside an institution. She drew pictures of clocks to teach them how to tell time. My father is a second career United Methodist pastor.”
She and her husband, Val, have six children between them, all educated in the Owen J. Roberts School District where she is a volunteer.
In August, this publicminded dynamo will relocate to Switzerland for three years, following her husband’s job. He is a chemist for a pharmaceutical company, concentrating on illnesses such as hemophilia. They met at Bethel United Methodist Church in Spring City and will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on July 1. Of course she hopes to volunteer while in Switzerland. Although she plans to return for holidays, she’ll most miss her older kids and grandkids.
Karla is committed to building a positive image and vision for Pottstown. “Progress will always happen in Pottstown because we have a community of folks who want to help and reach out,” she said with pride.
For 20 years of dedicated service, helping the Pottstown area’s disenfranchised, we salute Unsung Hero, Karla Romberg. Bon voyage!
Here are opportunities for you to volunteer:
1. Committee for the Nameless meets the second Thursday of each month, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., at Victory Christian Life Center, 28-30 N. Washington St., Pottstown. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information as to how to get involved, contact CoChair Wendy Gaynor at email@example.com or 610-970-5995.
2. Help Beautify Memorial Park, organized by the Committee for the Nameless. Volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. until noon on June 18, July 23 and Aug. 27. Adults are welcome, as well as children with supervision. Lunch will be provided. Please contact Wendy Gaynor if you plan to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Fellowship Farm, www.fellowship-farm.org, 2488 Sanatoga Road, Pottstown. Year round volunteer opportunities for kids, families and adults include: secretarial support, social media assistance, care and feeding of barnyard animals, organic garden maintenance, help with landscaping, serving meals, basic cleaning and help with carpentry and plumbing. To volunteer, contact Executive Director David Tulin at 610-326-3008.
SAVE THE DATE! Fellowship Farm’s Autism Family Fest, Saturday, Oct. 3. A fun-filled day for those with autism of all ages, their parents, siblings, friends and care providers. Activities will include grooming horses, horseback riding and face painting. There will be music and lots of food.
Karla Romberg with Fellowship Farm executive director, David Tulin.
Karla Romberg, second from right, meets with new co-chairs of the Committee for the Nameless, Amy Rossman, Wendy Gaynor, Deacon Robin Robb and Dave Douglas.
Karla Romberg, right, and Deacon Robin Robb during a planning meeting of the Committee for the Nameless, discussing park clean up project.
Karla Romberg, center, with Deacon Robin Robb and Pastor Reggie Brooks, following a Prayers for Peace gathering at Victory Christian Life Center in Pottstown.
Collaboration is key for Committee for the Nameless members Wendy Egolf of the Salvation Army, committee founder Joanne Class, Unsung Hero Karla Romberg and Pastor Kork Moyer of The Ministries at Main Street.
There are many volunteer opportunities at Fellowship Farm, including caring for llamas and other animals.