Kutz­town ju­nior’s col­lec­tion drive ben­e­fits Safe Berks

Hood­ies to help keep clients warm, bring smiles to their faces

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @kutz­town­pa­triot on Twit­ter

Kutz­town Area High School ju­nior Rachel Rabenold, 16, col­lected 82 new and gen­tly used hood­ies for res­i­dents and clients of Safe Berks. She part­nered with ARC­point Labs, which or­ga­nized Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days for Safe Berks.

“These hood­ies will help keep our clients warm and will also bring smiles to their faces,” said Francine M. Sco­bo­ria, com­mu­ni­ca­tions co­or­di­na­tor at Safe Berks. “Hood­ies are a very pop­u­lar and re­quested item, and can be worn through­out most of the year.”

Sco­bo­ria said hood­ies are pop­u­lar with children, teens and women. Some clients ar­rive at Safe Berks with only the clothes they are wear­ing, so a nice hoodie is very ap­pre­ci­ated, she said.

“I am thrilled by the num­ber of hood­ies Rachel col­lected, both at Kutz­town High School, and through­out the Kutz­town com­mu­nity. For a high school stu­dent to take the time and ef­fort to make this hap­pen, that re­ally means a lot to ev­ery­one at Safe Berks,” said Sco­bo­ria.

She noted that the Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days do­na­tion drive was founded by An­n­marie and Al Dal­lao, own­ers of ARC­point Labs, Read­ing, who have been col­lect­ing items for Safe Berks since 2016.

“The Dal­laos al­ready col­lected and do­nated more than 100 hood­ies for Safe Berks. We are in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for their sup­port and pos­i­tive en­ergy!”

Sco­bo­ria said Rabenold met An­n­marie at an event held by the North­east Berks Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“I think this is a great ex­am­ple of how pos­i­tive things hap­pen at Cham­ber meet­ings, and other net­work­ing events. When peo­ple meet other peo­ple, and com­mu­ni­cate about projects and how to help the com­mu­nity, ex­cit­ing and pos­i­tive things hap­pen,” said Sco­bo­ria.

Rabenold’s com­mu­nity ser­vice project be­gan in Novem­ber, af­ter hear­ing An­n­marie talk about Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days dur­ing a North­east Berks Cham­ber break­fast, at which Rabenold was one of five high school stu­dents be­ing rec­og­nized by the Cham­ber.

“Safe Berks pro­vides a safe haven and an on­go­ing sup­port sys­tem for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sex­ual as­sault. We ac­cepted new and/or gen­tly used hood­ies in all sizes for children, teens and women in hopes to bring warmth and com­fort to those in need. Some of these peo­ple left their homes with only the cloth­ing on their backs. It is so nice that they we could pro­vide some­thing com­fort­able for them to wear and keep for them­selves,” said Dal­lao. “I was very im­pressed that Rachel ap­proached me af­ter the break­fast to see if she could adopt our project for her school. She asked for my business card and said she would fol­low-up with more in­for­ma­tion on her drive.”

Rabenold cre­ated posters and dec­o­rated do­na­tion boxes at school, and she also pro­moted the do­na­tion drive in the com­mu­nity.

“I haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced the sit­u­a­tions that the peo­ple Safe Berks are go­ing through but I’ve al­ways wanted to help,” said Rabenold, who hopes to go into in­ter­na­tional business and mar­ket­ing af­ter grad­u­at­ing from col­lege. “I tried to get as many sweat­shirts as pos­si­ble.”

She col­lected 82 sweat­shirts to add to Dal­lao’s col­lec­tion of about 100.

“I was over­whelmed how well Rachel’s col­lec­tion went,” said Dal­lao. “She did an awe­some job co­or­di­nat­ing her hoodie drive.”

“I learned that it feels re­ally good to help those who need it be­cause al­though they’re just sweat­shirts, it’s go­ing to make them feel a lot more com­fort­able,” said Rabenold. “I re­ally want to stand up and make a dif­fer­ence.”

Rabenold hopes this helps other see that help­ing each other is nice and it can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of oth­ers. She is also in­volved in Kutz­town Strong, Leo Club, dances at Rhythm in Mo­tion and is a mem­ber of the high school soc­cer team, Ri­fle team and track team, as well as a swim­mer on the Kutz­town Pool Swim Team.

Rabenold is glad she reached out to Dal­lao.

“This is a re­ally good thing that she’s do­ing and I’m glad that I was part of it be­cause it re­ally made me feel good about help­ing Safe Berks,” said Rabenold.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

“Ev­ery­one at Safe Berks is very grate­ful for the efforts of An­n­marie Dal­lao and Rachel Rabenold, and to ev­ery­one who do­nated hood­ies to Safe Berks,” said Mary Kay Ber­nosky, CEO of Safe Berks in a re­lease. “The gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity helps us con­tinue our mis­sion of serv­ing sur­vivors of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sex­ual as­sault.”

The Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days col­lec­tion at ARC­point Labs runs through Saint Patty’s Day, at which time Dal­lao will pick a spring theme. ARC­point Labs serves as a drop off spot for Safe Berks do­na­tions through­out the year. Do­na­tions can be dropped off at ARC­point Labs of Read­ing, 2208 Quarry Drive, Suite 207, Read­ing.

Safe Berks, for­merly Berks Women in Cri­sis, was founded in 1976. Ser­vices, which are free and con­fi­den­tial, in­clude a Safe House for adults and children who are in dan­ger, a 24-hour Hot­line, in­di­vid­ual and group coun­sel­ing, le­gal ser­vices and ad­vo­cacy, and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams. Last year, Safe Berks served about 4,000 sur­vivors of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sex­ual as­sault. An es­ti­mated 800 peo­ple stayed in the Safe House last year, in­clud­ing about 400 children, ac­cord­ing to a Safe Berks re­lease.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Kutz­town Area High School ju­nior Rachel Rabenold col­lected 82 new and gen­tly used hood­ies for res­i­dents and clients of Safe Berks. She part­nered with ARC­point Labs, which or­ga­nized Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days for Safe Berks.

The Hood­ies for the Hol­i­days col­lec­tion for Safe Berks runs through Saint Patty’s Day. Pic­tured is the first group of do­nated hooded sweat­shirts sent to Safe Berks by ARC­point Labs.

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