Key­stone thanks community for sup­port

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION -

To the Ed­i­tor:

On be­half of the Key­stone Op­por­tu­nity Cen­ter staff and board, I’d like to thank the many community mem­bers who par­tic­i­pated in one or more of our events in recog­ni­tion of Na­tional Hunger and Home­less­ness Aware­ness Week (Nov. 10 to 18F.

Be­cause of gen­er­ous donors and spon­sors, help­ful vol­un­teers and ea­ger par­tic­i­pants, Key­stone was able to raise aware­ness about hunger and hous­ing is­sues in Mont­gomery and Bucks coun­ties, while rais­ing funds and gath­er­ing do­na­tions to sup­port our mis­sion of pro­vid­ing help and of­fer­ing hope for in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in need.

At our Sleep Out for Home­less­ness on Nov. 10, ap­prox­i­mately 270 par­tic­i­pants slept out­side in card­board struc­tures. The event in­volved youth and community mem­bers of all ages who worked to­gether to make soup for a lo­cal soup kitchen, tour the food pantry, lis­ten to the story of one Key­stone hous­ing client and share ideas about how to ad­dress the prob­lem of cre­at­ing more af­ford­able hous­ing in our area. We also raised a record amount for our hous­ing pro­grams through key spon­sors and par­tic­i­pant pledges. A spe­cial thanks to the event main spon­sor, Cle­mens Food Group. With their con­tri­bu­tion, we raised over $18,000.

On Nov. 15, more than 300 Thanks­giv­ing meal bags were shared with Key­stone client fam­i­lies. The re­sponse from donors this year was over­whelm­ing as our community pro­vided more than enough to cover the re­quests re­ceived by Key­stone.

That same night, we served over 230 meals at our Soup Night fundraiser, held at wwingli United Church of Christ in Soud­er­ton. We are grate­ful to the con­gre­ga­tion and its mem­bers for pro­vid­ing a lovely fa­cil­ity and able work­ers to make this event suc­cess­ful. Twelve Interfaith Hos­pi­tal­ity Net­work (IHNF host con­gre­ga­tions were rec­og­nized for 15 years of hous­ing the home­less. Community groups from Bucks and Mont­gomery coun­ties helped serve at the event, which raised over $1,500 for Key­stone’s IHN pro­gram.

On Satur­day, Nov. 17, lo­cal Boy Scout Troops 214, 401 and 461 and Cub Scout Packs 10, 14 and 16 spent the day gath­er­ing do­na­tions for the food pantry from lo­cal neigh­bor­hoods in the “Scout­ing for Food” drive. With the help of other community and church groups, over 13,000 pounds of food was col­lected, sorted and pro­cessed for the Key­stone Food Pantry. This was a record amount, more than dou­ble the pre­vi­ous year’s do­na­tions. At a time when the pantry has been stretched due to in­creased num­bers of clients and de­creased gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tions, Key­stone is thank­ful for the amaz­ing way in which the community this need.

A spe­cial note of thanks to the Soud­er­ton High School FBLA club and the KidzKan community ser­vice group, whose mem­bers vol­un­teered and served tire­lessly at all of the events through the past week. Along with the many church groups, Boy and Girl Scouts and oth­ers, we were blessed by the sense of giv­ing and car­ing dis­played by these young community mem­bers and the fo­cused lead­er­ship of their ad­vis­ers.

For all your con­tri­bu­tions, we give thanks. As we work to ed­u­cate, en­cour­age and em­power our clients to beFRPH VHOI-VuI­fiFLHnW, ZH DUH en­cour­aged by the community and its con­tin­ued sup­port. We also hope the gen­er­ous spirit of giv­ing ex­tends be­yond the hol­i­day sea­son.

Wish­ing all a Happy Thanks­giv­ing!



E. Richard Aichele III Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Key­stone Op­por­tu­nity Cen­ter

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