Keystone thanks community for support
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