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R-BAR’s Tradition of Giving 

Published Thursday, January 2, 2020 6:00 am
by Johnathan Savant, Director of Government and Community Affairs

First annual R-BAR 5K Run for Shelter raises money for homeownership  Over 130 people showed up on a chilly October morning for the first annual R-BAR 5k Run for Shelter. The fundraiser was established this year to support two local non-profit organizations: Habitat for Humanity of Berks County and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks. With the overarching goal of promoting homeownership, it was the perfect partnership for local REALTORS® to show up and make a difference. “Thank you to everyone who has registered and shown up in support of Habitat for Humanity and Neighborhood Housing Services,” said Mark Mohn, R-BAR President on the morning of the event. “Both these organizations have a long history of helping Berks County residents obtain and learn what is required of home ownership which is very important to all the REALTORS® here today, much like R-BAR's mission of promoting home ownership right here in Berks County.”Over $5,000 was raised, which will support the growth of local homeownership, building strong families, and stable neighborhoods through the hard work of these two phenomenal organizations. 

R-BAR REALTOR® Ring Day sounds off for the Salvation Army  Reading-Berks REALTORS® teamed up with the Salvation Army on December 6th to ring the bell for the Red Kettle campaign. Nine R-BAR volunteers stood outside storefronts from dawn to dusk in the cold December air raising funds to support the Salvation Army’s mission to provide assistance, food, and support to low-income families and others in need. The Salvation Army relies on the money raised to serve more than 25 million people in need every year.  

REALTOR® offices compete to collect 2,812 lbs of food for Helping Harvest  The Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® Outreach Committee holds a food drive through the month of October. Participating offices competed against each other to collect the largest amount of food. This year, the winning office was Iron Valley Real Estate of Berks County, with a massive 51.5 lbs of food per agent. All in all, R-BAR members collected 2,812 lbs of food, which will all go to Helping Harvest (formerly the Greater Berks Food Bank), a local non-profit which distributes food to more than 300 programs which feed the hungry in Berks County. 

Annual R-BAR toy drive brings happiness this holiday season  Each year, R-BAR members volunteer to shop for a gift for a child who is a resident of the Children’s Home of Reading (CHOR). The Children’s Home of Reading is a “Sanctuary” certified agency which cares for the needs of children and families in crisis and preparing them for success in life, providing much-needed services to those in need. This year, members purchased 100 gifts for these children in need, which are collected and delivered to the Children’s Home of Reading (CHOR) in time for the holidays.  “I could not imagine any child not getting a gift for Christmas. I wish I could buy dozens and dozens of gifts for each of them, so I do this in hopes of bringing just a little bit of joy to at least one child.” – Sharon Kehres, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

R-BAR members continue tradition of serving seniors for 34th consecutive year  November 28, 2019 marked 34 years of Berks County’s Realtors providing Thanksgiving dinner to local seniors.   Since 1985, after learning that Berks Encore’s Meals on Wheels program offered meals every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors (simply known as the “Board of Realtors” at the time) stepped in to cook and deliver meals.  They organized a group of volunteers to prepare, package, and deliver meals to those in need on Thanksgiving Day.  During the first year, approximately 35 meals were served. In 2019, REALTORS® distributed 200 meals in Berks County.  On Thanksgiving morning, approximately 50 members of the Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® gathered at West Lawn United Methodist Church to volunteer their time to complete the preparation and delivering. For many of them, this is their favorite outreach project that the Association coordinates and members return year after year to participate. This event would not be possible without the generous donation of food from the following companies:  Boyer’s Food Markets, Inc., Clover Farms Dairy, Sweet Streets Desserts, and Redner’s Warehouse Markets and the West Lawn United Methodist Church for the use of their facility.  Meals on Wheels serves individuals age 60 and over who are unable to prepare their own meals due to physical limitations and have no family or friends available to assist them. 

R-BAR Cares helps association and community members in need  This holiday season, consider contributing to R-BAR Cares, a Benevolent Fund, created to provide emergency financial assistance to members, past members, and others in the Berks County community who encounter financially catastrophic hardships beyond their control. All donations to R-BAR Cares are tax deductible.  If you know of anyone struck by tragedy who is unable to work or support their family due to a severe financial hardship, prolonged illness, or accident beyond their control, consider encouraging them to apply for assistance through R-BAR Cares.  To contribute, please make checks payable to R-BAR Cares or call 610-375-8458 to donate by phone.