Realtors® from the association volunteered to help prepare and deliver meals for a week and donated funding to the program. The funding was made possible by a Century of Service grant from the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®. PAR’s Century of Service grants allow local Realtor® organizations to help make a difference in their communities during the state association’s 100th anniversary.
Shenango Valley Meals on Wheels was established in 1970 to provide meals to community members who may have trouble cooking for themselves. The nonprofit program relies solely on the generosity of volunteers and donations to deliver meals to 14 local communities. Its mission is to provide a touch of humanity and a hot meal year-round to their clients, sometimes providing the only human contact their clients may see.
GMAR’s board of directors voted to volunteer and donate the grant money to the local organization because it relies so heavily on contributions. President Julie Cylenica said, “Realtors® enjoy making a difference in their communities. Meals on Wheels provides a valuable service to so many individuals.”
“Meals on Wheels provides such beneficial support to members in the community,” Realtor® Terry Berchtold, a member of GMAR’s board of directors, said. “Sometimes you don’t know where your donations go with other organizations, but with the Meals on Wheels program, we know it helps our local community.”
“Our members thought it would be great to help out for a week, so we assisted in putting together lunch bags, assembling the daily meal and delivery,” Berchtold said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created some additional challenges for the program and they can always use additional help.”
She added, “And the people who receive the meals are so grateful. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to work with such a worthwhile cause.”
The Realtors® worked with the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, which organizes a drive-up food distribution program. Members helped hand out pre-made food packages to more than 600 cars at the distribution at the Pittsburgh Mills Galleria in Tarentum.
The Butler County Association of Realtors® recently donated their time serving meals, distributing food and clothing items, handing out hygiene kits and providing assistance with free medical screenings during a county-wide program, “Stand Down: A Hand UP…Not a Hand Out.”