A Realtor® in Philadelphia and Bucks County has been volunteering to fill a growing need in his community during the pandemic.
Michael Doyle of eXp Realty in Philadelphia volunteered last year to deliver meals to seniors and homebound through Caring for Friends, an organization dedicated to providing food and friendship to homebound seniors and disabled, the homeless and families with children in need in the five-county Philadelphia region.
“The original mission of Caring for Friends was to deliver home-cooked meals and snacks once a week and visit with seniors,” Doyle said. “But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission has expanded to help feed anyone that has been affected due to health reasons or financially, throughout Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs. Our need is great and the incoming shipments of food has increased, which has helped to meet the need. We even had the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints send a tractor trailer full of food from Salt Lake City, Utah.”
But Doyle saw an area that was being overlooked and encouraged the organization to step up its efforts to meet the needs of people in recovery. “There are a lot of people who are in recovery who are having a tough time finding housing and jobs. Many times, they work in the service industry and they may have lost their jobs or their hours are cut. We’re trying to help them and also the Recovery House owners who have felt obligated to feed their residents.”
Caring for Friends teamed up with Never Surrender Hope, which brings together friends and families with loved ones suffering from addiction, to help meet the needs of people in recovery. There are 60 recovery homes in the region, each with up to 20 residents in them, that are receiving help.
Initially, they delivered enough food to help those in need get by. Since then, they’ve received more than six skids of food and are able to supplement with fresh produce and dairy. “We were able to deliver two to three full-packed boxes per house,” he said. “We’re providing them with nutritious food, in addition to frozen meals for later use.”
“We want to make sure that those in recovery aren’t suffering from food insecurity,” Doyle said. “As someone who is in recovery myself, I know how it can be challenging early on and this just helps lend a hand to them.”
Doyle has reached out to the operators and owners of recovery homes to help get a rental moratorium during this time. “Housing is an essential need, including for those in recovery. Lifting up people in recovery helps people through this cycle,” he added. “Many who successfully continue in recovery have gone on to find careers and purchase homes.” The Recovery House owners have been very happy to receive the food assistance, as it has taken the financial burden off of them as well.
Doyle, in conjunction with his Homes for Heroes®, also purchased and delivered lunches to ICU nurses at the Jefferson Aria Torresdale Hospital in Philadelphia.
“Volunteering your time, making contributions and donating money can really help those in need and help your business grow during this pandemic. It was an honor to be able to show the community that Realtors® give back,” Doyle said.