Berks Encore and the seniors it serves received donations at a charitable event of giving as local organizations came together in support during the holidays.
The highlight of Subaru’s Share the Love campaign event was the donation of a 2018 Outback to Berks Encore’s Meals on Wheels. The keys were presented to LuAnn Oatman, President of Berks Encore, during the live airing of the WEEU Morning Show at Steve Moyer Subaru in Leesport on Dec. 6.
“It’s all about Berks Encore and Meals on Wheels. We’re supporting Meals on Wheels, really trying to strengthen that partnership that we have with them and we’re providing 50 vehicles to chapters across the country and Berks Encore is one of the recipients,” said Jason Russo, zone marketing manager of Subaru. “They do such a tremendous job in the community serving people in the community who may not otherwise get a hot meal. We are just amazed at the number of people that you are able to serve. It sounds like there is a tremendous demand and need for this organization. We wish we could do more. Hopefully this will help.”
Russo presented a large cardboard key to Oatman during the celebratory presentation of the donated Outback, receiving much applause from Subaru employees and Berks Encore volunteers in attendance.
“When someone who is so generous says they wish they could do more and we’re sitting there all emotional and goose bumps running up and down my arms because I think, ‘Oh, my Gosh. You’re doing so much,’ Here we are in Berks County and we’re able to say that we are one of the 50 awardees from Subaru,” said Oatman. “That is absolutely incredible.”
According to Berks Encore, Meals on Wheels volunteers drive 12,000 miles on an average month to deliver meals. The donated Outback is estimated to help Berks Encore staff and volunteers to reach more than 40 more seniors and serve 800 more meals each month.
“We deliver hot meals each and every day, 600 out of six centers, to home-bound seniors who won’t see anybody sometimes all day long. That volunteer who pops in their door is sometimes the only person they will see or talk to for the entire day,” said Oatman. “You have a tremendous impact. You don’t know how far the ripple in the pond is going to go with the 50 pebbles that you just threw into that pond nation wide and the lives that are going to be impacted because of a donation of this magnitude.”
The Steve Moyer Subaru Share the Love event continued with more donations to Berks Encore.
Marc Goldstein from Blankets of Hope, a nonprofit, donated more than 250 blankets to Berks Encore for Seniors to help them to stay warm this winter.
“It’s really a perfect fit, a perfect partnership for us to be able to supply these brand new, soft, warm, plush blankets to these seniors,” said Goldstein.
Sherry Kutz from Paramount Living Aids/Assured Assistance presented Berks Encore with a check for $2,500 to purchase more than 110 gift cards for Meals on Wheels clients as part of the Berks Encore volunteer grocery shopping program at Redner’s.
“Both companies are very dedicated to the community so this is a great way to give back at the holidays,” said Kutz.
United Way awarded a grant to Berks Encore for $23,000 to support the new produce pilot program Berks Encore launched.
Cameron Martin, VP of Development and Marketing at Berks Encore, expressed their appreciation for the donations.
“We’re so thankful and appreciative,” said Martin.
“We know that many seniors in our county live in isolated retirement communities or remote rural areas that we simply are not currently reaching,” said Oatman in a release. “By adding just one vehicle, this alleviates the burden on our volunteers, some of whom drive hundreds of miles due to the length of more rural routes. An Outback would provide enough space for us to deliver regular meals in addition to coolers filled with produce.”
“We wanted to celebrate our 50th anniversary in America in a way that is appropriate for our brand and are delighted to donate vehicles that will support local communities by combating threats of isolation and hunger affecting seniors across the country,” said Subaru of America Inc. President and CEO Thomas Doll in a release. “At Subaru, we believe in providing safe and reliable vehicles for all of life’s journeys and are honored to partner with Meals on Wheels to help people live more nourished lives.”
For information or to become a Meals on Wheels volunteer, call Berks Encore at 610-374-3195 ext. 220.