The Friends of the Reading Hospital have announced that through their many philanthropic grants they have provided over $1.6 million in support of the health and well-being of the Hospital community over the past five years. For over 125 years, the Friends’ mission has been to provide funding for programs which impact the Hospital’s patients, families, staff and the surrounding community.
On Friday, March 23rd, the Friends will host Friday with Friends, an informal event with exhibits highlighting their mission and accomplishments from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Canal Street Pub in Reading. Event Co-chair Gail Clifford described the event as “an opportunity for our guests to discover the impact our projects have had on the community as well as to have fun meeting and greeting old friends and new”. According to Mary Ellen Batman, president, “The purpose of the event is to showcase a few of our many community grant endeavors.”
Among the most noteworthy endeavors to be highlighted are:
Street Medicine – Purchased a van and a modified ambulance in support of the team that provides medical care to homeless.HeartSAFE Berks County – Purchased and distributed Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) to over 500 Berks County locations including schools, first responders, sports arenas, movie theaters, and non-profit organizations.Farm Bucks-Redesign Reading – Supporting the SNAP and WIC programs with supplemental funds for purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables.Telemedicine – Aiding emergency personnel transporting stroke patients by providing 69 i-pads in ambulances throughout Berks County.NICU Cycled Lighting and NICU Cameras – Purchased and provided lighting and cameras for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Reading Hospital.Reading Recreation Commission – Purchased a van and in 2016 served 38,000 meals and 16,000 snacks to Reading’s youth.Sensory Toys for Reading Hospital Emergency Department – Purchased two sensory/rover stations to help children with autism spectrum disorder to cope with the hospital environment.Stop the Bleed – Purchased 600 tourniquet kits for Berks County individual law enforcement officers and for their training.
To enable these and other grants, The Friends raise funds by promoting and staging various events throughout the year such as the Reading Hospital Road Run, Tower Golf Classic and, initiating this year, Friday with Friends. Batman said the organization is very fortunate to be supported at these events by generous individual donors as well as business sponsors and, she added, The Friends are proud to say that 100% of their fund-raising profits go directly into their grants.