Date: Mon. Dec. 10, 2018
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Reading
Purchase tickets online: www.SafeBerks.org, click on Events/Celebration of Peace
Or contact Safe Berks to register: 610-373-1206 or [email protected]
The public are invited to register to attend this event.
For Safe Berks, the annual Celebration of Peace is our largest fundraising event of the year. But is also so much more! At this event, we honor individuals and institutions whose work makes a significant contribution to furthering the mission of Safe Berks: to provide supportive services for victims and to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in Berks County.
This fun and festive celebration also brings together Safe Berks staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and supportive community members, to rededicate ourselves to our goal of building a Safe Berks.
The Celebration of Peace will honor our Voices for Change Award Winners, Koinos Community Church and The Power of the Purse of Berks County. We will also honor Dr. Thomas F. Flynn, President of Alvernia University, with our Vision for Peace Award. Safe Berks has only awarded the Vision for Peace Award twice before, to Carolyn Holleran in 2006 and to Susan Fromm in 2009. Safe Berks and those we recognize with this award have made justice and peace their life’s work.
Under Dr. Flynn’s leadership, Alvernia students, staff and faculty shared their time and talents with Safe Berks, assisting with fundraising and special events as volunteers or interns. Dr. Flynn has also been a voice for inclusion in our community and has contributed to Interfaith Dialogue in partnership with local Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders.
Under Dr. Flynn’s leadership, Alvernia has become a leading “anchor institution” for Reading and Berks County. The University sponsors the South Reading Youth Initiative (2007), which daily serves over a hundred middle-school children, and the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program (2013), which annually prepares hundreds of talented Reading High students for college success. The initial cohort of Alvernia scholars from this program has a 100% graduation rate.
“Dr. Flynn has been an advocate, ambassador and advisor to Safe Berks since his arrival at Alvernia in 2005,” said May Kay Bernosky, Esq., Safe Berks CEO. “He has also been a voice for understanding, community and peace in Berks County.”
Koinos Community Church, Sinking Spring, began a relationship with Safe Berks, then Berks Women in Crisis, ten years ago. They asked how they could help. Safe Berks shared our Wish List with Koinos. That was the beginning of an immense donation drive that has grown every year for a decade.
More than 100 members of the Koinos congregation work together to complete this ambitious annual project that takes place over the course of a week each June. They distribute flyers with the Safe Berks Wish List to about 10,000 homes on the west side of Berks County, as well as donation bags. The following Saturday, Koinos members gather the bags of donations. Last year, they delivered three truckloads of donations to Safe Berks.
The Power of the Purse of Berks County was founded in 2012 by Chiara Sockel Renninger and other local women. This women’s giving circle is managed by Berks County Community Foundation. The mission of this fund is to empower local women by breaking down barriers to employment. Currently, there are more than 50 members.
Each year, members review grant applications, visit non-profits, and vote to determine which programs will receive grants. Since The Power of the Purse of Berks County began, it has awarded more than $180,000 in grants to local organizations, including Safe Berks.
These grants have provided vital resources to Safe Berks clients as they work to rebuild their lives. The Power of the Purse provided support to the Safe Berks program, Education, Empowerment, Employment! This program provides survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with financial assistance and support for education, transportation, child care, job searches and more.
Safe Berks services include a Safe House for up to 50 adults and children who are in danger, a 24-hour Hotline and text line, trauma-informed counseling, legal services and advocacy, and education and outreach programs. We also provide transitional housing for up to 25 people. Our services are free, confidential, and available in English, Spanish or any other language needed. Our services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Safe Berks served more than 4,000 clients in the last fiscal year. Our Safe House provided a haven to more than 800 people in the last fiscal year, including approximately 400 children.
Safe Berks is located at 255 Chestnut St., Reading, PA, 19602. Our 24-Hour Hotline number is 844-789-SAFE, or text Safe Berks to 20121. To reach our office, email [email protected] or call 610-373-1206.