Reading, PA – For the 3rd consecutive year, Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) of Reading is partnering with Performance Toyota to bring the annual YVC Canstructure event, a structure building competition to fight hunger, to Berks County. Fifteen teams of Berks County youth from elementary through high school, assisted by STEM mentors, will compete in a contest to build incredible structures made entirely from cans of food collected during youth food drives. The structures will be built on the morning of March 7, 2020 at the Berkshire Mall and remain on display at the mall until March 13. One week following the competition, structures will be taken down and all canned food donated to the Helping Harvest Food Bank.
This challenging community-service event allows students an opportunity to learn through team building while designing a structure that fits the “Inspire Kindness” theme. Last year’s contest engaged over 170 youth participants and resulted in 11.5 tons of food being donated to the hungry of Berks and Schuylkill Counties. It is a great way for students to showcase the tremendous impact they have on alleviating hunger in the community.
Performance Toyota of Sinking Spring is the title sponsor for the event. Karen Linder, Performance Toyota Charitable Giving Coordinator, said, “We are proud to partner with Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. It’s a win-win community service project that fosters important skills in our youth and helps to fight hunger at the same time.” Other corporate sponsors of the event include Heeby’s Surplus, EnerSys, Berks Fire and Water Restoration, The Works, D&B Construction, Fox Rothschild, Helping Harvest Food Bank, Penn National Gaming Foundation, Redner’s Markets, UGI Utilities, Inc and Vision Mechanical. In addition, Penn State Berks engineering students expanded the STEM education piece of the event by mentoring many of the teams this year.
Awards will be distributed for the best structure in the elementary, middle, and high school divisions at 1:15 pm at the Berkshire Mall’s center court on March 7th. We invite the community to support our youth and view these creative structures by attending the event.
VOiCEup Berks, a fund of Berks County Community Foundation and an affiliate of Youth Volunteer Corps, is a local organization dedicated to connecting all sectors of Berks County to volunteer opportunities through service learning. Formed in 2015, VOiCEup is the collaborative effort of a group of experienced volunteers who are committed to the power of service. As an affiliate of Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC), VOiCEup engages youth ages 11-18 in meaningful community service.