This year we have much to be thankful for and many people to thank. We had a high school group called Berks Youth in Action raise $19,000 through their Rave Dance that 500 students attended. Steve Moyer Subaru raised $21,155 for us through their Share the Love Campaign and donated 20 laptop computers for the Second Street Learning and Technology Center. Our new event, Wine Women and Shoes was attended by 420 women in Berks County and raised $103,000.
We can’t forget the hundreds of individuals who came and cooked at our shelter, volunteered in our warehouse or donated items to OppShop. There were also groups who came to throw parties for the kids in the learning center, worked to beautify our grounds and gardens, and did other volunteer projects to help us out. We are grateful for all those who contributed to our success this year. With your help, we gave men, women and children opportunities to better their lives with the help of our staff and programs.
Our workforce development program, added in May 2016, is the newest way we have to combat joblessness and help the most vulnerable residents of Berks County coming out of prison to take positive steps to rebuild their lives. We saw nine people from program partner, Berks Connections/Pretrial Services, enrolled in the program in May and June. After six weeks of employment, they were certified in forklift operations and OHSA general industry safety, which provided them with the knowledge and experience to develop a career path that will lead to permanent full-time employment. OppShop also offers low-income families a place to shop for affordable, quality merchandise that ordinarily would end up in landfills. Business at OppShop continues to grow and we anticipate that it will continue to fulfill its purpose of creating jobs, diverting waste from the landfill, and generating revenue that will be reinvested to help change the lives of those in need in Berks County.
Chair, Board of Directors