Last Sunday the Social Justice Committee distributed $10,000 collected through a Facebook fundraiser to residents of the Regina Rose Apartments, who have been displaced from their homes for two months due to unsafe conditions. Residents were forced into motels or makeshift accommodations with friends and family, incurring unexpected expenses while repairs brought the apartments back into code. Residents asked the community, “Where’s the help?” KI responded to their plea.
Many KI members display lawn signs with KI’s motto: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Those lawn signed called out to us when we heard about the residents’ plight. They are our neighbors, and they needed help.
With the help of Cantor Amy Levy and PA Rep. Napoleon Nelson, who provided advice on how to organize the fundraiser and how to reach out to the residents, Social Justice Chair Arlene B. Holtz posted a fundraiser on her Facebook page. At the start, KI with help from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, distributed gift cards that could be used for groceries. Additional generous monetary help came from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Calvary Presbyterian Church, congregations that are our interfaith friends in the Eastern MontCo Interfaith Coalition (EMIC). Finally, 129 individuals contributed through Facebook.
The residents told KI members they received word that they could return to their apartments on Friday, August 20, but one resident said she will be looking for a new home because “it’s just not the same.”
Lynore Eisman, Sue Fried, and Paulette Sterman-Soroko invited the residents to KI’s monthly HaMotzi dinners. They shared groceries, fresh fruit, and a bag of books to one of the youngest Regina Rose residents who eagerly dug in, ready to read.
Barbara McNeil and Arlene B. Holtz in the KI tent, ready to distribute funds to the Regina Rose residents