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Philadelphia Fair Aids Community in Need

By Darriel Hoy

A group of Adventists in Philadelphia are offering hope and a helping hand to the many families who are struggling to make it through these hard economic times. Called the Adventist Humanitarian Resource Center (AHRC), this 10-year-old nonprofit organization coordinated the 2nd Annual Community Resource Fair at Pennsylvania Conference’s Boulevard church in Northeast Philadelphia last month. The main goal was to connect underserved and unemployed community members with resources, information, and inspiration. Supported by 15 churches, 120 volunteers, and a slew of exhibitors, the daylong event drew a crowd of 2,000 residents. They were able to meet with representatives of nearly three dozen governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, civic groups, and businesses such as the PhillyFreeCycle, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, The Lion’s Club, Career Link, the Office of Support Housing, Bank of America, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, and the Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement.

"We want to ensure that people have access to the help they need from the best resources available,” said Darryl Stovall, AHRC board chairperson. “The Adventist Humanitarian Resource Center is connecting folks to resources and as much information as possible to help hurting neighbors get back on their feet and improve the quality of life for their families. Our mission is to empower individuals and families by providing educational support and life enhancing opportunities.”

Attendees were also treated to free food, health screenings by Washington Adventist University students, and prize giveaways. “This resource fair is about community building,” said Deborah Roach who serves as AHRC’s corporate secretary/treasurer. “Today, we’ve cultivated stronger ties with community members through food, fun, friendship, and financial help.”

With the help of Columbia Union Bible worker Lillian Torres, the event organizers—Allegheny East and Pennsylvania conference members—signed up 70 individuals for Bible studies. Learn more at ahrc-phila.com.