Reading Hospital’s CORE Volunteer Program is a win-win for employees and the community

Reading Hospital employees will now be able to volunteer during their workday thanks to the return of the popular Community Outreach and Engagement (CORE) program.

The program, which relaunched in July 2023, allows hospital employees to participate in hospital-coordinated volunteer events at local non-profits and organizations. Employees can sign up to volunteer during their workday once per calendar year – a “win-win” for employees and the community.

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“Volunteering with CORE was a meaningful experience for me in many ways,” said Katherine Pendergast, an employee at Reading Hospital who previously volunteered at Safe Berks. “It felt gratifying to work alongside and connect with coworkers, most of whom I had never met before. It was powerful to offer a helping hand to Safe Berks and the people that provide life-changing services to our community.”

Desha Dickson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness, created the CORE program in 2012 after employees expressed the desire to become more engaged in the community but faced the challenge of time.

“We understand the challenge of time when it comes to volunteerism, so we want to ensure that our employees have the opportunity to engage with the communities we serve outside of the hospital setting,” she said. “We are excited to revive this program and give back to our community. Many of the organizations involved in CORE are partnered with the hospital in numerous ways because we believe that we are all stronger when we work together.”

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Today, employees can choose from a variety of CORE volunteer events, such as: Packing emergency food boxes with Helping Harvest. Spackling and painting bedrooms at the Safe House with Safe Berks. Cleaning up local hiking and nature trails with Berks County Parks and Recreation. Gardening with the LGBT Center of Reading.

The program will continue to add new volunteer opportunities for employees throughout the holiday season.

Organizations interested in learning more about partnerships with Reading Hospital for CORE can email communitywellness@towerhealth.org.

“Our community has many wonderful organizations,” said Charles F. Barbera, MD, President and CEO of Reading Hospital. “We are happy to support the efforts of these important organizations whilst offering our employees the opportunity to interact and meet new people, and to engage with local businesses and organizations. Our employees at Reading Hospital are some of the most caring and thoughtful people around. We are excited to help make our community the best that it can be.”

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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