Connecting Phoenixville residents with community resources
Located just five miles from the XL Catlin Exton, Pennsylvania office, Phoenixville is a small town, mainly populated with lower-income families. Since 1972, Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) has provided emergency food, housing, utilities and health services to residents in the Phoenixville community whose incomes are not sufficient to provide all the basic needs.
Monthly, almost 200 households receive food assistance. In addition, PACS provides financial support for emergency heat, housing, medicine and electricity last year. PACS also connects residents with other aid organizations in the area. Last year alone nearly 5,000 people were referred to additional organizations.
PACS generally has a lack of resources at their disposal and an extremely low budget for the number of people they need to serve. This is one of the reasons why volunteers from the Exton office have been keen to support the organization, as part of XL Catlin’s annual Global Day of Giving.
Approximately 6 to 12 employees have volunteered to work with PACS every year since the first Global Day of Giving in 2006. Project Leader Warren Fox thinks it is very important to see how under-resourced some of our community services and facilities are. Many, like PACS, don’t have the necessary resources or the budget to accomplish their missions. “Last year PACS desperately needed maintenance work done on their yard and building. We see a visible difference every time we volunteer at PACS. It’s great to see our work appreciated by the people who will directly benefit from it.”
Along with new manual labor skills, the volunteers get to interact with members of the PACS organization and the community it serves. According to Warren, “it’s all about leading by example. I think my colleagues are proud to work for XL Catlin because of the good work we can do in our communities.” Every year Warren’s team of volunteers works on a different PACS project during the Global Day of Giving. In 2014, they worked with the community daycare facility. This year, they’ll be brightening up the playground area.