We’re back at the beginning of the year, when it’s time to look back at our most impactful moments, the clients that were connected with resources to help them thrive, the volunteers, staff members and community members that worked together on monumental projects and the memories that were created and shared along the way.
That is why we compiled our top 5 greatest BCOC hits from 2014 for your enjoyment! Just relax and relive the classics, celebrate the oldies and gear up for a whole new year of hard work as we continue pursuing our mission of helping Bucks County residents in need pull themselves out of poverty permanently.
5. An Evening Under the Stars Hosted by Chef Garces!
BCOC certainly knows how to make 50 look good!
In October, we kicked off our year-long celebration celebrating BCOC’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2015! We had the best birthday party to start things out, hosted by the “Iron Chef” Jose Garces! He was kind enough to invite us and our supporters to Luna Farm, his family’s private residence in scenic Ottsville, Pa for a lovely event featuring a meal prepared by the Garces Team! Missed the fun? Don’t worry! We will be having other events throughout 2015 to celebrate 50 years of commitment to Bucks County families in need, and to kick off the next 50 years of service.
4. Hope of the Harvest Garden
Fresh Always Tastes Better!
The charitable garden founded in partnership by BCOC & Del Val on the Delaware Valley College campus completed its second year in operation, and it has grown a lot in three harvest seasons! In 2014, BCOC volunteers and Del Val staff harvested over 50,000 pounds of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more for Bucks County food pantries supporting local families in need!
“The garden addresses a significant gap in food resources for needy families because many food pantries only have canned and packaged goods available,” said Eileen Albillar, Volunteer & Community Connections Manager. “It’s always a challenge to secure fresh fruit and vegetables for our neighbors that need it, but the charitable garden has become a wonderful resource for our community members to come together and provide this precious resource for our neighbors that need it.”
The best part is that the garden will be back in full bloom this spring, which will mean new fresh produce for local families!
3. Roger Collins Farewell Party
A Proper Sendoff for a Longtime BCOC Friend.
In June 2014, we held a very special event for Roger Collins, former Executive Director of BCOC. Roger was stepping down after 20 years of dedicated service to the organization, so BCOC wanted to celebrate his achievements and contributions with family and friends during a fun night of good food, laughs and shared memories. The evening went by with plenty of jokes and countless fun stories about Roger. As part of the farewell, by the end of the evening, every BCOC staff member had completed his or her duty and returned several commemorative pens to Roger that said “If Found, Please Return to Roger Collins.”
2. Give-A-Christmas and Adopt-A-Family
The most wonderful (but busy) time of the year!
Every year, the Bucks County Opportunity Council partners with The Intelligencer and countless local organizations and individuals in December to run its Give-A-Christmas and Adopt-A-Family programs. The Intelligencer’s readers contributed over $100,000 to support this year’s Give-A-Christmas initiative, which benefits clients of the Opportunity Council and the Keystone Opportunity Center throughout the entire year. The Adopt-A-Family program is supported by local businesses and families that fulfill the wish lists of BCOC’s client families for the holiday! Gifts including clothing, toys, cleaning supplies and household items that were wrapped in gift paper and delivered to our client service offices so that our clients could have items that they needed and provide a nice holiday with presents for their children.
Twelve Economic Self-Sufficiency Graduates Achieved Self-Sufficiency!
The 2014 Graduation Ceremony for graduates of the Economic Self-Sufficiency program in October was undoubtedly the event of the year! This evening was our opportunity to celebrate with our program participants that had worked so hard over months and years to seek education and employment opportunities that would help them declare independence from all government welfare and subsidies programs. Each participant shared his or her story with BCOC’s supporters and we shared in the overwhelming joy they felt in accomplishing their goals. These participants join the 263 past graduates of the program to total 275 graduates since 1997!
Countdown to New Opportunities in 2015
So what do we resolve to accomplish this year? We have an action-packed year ahead of us! Our 50th Anniversary Celebration continues, and many of our favorite annual programs will come up again, including Adopt-A-Pantry and our Back-to-School Drive. In addition, we are working hard to expand the services we offer and find new opportunities and resources to support Bucks County families working to achieve self-sufficiency.
What were your favorite moments from 2014? Do you have any resolutions for 2015? Interested in joining the cause? We have many volunteer opportunities throughout our agency that require a wide range of skill sets! Contact Joe Cuozzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-345-8175, ext. 204 for more information!