People First Event Alvernia

Volunteers included Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Glynis Fitzgerald, Reading College Scholars Program Manager Courtney Bieber, Holleran Center Executive Director Dr. Rudy Ruth and President John R. Loyack who posed with Alvernia trustee and event organizer Elsayed Elmarzouky.

Holleran Center organizes volunteers for People First event that serves over 2,000


For the fifth consecutive year, Alvernia University’s Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement provided coordination of over 100 volunteers for the annual People First event held at Queen City Family Restaurant where over 2,000 Berks county residents who are homeless or less fortunate were served a warm, festive meal during the season of Thanksgiving.


The event, in its 11th year, is sponsored by the owner of the Queen City Family Restaurant, founder of People First and Alvernia trustee Elsayed Elmarzouky. 


“Putting ‘People First’ is the true meaning of a selfless community where we build each other up and support our fellow neighbors,” said Elmarzouky. “While we strive to live this truth every day, we also feel that having this annual event serves as an important reminder to the community at large that we can all make a difference in the lives of others – by encouraging others, volunteering for a cause, or sharing a meal.”


Community nonprofit organizations helped identify and invite individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk. More than 2,000 invitations were personally distributed through Berks Coalition to End Homelessness and all social service agencies, food pantries and ministries across the county.


Berks County Intermediate Unit, Berks Conference of Churches, and Immanuel United Church of Christ and Blanks of Hope collected donations of hats, scarves, blankets and activity bags for children that volunteers wrapped in gift bags provided by Alvernia. 


A full story on the event can be found here.