Spotlight’s Off, But Reading’s Challenges Remain

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The journey to tell a television Christmas story in poverty-stricken Reading began two summers ago in holiday-decorated Hope Lutheran Church on North Front Street.

A national TV audience, estimated at more than 1.4 million homes, observed the 2012 Christmas Eve broadcast of “One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit,” a production of Odyssey Networks, a New York-based multifaith media coalition.

It was a story designed to depict Reading’s hope and faith amid economic challenges. At the time, it sparked energy and excitement.

But, one year later, at Christmas 2013, many of the city’s social challenges remain unchanged.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131222/NEWS/312229955/1052#.UrbPPPRDsxI

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Christmas Eve Special On Reading Airs Tonight

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading PA – The one-hour CBS Christmas Eve special focusing on Reading’s hopeful holiday spirit amid poverty will be broadcast tonight at 11:35 pm without commercials in the “David Letterman” time slot.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438823

Reading Sheds ‘Poorest’ Rank, But Poverty Still A Challenge

Those who were standing in line at a food pantry in Reading on Wednesday did not know the city had spent a year ranked as the most impoverished city in the nation.

They didn’t know that ranking would be changed by statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

They just knew they needed food.

“Most of them really need it,” said Dorothy Fletcher, 79, of Stony Creek Mills, who is a volunteer and a client at the monthly food pantry at Family First Resource Center, 416 S. Seventh St.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=415738

Christmas Eve Special About Reading’s Poverty To Be On CBS

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading and its struggles with poverty will be the Christmas story this year on CBS.

The network has asked Odyssey Networks, a multifaith media coalition, to produce an hourlong special to be broadcast on Christmas Eve, said the Rev. Eric Shafer, Odyssey senior vice president and a Berks native.

“We’ve decided to come to Reading to tell ‘One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit,’ ” he said. “The special will rejoice in the true spirit of Christmas through the words of the Gospel, glorious choral music and the unique character of the community in Reading.”

Shafer said the Collegiate Churches of New York City have already given a $50,000 grant toward the television production and plan to award an additional $50,000 to help fight poverty in the city.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389931

Reading: The City Of Last Resort

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

Image via Wikipedia

The last place Marisol Carrero wanted to wind up was back in Reading.

She knew it would only lead to a scene like this: Her hunched over a waiting-room coffee table, filling out the most generic of job applications for a temp agency.

Forget a career. She just needs work.

Click here to read the entire article about the current state of Reading, Pennsylvania: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/10/post_263.html