The group raised money over the past year then matched those funds by 50 percent. Elfant Wissahickon president, Bob Elfant, said his realtor group is always looking for ways to give back to the community. He was particularly inspired by Face to Face’s approach to serving their community.
“I decided to give Face to Face a call. I took my partners down there and they were impressive — they were warm, welcoming and doing good stuff,” Elfant said. “We decided to put together this initiative.”
Not only has the group dedicated thousands of dollars to the nonprofit, but they also continue to provide active service through volunteer work in the soup kitchen. Elfant emphasized that providing actual service is inspiring to the community and those who benefit from the cause.
Face to Face was founded in 1985 and provides multiple services, including dining, social services, day camps, legal assistance and exposure to art. The nonprofit serves Germantown, where 26 percent of the population lives in “deep poverty,” which is defined by an average household income of less than 50 percent of the national poverty line.
“We welcome those that society shuns and treat them with dignity and respect,” according to Face to Face’s mission statement. “The mentally ill, the homeless, those struggling with addiction, the impoverished elderly, single parents and struggling families, are all welcomed at Face to Face. Our programs work to lift our guests beyond the reach of crushing poverty.”
“The partnership between Elfant Wissahickon and Face to Face is a model for what can happen when businesses truly care about their communities,” Face to Face Executive Director Mary Kay Meeks said in a statement. “We are so grateful for this outpouring of financial support and humble service.”
Elfant eventually joined the group’s advisory board, where he continues to maintain an active role in the group’s work.
“Participating in this kind of program is very fulfilling,” Elfant said. “I would encourage anybody out there that’s looking for a good way to contribute their time and their money, Face to Face is a good steward of their time.”
Elfant said that offering several services to people is especially beneficial to community members who often require different types of services.
“If you’re going to support folks who need help — it’s never one-dimensional,” Elfant said. “Giving them an opportunity to benefit from a multi-faceted organization is great.”
Face to Face is located in Germantown at 109 East Price St. The schedule of services and events can be found on their website.