(Image by PixelAnarchy from Pixabay)
Marco Giordano, the CEO of Resources for Human Development, believes that hosting a virtual event can create opportunities for innovation and new ways of connecting.
“Our staff have been a source of inspiration with their positive attitude and willingness to move this event forward,” Giordano said. “Despite the challenging time that we are all facing, we find the time to share, connect remotely and find ways to offer social support.”
The event in question is Philly Pours, now in its fourth year and a notable Philadelphia food and wine outing since its inception. One year legendary Eagles coach Dick Vermeil showcased Vermeil Wines, and another year had participants screening the movie Casablanca while learning to make the drinks referenced onscreen. This year’s event, which will take place via Zoom on August 20, will include a virtual wine tasting led by City Winery’s head winemaker, plus wine and food sent to participants’ doors.
The goal for the event is 150 attendees, and that attendees leave with a deeper understanding of the organization, its mission and its impact.
Giordano said Resources for Human Development (RHD) touches the lives of tens of thousands of people every day, from FPCN (Family Practice and Counseling Network) Healthcare system to the BHH (behavioral health) and IDD (intellectual/ developmental disabilities) services.
According to Giordano, in RHD’s 50-year history, the organization hasn’t experienced a national healthcare crisis like the pandemic, nor an issue that has had such a deep impact on the work the staff does and the way they live their daily lives.
“It has impacted how we provide service and our ability to provide service. It has impacted our staff and the individuals we support. It has impacted our families, neighbors, cities, schools, and so many other aspects of our daily lives that we depend on,” Giordano said.
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And it isn’t just COVID-19.
“Black communities are traumatized by deeply rooted systemic racism, the continuation of racially disparate police violence, and the injustices of due process,” Giordano said. “As a trauma-informed organization, we need to treat these disparities for what they are: a public health crisis.”
Giordano noted the painful reminder of the racial injustice that continues to plague America with the recent violent and senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmuad Arbery and Breonna Taylor is the result of a system that has been intentionally built to thrive on white supremacy.
“We are honored to stand with those who are actively fighting to end oppression, discrimination, and working to dismantle white supremacy,” he said. “RHD has reaffirmed its commitment to holding ourselves accountable to anti-racist work within our own organization, business practices, and activism, and call on our supporters, funders and everyone in the RHD community to do the same.”
RHD has a staff of over 5,000 individuals, which Giordano celebrates for their spirit, creativity and courage during the pandemic.
While this has been a challenging time to mark both the 50th anniversary and the annual Philly Pours fundraiser, he said it has offered an opportunity to reflect on the importance of their work.
“As we embark on our next 50 years, we will remember these times when the definition of essential worker was expanded to include many more people who we depend on every day,” he said. “While there is much more work to do for government and other regulators to acknowledge our frontline staff as essential workers, it is the dedication and compassion of our staff for the folks we serve that keeps us going each and every day during good times and bad.”
“All our staff have made tremendous sacrifices during this time,” Giordano added. “They are heroes for sure. That is something to celebrate!”
The Philly Pours VIP experience, will feature a guided, informative Zoom virtual tasting led by the City Winery’s head winemaker. VIP guests will receive two bottles of City Winery wine, two City winery logo glasses and more. For more information go to phillypours.com.-30-
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