Make a Difference to Help Northeast Families in Crisis

Make a Difference Supporting PIHN Northeast Families!

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Since the COVID-19 outbreak, PIHN and many other Northeast Philadelphia social service organizations have received hundreds of requests for help from hard working households experiencing layoffs, working fewer hours, making less income, and requiring more food and material support. Neighbors worry as they watch their bills grow to a point where they can’t imagine catching up – even after returning to work.

The Northeast Philadelphia COVID-19 Resilience Fund provides a way for individuals and businessesto make a difference by addressing our neighbors’ emergency needs directly, flexibly, and creatively. Funds can be used for covering back rent,utilities, temporary daycare for returning workers, emergency home repairs, medication for someone who has lost insurance, etc.

All funding requests will be evaluated by and administered through Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN).

Click Here to Donate or Learn More
About PIHN’s Northeast Philadelphia COVID Relief Fund


File Your Taxes Virtually with PIHN for Free!

File your taxes virtually with PIHN!

Claim your FREE Tax Refund

CWF PhotoPIHN is returning this year as a Campaign for Working Families, free Tax Filing Site. As a free service to our community, we are filing Federal and State Income Tax Returns for households with an income less than $55,000 beginning on February 1st!

Please note that all appointments MUST be scheduled through using the In-Person Drop-off function before visiting PIHN’s office with your documents. After your appointment is set, drop your documents off at our office, and a tax specialist will be reaching out to you soon after. You can find the list of paperwork you need to bring with you on the document attached to this email.


Click Here to Schedule Your Free Virtual Tax Appointment!


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Thanks for Joining “Walk of the Holy Family” on PIHN’s Behalf!

Walk of the Holy Family Review!

Chestnut Hill Congregations Walk for
PIHN’s Prevention Program

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This past week, 6 Chestnut Hill congregations came together for a fundraising walk along Germantown Avenue to commemorate “Las Posadas”, a Central/South American pre Christmas celebration that reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter for Mary to birth her baby. The walkers make multiple stops asking for shelter and at very stop, they are turned away, drawing parallels to the experience of many families today, who seek an affordable place to live.

The candlelit walk successfully raised over $15,000 for our homelessness prevention fund, paying back rents and housing deposits for families at risk of homelessness.  We’re grateful to the sponsoring congregations including:

  • Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
  • Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
  • Cresheim Valley Church
  • Our Mother of Consolation Roman Catholic Church
  • The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

and the many community members who participated and contributed to this meaningful pre-holiday celebration.

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Our hope is that this Walk will become an annual tradition among the Christian congregations of Northwest Philadelphia. Thanks for ALL you do, and for sharing a great first year with Las Posadas!




Thanks for a Spectacular Virtual Empty Bowl Event!

An Evening We’ll Never Forget!

PIHN and Arcadia University Have Successfully Hosted a Virtual Empty Bowl Dinner!


Take a deep breath, and give a round of applause for the most AMAZING network we could ask for!  Sunday, November 22nd was nothing short of spectacular as Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) and Arcadia University joined to celebrate our annual traditions of the Empty Bowl Dinner virtually through Zoom. With social distancing keeping us apart, the warmth of our community has and will continue to keep us together. Thanks to the support of Arcadia University volunteers, staff, and our local community – we have raised $30,000 towards our homelessness prevention fund!

Special thanks to Mike McGrath of WLVT/PBS39′s “You Bet Your Garden” for his memorable wit and energy to brighten up the evening. Congratulations to Kylia Alston for receiving the beautiful car (a 2015 Toyota Carola) donated by Geico and refurbished by Service King as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program!

Use this link to watch a short video about Kylia, as she shares how much having a car truly makes a difference!

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Our generous Corporate Sponsors have really made a difference this year, by funding both the execution of our event as well as the attendance of PIHN’s Program Alumni:

  • Giant Food Stores
  • Drumcliff Foundation
  • Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
  • FX Cassidy and Associates
  • Fox & Roach Charities
  • Geico
  • Lindy Communities
  • National Auto Body Council (Recycled Rides)
  • Service King
  • Sovereign

The 2020 Annual Empty Bowl Dinner Cookbook is being printed at this time and will be available both digitally and in print before December 25th. Thanks to all who contributed favorite soup, bread, and dessert recipes and memories from our community about past Empty Bowl experiences. If you’re interested, you can also purchase an e-book online for $3, or a print version for $15 just in time for the holidays!

This dinner happened thanks to the efforts of these wonderful people: Students from Arcadia University’s Center for Civic and Community Engagement, including Hannah McGinnis, Kiara Jacoby, Julisa Linton, Tyanna Taylor and their fearless leader, Cindy Rubino. Thanks as well to PIHN volunteers and staff, Valerie Erwin, Della lazarus, Ezra Masch, TJ Narty, Christian Gordon-Scott and Rachel Falkove.


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Thanks for ALL you do


PIHN’s Empty Bowl Cookbook Challenge!

Mark Your Calendars!

PIHN’s 2020 Empty Bowl Dinner

Will Be Held Virtually


November is coming and our gastronomic clocks are telling us that it’s time for our two favorite Empty Bowl Dinners held the week before Thanksgiving at the United Lutheran Seminary, and the beautiful Castle at Arcadia University. But this year – with the introduction of social distancing – both events are joining forces and going virtual together. The good news is, we can still celebrate the Empty Bowl Dinner (courtesy of Zoom) on November 22nd, 2020 at 7PM with Empty Bowl virtual activities to join in on.

So save the date, dust off your bowl collection, plan to put up a pot of soup, or support your local restaurant that day by ordering take-out. Celebrate with special dinner host, Mike McGrath of public radio’s syndicated show, “You Bet Your Garden”, the Arcadia community, and the volunteers and families from Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN). Join us as Geico and Service King donate 2 vehicles to transform the lives of two families, and enjoy the warmth of a caring community at a time when we all need connection and something to smile about.

In support of this year’s virtual Empty Bowl event, we will be publishing an Empty Bowl Dinner recipe book. We are asking for your favorite soup, bread, and dessert recipes in order to celebrate our Empty Bowl tradition of sharing and generosity.

The recipes will be compiled into a cookbook commemorating the unusual virtual dinner and sold as a fundraiser to Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality network to support our homelessness prevention work. A portion of the profits will also go to Rise Against Hunger to support the international fight against world hunger.


Send your recipes to using this 2020 Recipe Submission Form by November 9th, 2020. We ask for all recipes to be typed either in the body of your email, or in a separate document. Please be sure to include:

  • An estimate of how many servings are in the recipe
  • A list of ingredients and measurements
  • Directions to make your recipe
  • (optional) Send in a photo of the recipe, of you with your bowl from on of our previous dinners, or of a memorable time when you made the recipe!

While we are primarily asking for soups, we also would love to include stews, breads, and desserts to stay true to the menu of this event. The recipe must also be yours to share, so please do not submit anything that might infringe upon copyright law. Also, be sure to include “Empty Bowl 2020 Recipe” in the subject line of your submission.

Finally, we are requesting that participants submit either a short paragraph about why you selected the recipe, or a video (30secs-1min) discussing one or more of the following topics that we can use in the cookbook

  • An Empty Bowl Dinner experience
  • A special memory or story about a recipe
  • A reason why you selected this recipe
  • Your experience with PIHN
  • The importance of Community Service and volunteering

All participants who submit a recipe will be entered in a raffle for a handmade ceramic bowl, courtesy of a professional artist local to the area. You will find photos of these raffles on our Instagram @ArcadiaCCEC in the next few weeks. Please submit your recipes to no later than Monday, November 9th.

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The cookbook, available virtually and printed, will be completed in time for the holiday season – making this a perfect holiday gift for friends and family. We look forward to reading your recipes and thank you in advance for your support of Empty Bowl.

Send in your recipes ASAP, and look out for more details about the dinner!

Thanks for ALL you do!

Click to Download and Complete the
2020 Recipe Submission Form


PIHN’s 2020 Back to School Event

A Year of New Beginnings!

PIHN’s 2020 Back to School Night


Returning to school in 2020 presents a new set of challenges for students of all ages. PIHN children, teens, and college kids are prepped for the many new adjustments caused by COVID-19, and getting off to an awesome start for the new school year after PIHN’s Back to School gathering held in our Northwest office the last week of August.

Students received travel-sized sanitation kits and assorted face masks, in addition to the uniform gift cards and book bags stuffed with school supplies for the school year ahead. Thank you so much to Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church, and Flourtown Presbyterian Church for providing the huge assortment of unique book bags for our PIHN scholars.

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We’d also like to add a special shout-out to Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia for the generous school donations they’ve made to our program and thousands of other children around the city. With the support of our awesome community, PIHN has received over 250 book bags filled with supplies for our children this year!

“Smoothies for Shelter” at Planet Smoothie in Horsham!

Horsham’s Planet Smoothie Presents:

“Smoothies for Shelter!”


Planet Smoothie Horsham’s Sherrell Oliver-Riley, introduced a new initiative that offers smoothies to prevent homelessness by assisting students facing housing insecurity in the Philadelphia School District. For $35 per person, smoothie lovers can enjoy their choice of one smoothie (any size!!) for each week through the end of September. Half of the proceeds from every participant will then be donated to PIHN’s Homelessness Prevention Program!

I’m excited to provide our customers with smoothies during the hottest time of the year, while assisting local families in need of rental assisance,” said Oliver-Riley. “Not only will our customers be saving a few bucks, but they’ll be helping us raise much needed funds to help prevent homelessness in the region.”

Planet Smoothie is located at 575 Horsham Rd. (Suite B-19) in the Horsham Corner Shopping Center. If you are interested in participating, simply request a Summer Pass when you order your next frozen treat, or via phone: (215) 394-5217.

The Planet Smoothie franchise began in 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia and has more than 130 locations across the country. Learn more about them by visiting

“What a Community!” – PIHN’s Update on Homelessness Prevention

An Update on PIHN’s COVID-19 &
Homelessness Prevention Programs

“What a Community!”

(COVID-19 Distribution at PIHN’s NW Office)

2020 has been filled with many twists, turns, and challenges for all. The families we serve are among the most vulnerable as many are people of color, and working in front-line jobs. Several have come down with COVID, and many have lost employment, daycare, and income, while managing from one crisis to the next. We have tried the best we can to support each other through the onslaught of the plague that has struck every aspect of our lives. PIHN’s incredible congregational volunteers, and supporters have come through for the families we serve in big ways!

My heart is full of gratitude for our awesome staff who have managed to creatively, and safely make sure that our supply of food, diapers, and necessities reach all in need.  I cannot begin to thanks the many random acts of kindness done by PIHN congregations – every individual who has dropped off essentials, prepared family-sized meals, and generously given their volunteer time and resources has kept our families going strong.

We have also been privileged to work with incredible community partner organizations, political leaders, and government offices who have joined efforts in making sure that the needs of the most vulnerable are addressed.

Homelessness Prevention Update


PIHN was honored to receive some key grants to help with our eviction prevention efforts. The largest grants to announce are a $227,000 grant through the Emergency Solutions Program (HUD funding), a $200,000 Emergency Food and Shelter Program Grant (FEMA funding) and a $100,000 City General Fund Grant. All three grants are to be used for helping families pay back rents, mortgage payments, and utilities as well as helping to find both temporary and permanent housing for those who are already displaced. Special thanks to the City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services, for playing a key role in supporting our applications.

PIHN has already assisted over 120 households with funding and anticipate helping nearly 300 households by year end. We are thrilled to have these new resources for prevention in addition to several other large grants through the Home 4 Good Program and PHARE (grants funded by Commonwealth of PA Housing Trust Funds) to be able to help so many people. We also thank the many smaller family foundations that invested in our early prevention work and continue to do so.

We would not be able to do this work if it had not been for the many PIHN advocated who worked to educate our government officials on the importance of homelessness prevention when we started these efforts several years ago.

PIHN Receives $10,000 from Women’s Philanthropic Group for COVID-19!

 TTN Women’s Philanthropic Group
Assist PIHN Families During COVID Times

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PIHN is thrilled to announce a $10,000 special donation from the Philadelphia Chapter of The Transition Network (TTN) Giving Circle – a group of women dedicated to bringing the power of collective giving to improving the lives of Philadelphia women, children and youth.

“Our organization is honored to have been selected by the TTN Giving Circle for this generous and timely donation to help families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” commented Bob Rossman, PIHN’s Board President. “So many of the households we serve struggle to make ends meet in good times. They have little savings to carry them through COVID and need immediate help to meet their families’ most basic needs. PIHN is seeing five times more families in need of food and diapers and supplies than prior to COVID-19! The TTN Giving Circle donation allows PIHN to respond with immediate help.”

Since its inception in 2013, the TTN Giving Circle has awarded one grant each year to an organization supporting its mission. But with the COVID-19 crisis hitting during their 2020 grant cycle, members immediately wanted to do more. They reached out to the broader TTN membership for ideas – did they know organizations providing extra support for the unique needs generated from the COVID-19 crisis in Philadelphia? In less than one week, the committee received recommendations, which were put through a rigorous vetting process, and membership voted to select PIHN for the special $10,000 donation. Start to finish, the TTN Giving Circle acted in one month.

“We were overwhelmed at the response from our members,” said Carol Cunningham, TTN Giving Circle Chair. “It’s heartwarming to see the efforts being made on the part of so many organizations to respond to this crisis. The work of PIHN really stood out to us, and we are so privileged to be able to support their work. This is truly the power of collective giving in action.”

The donation funds, distributed to PIHN through logistics support from The Philadelphia Foundation, will go directly toward purchasing increased supplies based on individualized need; offering financial assistance for laundromat and supermarket gift cards, medications and personal supplies, rent and utility assistance; and developing virtual services to offer parenting workshops, parents of teen support, therapy/support groups and employment coaching.

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About The Transition Network Giving Circle (TTN Giving Circle)

The TTN Giving Circle is a dedicated group of women who pool their giving dollars to make a difference in the lives of Philadelphia women, children and youth. Since its founding in 2013, they have provided more than $105,000 in grants to in-need organizations in Philadelphia, and expect to award an additional $30,000 in grants and donations in 2020. Giving Circle members believe their method of collective philanthropy increases the impact of each dollar given. The Giving Circle is a philanthropic group within the Philadelphia Chapter of The Transition Network, an inclusive community of professional women, 50 and forward, whose changing life situations lead them to seek new connections, resources and opportunities.

For more information about TTN and the TTN Giving Circle:

Visit TTN Giving Circle or contact Carol Cunningham, Chair at

A Shared Community Initiative – PIHN’s New Partnership with HTN!

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We are super excited to announce St. Alphonsus Parish Ministry’s HTN Program, and Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network’s partnership with a shared initiative to provide assistance to the most impoverished neighbors in our community. Combined, PIHN and HTN have served 700(+) vulnerable families (over 1,500 children and adults) in the Philadelphia and Montgomery County!

Our new partnership with HTN has granted us access to surplus, large ticket items to distribute to families who rely on our programs. This includes recently purchased, unwanted mattresses, dresser sets, bed frames, couches, and so much more, supplied by over 800 generous donor companies! Many of these returned household essentials come from distributors who are unable to resell at market rate after they have been opened or used on a trial basis.

These donation will play a phenomenal role in supporting PIHN’s operations to ensure we continue making a difference for families in crisis before relying on the shelter system. Thanks to HTN, we can give overstocked and returned products a second life, and help budget stretched households live comfortably and focus on paying their rent and utilities!

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