Summer 2019 Re-cap

The Community Building Center was hopping all summer long!

We moved into our new building on Linden St in the beginning of May and hit the ground running. We’ve had yoga classes, yard clean ups, multiple youth groups visits, an ice cream social, and of course, card games! We are grateful to all our volunteers who helped us transition to the new space and continue to serve our friends and build new relationships. The new Community Building Center has allowed us to hold our restorative circles regularly again, which promote healthy relationships and empathy. Through circles, we begin to learn each other’s names and support one another. Another bonus about our new space is that we can share it with our partners like St. Luke’s Parish Nurses and LVHN Street Medicine. The Community Building Center has truly become a hub of support and community. Many new faces came through the door this summer and each person has found a sense of belonging and ownership of their new community space. We love hearing the words, “Everyone’s so nice here. I feel so safe.”

We ended the summer by having an Open House for everyone to get together and celebrate. It was a great mingling of people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Looking across the room you saw a beautiful mosaic of our great community.

Beginnings and transitions

RCI continues to grow and develop, and so does our staff!

Please join us in welcoming Grace Newswanger, our new Program Coordinator for the Community Building Center. Grace is a long-time resident of the Lehigh Valley who comes to us with valuable experience in the healthcare and non-profit sectors, including a stint that involved establishing a community center in the U.K. In Grace’s words, these experiences have “nurtured a passion for people, relationships and coming alongside others to share in their stories.” In this role, Grace will be managing the day-to-day operations of the Community Building Center and coordinating our stellar team of volunteers. We couldn’t be happier to have her!

 At the same time, we are very pleased to announce that Marilyn Bender is transitioning into a new role as our interfaith Community Chaplain. As RCI has grown, we have come to recognize the need to maintain our capacity for intensive one-on-one relationships with members of our community. With Marilyn’s background in spiritual direction, Gestalt therapy, and trauma training, we knew she was just the right person for the job. Thanks to Franconia Mennonite Church and Franconia Mennonite Conference for making this new position possible!

We're hiring!

Position Announcement: Program Coordinator

RCI Community Building Center


POSITION TITLE: Program Coordinator

FTE: 0.5 (Part-time: 20 to 25hrs./week)

Compensation: Hourly Rate $17/hr.

Benefits: Eligible to participate in a Health Reimbursement Account

Desired Start Date: On or before July 1, 2019


Supervision: Report to RCI Executive Director

Location: 1335 W. Linden St., Allentown PA 18102


ORGANIZATION: RCI is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with Ripple Church. Founded in 2015, RCI’s mission is to nurture community and connection in Allentown by fostering a sense of community among our neighbors who have traditionally been marginalized and by cultivating connections across social boundaries. RCI’s current programs include the Community Building Center and the RCI Village.  


JOB SUMMARY: Ripple Community Inc. is seeking to hire a part-time program coordinator for our Community Building Center (CBC). The CBC opened in November 2015 and is the only day center in Allentown that is open to the public. The CBC typically services between 40 and 65 individuals per day. Most of our clients are adults who are socially or economically marginalized due to homelessness or housing instability, histories of trauma, mental illness, or related challenges. 


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: The Program Coordinator will be responsible for providing daily oversight of the CBC, supporting relationships and community building activities, and coordinating other staff, volunteers, and community partners. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:


Relationships and community building (50%)

·       Staff the CBC three to four days per week, including Saturdays.

·       Organize weekly activities and events, including community service activities and activities led by outside volunteers.

·       Prepare daily activities for clients, including crafts, games, or art projects.

·       Coordinate with other staff members to provide appropriate supports for participants.

·       Lead restorative circles and engage in restorative practices as needed (training in restorative practices will be provided).

·       Develop partnerships with local organizations and businesses that can provide opportunities for CBC participants to engage with the community and develop new relationships.

·       Represent RCI at community meetings, including daytime and evening meetings.


Volunteer coordination and management (25%)

·       Recruit new volunteers from the community to serve at the CBC.

·       Develop and implement a volunteer orientation and training program, which includes quarterly check-in meetings.

·       Manage and support CBC volunteers, including management of RCI’s online volunteer management system.

·       Recruit, train, and mange “helpers,” who are volunteers from within the CBC community.


Administration and oversight (25%)

·       Manage weekly schedule of staff and volunteers, ensuring adequate coverage during operating hours.

·       Coordinate with service partners that see clients at the CBC.

·       Maintain supplies, including coffee and snacks.

·       Manage and organize donations.

·       Lead program evaluation activities.

·       Manage participant data, including daily sign in sheets, daily staff reports, and volunteer sign-ins.


The program coordinator will report to RCI’s Executive Director. This is a grant funded position, currently funded through September of 2019. Our intention is to increase the number of hours allocated for this position beginning in October 2019, though this is dependent upon grant funding. This is an at-will position, and the program coordinator will undergo a 90-day review.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Required qualifications for this position include:

·       A bachelor’s degree in human services, social work, public health, or a related field, or equivalent.

·       2-5 years of program coordination or management experience, or equivalent.

·       1-3 years of human services experience, broadly defined.

·       1-3 years of volunteer management experience, or equivalent.

·       Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.

·       Ability to manage challenging situations and crises.

·       Ability to maintain effective working relationships in community contexts.

·       Training or experience working with marginalized urban populations.

·       Ability to represent the organization in the community, including through public speaking engagements.

·       Fluency in English.


DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of community resources in the Lehigh Valley is preferred, but not necessary. Other desired qualifications include experience with grants and fundraising, experience in a comparable direct service environment, and/or experience with program development. Fluency in Spanish would be helpful, though it is not required.


RATE: This is a part-time (up to 25 hours/week) position with an hourly rate of $17/hour. In addition, RCI employees who work an average of 15 or more hours per week are eligible to participate in a Healthcare Reimbursement Account plan, through which RCI reimburses health-related expenses of up to $315/month.


TO APPLY: Submit the following application materials to Sherri Brokopp Binder via email at (1) cover letter, (2) resume or CV, (3) names and contact information for three professional references. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


Ripple Community Inc. is committed to creating and maintaining diversity and inclusion in the workforce. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability.