READING, Pa. - Reading will soon be in the national spotlight.
City leaders on Thursday took the wraps off a new special that's set to air on Christmas Eve.
The hour-long program, called "One Christmas Story: People Rich in Spirit," will be broadcast on CBS, and although it will focus on the fact that poverty is rampant in Reading, it will mainly highlight the people who live and work in the city.
"Who, in spite of terrific economic problems, still have hope," said Rev. Eric Shafer, with Odyssey Networks. "Hope in their lord and savior, hope in God, but also hope for the future."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41.3% of Reading residents live in poverty. That's more than any other U.S. city with more than 65,000 people.
"It's gonna be the people of Reading that's gonna make the difference and help this community turn a corner and begin to make this the place where people will want to live, work and raise a family," said Mayor Vaughn Spencer, D-Reading.
Shooting will start next month and will feature people of all faiths coming together to address the city's problems.
"We're going to show hopeful stories of people trying to make it in difficult times. We're gonna tell stories of people sharing, people celebrating their life in this place, at this time," said Shafer.
Hope Lutheran Church, the Salvation Army of Reading and local choirs will help tell the Christmas Eve story.
The Collegiate Churches of New York City provided a $50,000 grant for production of the special. The organization will also award an additional $50,000 to help fight poverty in the city.
"If people here can have hope in what's been deemed by many as a hopeless place, then we have hope around this nation and maybe even around this world," smiled Shafer.
The Boyertown girl's basketball team defeated North Allegheny, 46-35, on Friday night at Hershey's Giant Center as the lady Bears won their first-ever state championship.Read More »
- Royals pick up a point in overtime loss to Adirondack
- Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge rehab center expands
- Reading boys enjoy pep rally, not taking support for granted
- Reading Red Knights sent to championship game in style
- Driver killed, another injured in crash in Exeter
- Police ID victim of fatal pedestrian accident in Marion
- BBB: Reading Wins First Ever State Championship
- Arrest made in overnight Allentown shooting
- Fmr CIA Director reportedly accused Michael Flynn of working to oust Fetullah Gulen
- Fmr Russian spy shares stories of life as double agent
- Man accused of raping 11-year-old girl multiple times
- Allentown man dies in motorcycle crash
- IronPigs show off 2nd largest video board in MiLB
- PennDOT to resurface 15 miles of highway in Bucks County
- 12 mile stretch of Northeast Extension to close overnight
- Law enforcement pushes for return to mandatory minimum sentences