Drive to save homeless shelter gets big boost

Community supports homeless shelter that was forced to close

READING, Pa. - A 19-year-old Reading man who was having some trouble raising $50,000 to save a homeless shelter got a major boost.

Representatives of the three Chick-fil-A restaurants in Berks County said they saw a 69 News story and had to do something to lend a helping hand.

"Yeah, that was all it took, you know, just one story, and it kind of hit our hearts," said Andrew Smither, Chick-fil-A.

Motivated by his pastor, Edgar Tafolla, 19, is trying to save City Light Ministries, which offers shelter to hundreds of Reading's homeless. It may not be able to open this winter if costly upgrades are not made.

Tafolla put a small box on the counter of his job at Mi Casa Su Casa restaurant in Reading. His goal is to raise $50,000, but back in July, donations were slow, and he had raised on $50.

Moved by Tafolla's cause, Chick-fil-A donated $2,600 to City Light Ministries on Friday.

The three Chick-fil-A locations donated 10 percent of their profits for one day and handed the check to Sclafani, who runs the shelter.

"We're closer and closer every day. We're well passed halfway, and we're going to get there," said Sclafani.

"I'm amazed, and I can only thank God for such a miracle that people answered the call in such a way," said Tafolla.

Sclafani said he will be speaking with architects and city officials next week to finalize how much it will take to make sure City Light Ministries is open for the homeless this winter.

If you'd like to help Tafolla in his quest to raise $50,000 for City Light Ministries, you can leave your donation at Mi Casa Su Casa at 320 Penn St. in Reading, or you can donate directly to City Light Ministries.

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