Daily Point of Light # 2965 Jun 16, 2005

Margaret Banks, age 74, has been a resident of Pottstown Borough in Montgomery County, PA for the last 50 years and believes wholeheartedly that you need to get involved in your community as a volunteer to make it a better place for everyone to live. Margaret joined the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) in November of 1997 when the program received an expansion grant to serve the Pottstown community. She was immediately instrumental in recruiting 15 other low-income seniors to join the Foster Grandparent Program.

Here is a list of her community volunteering: She has served on the Borough of Pottstown Town Watch for 15 years and has served as a co-captain for the last three.

She is in her ninth year of volunteering in a Head Start Class for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program as a “Lucky Reader” which is part of a family literacy project.

She is in her seventh year of volunteering with the FGP serving 5 hours daily in a second Head Start class.

She has volunteered for the last 3 years as an after-school tutor for the Pottstown School District.

She has continued to assist in recruiting other low income seniors in Pottstown to join the Foster Grandparent Program.

For four years she has been a part of the Family Services’ Families & Schools Together (FAST) Program, a family strengthening program.

She works at the polls every election as a machine operator.

She is an Assistant Scout Leader for a Daisy Troop (younger Girl Scouts).

For the last six years she has served on the Advisory Board of Ricketts Community Center, which provides age appropriate activities that encourage the physical, educational and social development of all citizens of Pottstown.

She is a board member of the Genesis Housing Corporation, an organization that provides affordable home ownership throughout Montgomery County by offering counseling around budgeting, understanding credit and the home buying process. Genesis also does renovation of homes for new homebuyers.

She was a member of the committee for the Continuing Celebration of Pottstown’s 250 year Anniversary event with the grand finale on July 4th.

She is currently helping to have a petition signed to lower Pottstown’s school taxes.

She serves as a distributor of flyers/pamphlets door to door to publicize public meetings around various community issues and needs.

In 1998, Margaret received the Joyce Reddick Award given by the Pottstown YMCA as part of their Black Heritage Celebration to “individuals who have reached beyond the call of duty in their home, church and/or community.” In 2004, Margaret was also honored as a Pottstown Community Leader by the Walnut Street Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church. In 2004 she received the 2004 Spirit of Service Award given by the Corporation for National and Community Service to volunteers who exemplify the difference a volunteer can make in their communities.