When we talk about neighbors helping neighbors, we really mean it! South Hills neighborhoods are home to a diverse population. With some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the region located next to some of our city’s more high-poverty neighborhoods, SHIM programming unites people from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Donors and volunteers like Ray Betler directly impact the lives of their neighbors by stepping up to provide food, clothing, and financial support.
Ray Betler exemplifies this generosity. Ray and his wife Joneen first became involved with SHIM when they attended SHIM’s annual event, Celebrate the South Hills with SHIM. They were then chosen to be honorees at the following year’s event after recognizing the great need that exists in the South Hills.
A native South Hills resident, Ray was raised in Library. He grew up relatively poor but was blessed with opportunities and worked hard to become successful, retiring from his position as President and CEO of Wabtec in 2019. After his retirement, Ray chose to volunteer his time in SHIM’s Bethel Park food pantry, packing boxes, distributing food, and driving the SHIM van. Ray also decided to refocus his philanthropy towards SHIM because it allowed him to give back to his local community. “This is work that needs to be done for people to eat, for people to survive… (when) you see the kids in baby seats in these cars you immediately know why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
In his own words, “need has no association with race, color, religious background- if you’re in need, then SHIM has a mission to reach out and support that need.”
We are thankful for neighbors like Ray who give their time and treasure to power SHIM programming, helping to build a community where all neighbors can thrive. Learn more about volunteering here or go here to learn more about donating.