Diane Salks A Grateful and Faithful Humanitarian : A Grateful and Faithful Humanitarian
Nov 27, 2014 07:05AM
● By Gisele Siebold
Diane Salks, owner of Riverview Tree and Landscaping, Inc., which includes Riverview Nursery and Garden Center, in Temple, considers herself very blessed, and on a daily basis, she focuses on all that she is grateful for.
Salks took over Riverview Tree and Landscaping in 1995 from her father Donald Hass, who started the company in 1973 and added the 18-acre Riverview Nursery and Garden Center in 1977, which sells everything from fresh flowers to garden accessories and delightful gifts. Trees, shrubs and perennials are cultivated on the property, and annuals are grown in the on-site greenhouse. The landscaping side of the company offers lawn installation, landscaping, hardscaping (elements such as patios, walls, walk and fire pits) and pond and water feature installation and maintenance, as well as lawn care and property maintenance.
A true humanitarian, Salks explains that gratitude keeps her focused on helping others. “It is my responsibility to give back. People who find a way to be grateful and happy naturally tend to help others in need.” She is chairman of the board of directors for the nonprofit Restoring Hope Foundation (RHF) started by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Berks County. Her personal passion is coming together with other Berks County businesses to fulfill the foundation’s mission “to construct solutions that address unique challenges of deserving people in Berks County.”
The people that help the RHF, which has no paid staff, include members of the HBA, other builders and local companies and individual volunteers that contribute annually through Build, a project through which one family in need is chosen to receive renovation and redecoration of their home in just six days. Berks County residents can apply at the start of a calendar year for that year’s Build, which is voted on and announced by the RHF board. Arrangements are made to send the family on a trip while the renovations take place.
RHF also relies on volunteers and donations of cash, materials, supplies, food and lodging from individuals and businesses. Local Berks County organizations, such as the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors and Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, hold fundraisers to benefit RHF. The Rotary Club of West Reading-Wyomissing, along with the Interact Club at Wilson High School, will host the Polar Plunge at the Blue Marsh Dry Brooks area on December 6 to benefit RHF.
Salks’ enthusiasm and natural congeniality foster bonds amongst business owners, community volunteers and Build recipients. She explains why restoring lives is so important: “RHF provides a way for us to come to the aid of fellow residents who, through circumstances beyond their control, need help, by giving them a hand-up not a hand-out.”
Dedicated to continually enriching the lives of others, Salks also hosts the annual Women Helping Women fundraiser at Riverview. Five years ago, she and seven of her female friends, all fellow entrepreneurs, decided to host the first Women Helping Women event to support Berks County women in need.
Salks describes the people involved with RHF and Women Helping Women as “people with very big hearts who give back.” Her compassionate personality, generous spirit and natural nurturing ability encourage those around her to blossom and flourish, and she is devoted to restoring hope throughout Berks County.
For more information about the HBA Restoring Hope Foundation, call 610-777-8889 or visit HBARestoringHope.org. The application for Build 2015 will be posted at the beginning of 2015.
Gisele Siebold is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings magazine, Lancaster-Berks edition, who lives in Lancaster.