The Refuge Community Centre, a self-help service group operating out of the Family Support Center, and The Caring Place, a Wildwood Avenue food pantry that provides food, clothing and counseling, will benefit from a unique yard sale Saturday, April 30.
Scheduled to operate from 8 a.m. to noon, the yard sale will be held in the T.J. Maxx parking lot and is being staffed by store workers who share a common interest with their employer in helping service organizations that work in the trenches with the families they assist. T.J. Maxx is located on Huff Parkway.
Items in the yard sale will be donated goods and will not be products from the store.
The Refuge Community Centre and The Caring Place, which consider themselves partners in helping to meet the needs of the less fortunate, will benefit from the parking lot sale in a predetermined arrangement.
The Refuge center will receive the proceeds from the yard sale. The Caring Place will receive the proceeds from the sale of refreshments at the event — hot dogs, chips and beverages; and, The Caring Place will benefit from the receipt of canned goods donated by yard sale shoppers and the general public.
“They (T.J. Maxx) came up with this idea because they really wanted to find a way to help us financially,” according to Kelli Kyle, director of Community Involvement for the Refuge center.
Kyle pointed out the T.J. Maxx store already had an established number of civic and community causes to whom it regularly donated; for this reason, the business chose to find another outlet for supporting the Refuge center and The Caring Place.
“We at The Refuge Community Centre and The Caring Place feel very honored and blessed to be given this opportunity,” Refuge director Dr. Terry Johns said. “It is not only the proceeds but more importantly the community exposure and public awareness received; it is a wonderful way for people to learn more about our nonprofit organizations and what we do to help make a difference in our community.”
The Refuge Community Centre, located in the heart of the Blythe Avenue neighborhood, works closely with families from that area. It is a reason the center opened its operations in the Family Support Center which is the former Blythe Elementary School. The remodeled school is owned and operated through the Family Resource Agency.
Yard sale shoppers are reminded that any nonperishable food items may be delivered at the yard sale for the benefit of The Caring Place, Kyle said.
“This event not only benefits two great nonprofit organizations, it also helps many families and individuals in our Cleveland and Bradley County community — many of whom are clients of The Refuge Community Center and The Caring Place,” Kyle said.
She added, “The yard sale will be a combination of many different donations by people all over the Cleveland and Bradley County community. We encourage area residents to mark it on their calendar. Most importantly, our very special thank-you to T.J. Maxx, their employees and the store’s management for their graciousness in making this event possible.”
Of the two groups, The Caring Place name is the most recognized. The community food pantry is supported by a throng of area churches and civic organizations. It not only provides food to clients, but also clothing and children’s toys, as well as counseling and referral services from a licensed and professional social worker.
The Caring Place is located on Wildwood Avenue in a former retirement home facility.
The Refuge Community Centre intentionally located its central services on Blythe Avenue because part of the agency’s doctrine is to operate out of the heart of the neighborhoods it serves. The center’s first major community drive came last December with the Refuge Community Christmas, which brought the holidays to the children and families who live in the East Cleveland area.
The center’s most recent campaign is a series of public seminars focused on the health insurance industry and how to better understand it and to work with it.
The Refuge center works in good company at the Family Support Center.
Other organizations located in the Family Resources facility include the New Hope Pregnancy Center, the Mosaic Center, the Bradley Initiative for Church and Community Credit Union, Head Start, a Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland satellite and the Circuit Court offices for the 10th Judicial District.