Blog & Updates
|Posted on May 25, 2016 at 2:40 PM|
Quarterly Newsletter VOLUME 1, 2016
WHO WE ARE
Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe opened in Milford, PA December of 2011. It was the dream of founder Lauren Anderson to honor the memory of her mother, , who had passed away the previous summer. Lauren's mother was very much into outreach, helping those in need and the local food pantry. Lauren wanted to use the proceeds from the thrift shop to buy the needed food the local pantry (Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County) did not get each week. This evolved into raising money to give the pantry each month and to act as a drop off point for the pantry.
This outreach kept evolving and began helping those in need of clothing. Local charitable organizations and churches (and government agencies) began sending people to the shop for clothing needs. And sometimes they had other needs, too, which the shop helped out with.
In July of 2013, the shop received its 501(c)(3) status approval, and the board for Calling All Angels Mission was established, headed by Lauren Anderson as Executive Director, shop manager Charles Reynolds as Secretary / Treasurer and senior volunteer /volunteer coordinator Penny Werner as Vice President of the board.
By this point, the non-profit was working with the Food Pantry, Pike County Hands of Hope, TriState Pregnancy Center, Safe Haven of Pike County, the Pike County Area Agency on Aging and local churches to try to help those in need – monetarily, clothing and through individual assistance. Specifically, the outreach was working to reduce hunger (known as hunger insecurity) and homelessness throughout the area.
Spring of 2015 the board saw a need to expand the outreach, both physically and how they were educating the public. To that end, they began to raise the needed funds, as well as seeking grants to assist them in 1) expanding the physical shop, 2) expand and upgrade the volunteer spaces in order to bring in more volunteers, 3) build an education center to help people lift themselves up out of their circumstances, 4) start plans for a congregate dining hall and 5) build much needed temporary housing to give people a place to stay while they worked on getting permanent housing. (More about this in Expansion Project update section of the newsletter.)
In November, 2015, the Mission held its first awareness event – in conjunction with the Food Pantry and Hands of Hope, and during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week – to highlight awareness of hunger and homelessness. The event raised funds, food, clothing and blankets, but more importantly it raised awareness of the changing face of these two issues.
GREETINGS FROM THE SHOP
Hello. I am Charlie (or Charles or Chuck or CB or any number of sobriquets). I am on the board of directors for Calling All Angels Mission, and I am the manager of the Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe. I just thought I would take a moment to welcome you to our first ever newsletter. The shop has been here in Milford, PA since December of 2011, the non-profit has been in existence since July 2014 and I have been on this project in one fashion or another since its conception by Lauren Anderson – which was about September 2011.
What we do here has grown by leaps and bounds, from the original idea of helping out the food pantry to helping out individuals and families in need overcome problems of hunger, homelessness and from the impact of harsh economic times.
Since we started this endeavor, we have helped dozens of families and even more individuals. We have helped the clients of other charities in the area. We have financially shared the wealth with these same charitable partners. We have given money, clothes, home goods, advice and so much more to anyone in the community in need.
But more than that, we have raised awareness. We have increased the awareness of the changing faces of those in need here in the 21st century. Homelessness is not what many perceive it to be. Hunger is not what they expect. And so many people do not realize that they are not alone in these daily struggles. It has become our goal, our mission, to give people hope. To show them that not only are they not alone, but they don't have to suffer through this alone. There are ways for people to get help if only they allow themselves to be helped.
Here at Calling All Angels it is our belief that while people need an immediate assistance to get through their struggles – a hand up, if you will – but they can also get through the other side of these situations . . . with a little help. This is our goal of giving people a hand up.
A hand out followed by a hand up is the only way to lift people in need up so that they can survive on their own.
It is our firm belief, our hope, that we can be that hand out and hand up. That we can be an example to others to help those in need.
And I personally feel we are succeeding. So many people I interact with on a daily basis are out there helping their neighbors. They come to the shop and donate. They are helping us to help others. They come to the shop and buy. Again, helping us help others. And in some cases, those who shop are in need, which is why we keep our prices low enough for them to be able to get what they need and still be able to afford bills and food and rent.
Although we have come far in the short time – four and half years as of this writing – we still have so much more to go. Thus our Expansion Project. (Which you can read about later.) Through this project we can help so many more and we can inspire others to follow in the footprints we leave along the way.
A shop where we can offer so much more (especially furniture). A more environmentally friendly work space to entice more volunteers. An education center to teach people everything from new skills to healthier ways to eat and live. A congregate dining place to offer at least one or more meals a week to those unable to do for themselves in their present situation. And a temporary place for people to stay while they look for permanent housing so they don't have to be on the street (or in the woods, their cars, etc).
These are OUR dreams. These are OUR hopes.
Join us in our mission. Join us in helping others. Help us to help others. Its not just a good thing to do, its the right thing to do.
Thanks and see you next quarter.
WHATS GOING ON
Right now at the Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe in Milford, PA, we have lots of exciting things that not only help people directly but that help people over time.
We are currently having our Bag Sale. Thats up to 16 pieces of clothing (bathing suits not included) for just $16. We do this type of sale for a couple of reasons.
One, its popular. People like our bag sales. And we have tweaked them over the years, going from anything in the bag (which led to lots of torn bags from books or utensils to glasswear) to doing certain limitations or restrictions. We think we have found a nice balance right now.
We are re-doing our price list. Mostly because it does not list many summery thing like shorts and bathing suits and sandals. But it also reflects our increases in costs for such things as rent and utilities (both of which have gone up 5% and 30% respectively). Most items will remain the same, one or two will go up and some may go down. We are still working on it. In the meantime, the prices on the current list remain in force until we change them.
This is the part of the newsletter that will be discussing everything from small projects Lauren has in mind – like teaching people how to make infinity scarves to sell at shows – to coming up with the working plans for larger events, such as the the Awareness event we held in November 2015.
This month, Lauren is exploring the world of buttons and bracelets. Stop into the shop and see what she's been doing with them.
As always, we are in desperate need for volunteers. The corp group we have are very dedicated and incredible helpers (cleaners, organizers, customer assistance . . everyone has their expertise). They selflessly give of their time to help people they don't even personally know. Such a blessing to have them on our team.
But there are just so many hours in a day and just so many repetitive actions you can do before it starts to take its toll. Burnout is an inevitable outcome of too much work, too few workers.
So if you have a couple of days free, a few hours to spare, either on a regular ongoing basis or just once in a while, we need your help.
Email, call or just stop on by the thrift shop and let us know.
Also, we are in need of craft items – yarn, buttons, brushes, needles (knitting or crocheting) – in order to start teaching anyone who wants to learn some of the crafty skills even before we open our education center.
EXPANSION PROJECT UPDATE
For those unfamiliar with our Expansion Project, here is a quick rundown of our vision:
- To build an expanded store to handle all of our donations in a more easily discover-able format and a single level to accommodate our disabled and senior citizen patrons
- To incorporate a more environmentally friendly volunteer work area that is cleaner, climate controlled and organized so as to give our volunteers a better, safer place to work and to encourage more volunteerism for those who have said the environment is unsuitable for them,
- To build an education center that teaches healthier way to live, fiscal tutorials, skills education (to include GED classes, woodworking, sustainable gardening, painting, arts and crafts – all geared toward helping raise up people in need out of the situations they find themselves suffering through),
- To build a congregate dining hall,
- To build temporary housing so that homeless individuals and families have a transitional place to stay while we and our partners help them find permanent housing.
This multi-phase project will cost us from $500,000 to $5 million. And it will take several years to complete once we begin. We are raising funds through various events and specials (art auctions, candy sales, 10% of our credit sales, etc) as well as looking into charitable giving grants.
We always are looking for great ideas to help us raise money or to help us identify individuals or foundations who are in keeping with our goals of raising people up from their current situations and help them help themselves.
If you wish to donate or help, feel free to contact our thrift shop staff or any of our board members.
We can be reached at the Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe in Milford, PA, through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via our website at www.callingallangelsmission.com or through our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllAngelsMission/.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Lauren J Anderson, Executive Director / Proprietor
- Charles B Reynolds, Secretary/Treasurer / Shop Manager
- Penny M Werner, VP / Senior Volunteer Coordinator
HOW TO CONTACT US:
Calling All Angels
611 Broad Street
Milford, PA 18337
Phone Number: 570-409-6055
Email Address: email@example.com
To find out more about the outreach and the shop, please visit out Facebook pages and our websites.
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I WANT TO HELP.
PLEASE ACCEPT MY DONATION OF $_____________.
I CANNOT DONATE MONEY AT THIS TIME, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER MY TIME. I AM AVAILABLE ________________________________________________________.
I can be reached at phone _______________ or email _________________________________.
Detach and mail to: Calling All Angels, 611 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337