Blog & Updates
|Posted on July 12, 2016 at 4:45 PM|
Quarterly Newsletter VOLUME 2, 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
Just wanted to take the moment to welcome Robert Abbott to both the board and to the staff at Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe. Robert has helped us on and off for the past few years. He is now on board in a more permanent basis. He will be working at the shop on Mondays (as well as mst other days as well). So stop on by and welcome him.
To Find Out More, visit us on the internet: www.callingallangelsmission.com
WHATS GOING ON
The Small Business Administration's Mission Statement reads “The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.”
Despite this stated purpose of the SBA, big business still has such a stranglehold on the American economy that our biggest issues in this country revolve around the shrinking of the middle class, arguments about minimum wages and the outrageous cost of healthcare.
Jobs, despite government claims to the contrary, are also not sustainable for today's workforce. Not only did high paying jobs go by the wayside, medium paying jobs were also cut in favor of replacing them with multiple low hour jobs so that employers can reduce their healthcare costs per employee. So these minimum wage arguments do not hold water nor do the abundance of jobs the government claims were created. People cannot live on the low wage, low hours jobs. Where one job was sufficient to pay the bills, healthcare costs and set food on the table, workers are now forced to either take more than one job or cut areas that cannot really afford to be cut.
Parents are finding themselves forced to get fast food instead of making nutritious meals, thinking that they don't have the time, money or resources to do this.
For these reasons, we are attempting to raise money for an education center as the focal point of our expansion project.
This center, which will be free for participants, will offer classes on skills – such as woodworking, painting, ceramics, crafting – in order to help them bring finances into the home. Plus we will offer training on sustainable gardening and healthy eating / healthy living. We want to teach people how to make the most of their finances. And we are looking to bring in GED classes and seminars on everything from resume creation to developing good interview skills. And we are going to ask the SBA to come in and help our students learn about creating their own small businesses.
A side benefit of these classes are to give our young people something to do other than hang out on the corner or sit idly in the dark playing video games. And in doing so, offer them hope for a future that may seem bleak to them at times with all that is doing on in our world to steal it away.
From the seed of this center will grow responsible families, living within their means while being productive members of our community. Financial stability of the populace creates economic stability to the region. Increasing those interested in the arts and the development of small businesses will also create an economic stability to a region who depends on tourism dollars to survive.
We will be reaching out to school students, seniors, veterans and those with disabilities.
Along with the money needed to build this center, we will be needing funds for everything from supplies to instructors (some of these have offered to do this on a voluntary basis, but for long term projections we need to be ready to pay). We already receive donations of these types of craft supplies on an irregular basis at the thrift shop. And we will be using these. But we are realistic to know that we will need more.
Your donations are greatly needed on a one time (for capital purchase and construction / renovation) and for on-going costs (supplies, salaries, utilities, insurance).
For an expansion project that will cost at the minimum of $500,000, we have already raised over $4000 from such programs as candy sales, in store donations and art auctions.
But this is not enough for a need we have right now. To raise the funds completely using these types of donations would take us 119 years. We need your help now in reaching our goals for the educations center.
Upon completion of the education center expansion, we will be creating a congregate dining hall, a location for our local food pantry, and – eventually – a place to temporarily house those who find themselves homeless so they can gather their finances and reconcile their situations to find permanent housing (though our partnership with Hands of Hope).
As a condition of the latter goal, we want to continue our core belief that a hand out is useless without a supporting hand up, those who make use of such housing will be required to volunteer – to give back – with one of our internal outreaches or with one of our partner charities.
All funds donated prior to a location purchase and renovations will go directly to our expansion account and are not used for paying bills.
We need your help. And we are not too proud to offer any large donors ($100,000 or more) to name parts of our physical location or programs in their honor or in the the name of someone they wish to dedicate their donation to. (Obviously decorum must prevail on such naming.)
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 paper craft. You may see paper flowers adorning our walls soon.
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.
We always need clean, non-stained, non-torn clothing both for sale and for use by those we help out here. Currently we are not taking Christmas items or winter clothing. We will resume taking these items sometime in the fall.
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:
- Expand the store and workroom
- Build an education center
- To build a congregate dining hall,
- To build temporary housing
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.facehttps://www.gofundme.com/t75hasbook.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
Robert Abbott, Facilities Chairperson / Shop Assistant Manager
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