Discarded items may be taken to Auto Spa of Cleveland, 1505 Huff Ave., which is off South Lee Highway near the Dairy Kreme.
Company owner Ray Warner is accepting all material donations at the business site on behalf of the organization. Clothing and shoes cannot be accepted. Items will be stored for The Refuge (as it is sometimes called by clients) which is located in the Family Support Center on Blythe Avenue. The Refuge provides a variety of supportive and empowerment programs for families and children predominately in the neighborhoods of East Cleveland.
The Refuge’s staff and volunteers will be on-site at the Auto Spa to accept donated goods on Friday, April 20, from noon to 3 p.m., and on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to Kelli Kyle, director of Community Involvement for The Refuge Centre.
The organization’s fundraising yard sale — the second since the agency’s startup in East Cleveland — will be held the following weekend on Saturday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at T.J. Maxx on Paul Huff Parkway.
“Joe Buccellato, manager of T.J. Maxx, is once again providing his store property for us to raise funds for our organization,” Kyle said. “He started this last year and hoped it could become a yearly event. So far, it has become one.”
Although The Refuge Community Centre provides a variety of literacy, empowering and self-help services to neighborhood families, over the past year its outreach also has supported tornado survivors from the April 27, 2011, outbreak of storms that shredded their way through most of the Cleveland and Bradley County community.
Before the yard sale at T.J. Maxx, The Refuge staff and volunteers are busying themselves collecting salable items. This is the purpose of the Auto Spa collection point Friday and Saturday.
“Ray Warner and the Auto Spa came to know our organization through our Clean Cleveland project in February,” Kyle explained. “Since then, he has become a great supporter of our organization. He is generously allowing us to use one of his garages to store our yard sale items until the day of the event.”
Clean Cleveland is a regular initiative in which The Refuge staff and volunteers work on Saturdays to remove trash, litter and other tossed debris from East Cleveland neighborhoods, streets, road shoulders and ditches. The organization has established a partnership with Santek Waste Services to dispose of discarded tires at the Bradley County Landfill that have been collected through Clean Cleveland events. The tires are accepted at the landfill at reduced rates.
All donations to The Refuge yard sale are tax deductible. Directions to the Auto Spa include turning left onto Smith Avenue (at the Dairy Kreme, if traveling south on Lee Highway), and Huff Avenue is the second right off Smith.
Kyle said The Refuge is accepting any types of material donations for the yard sale at the drop-off site except for clothes and shoes. She invited area residents to donate their goods to the 501(c)(3) organization that is located in the very neighborhood (Blythe Avenue and East Cleveland) in which it targets its outreach.
“We hope this year’s yard sale will be even bigger than last year because just in a year’s time we have added many more programs, literacy courses and family-friendly events,” Kyle said. “These programs and events are provided for the community and they are supported through community fundraisers such as the yard sale.”
She added, “Our staff is volunteer and every penny we receive goes right back in to helping the community so every little bit helps.”
Kyle said the yard sale is providing multiple benefits. One, it is raising funds for a civic-minded program that believes in helping residents in need to help themselves by improving their literacy, job skills and self-esteem. Two, it is providing an accountable, trustworthy source for community donations. And three, it is giving Cleveland area families the inspiration to begin, and to complete, some long-needed spring cleaning.
Additional information about the collection point Friday and Saturday, or about the yard sale on April 28, may be obtained by calling 584-5211 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
More information about The Refuge Community Centre may be found by visiting the agency website at www.therefugecommunity.org.