In a move to best define the nonprofit organization’s mission and to better establish its community identity, the agency’s name is being shortened to just “The Refuge,” and its logo has been redesigned to further set it apart from other organizations.
“We have been contemplating a logo change for a while now,” according to Kelli Kyle, director of Community Involvement for The Refuge. “We have discussed this with our board and the members have agreed we need a new look that will make us stick out as our own entity.”
The old logo showed the silhouette of a house in the background and a four-member family with arms outstretched to the sides, along with the wording “The Refuge Community Centre.” The standalone logo told the agency’s story; however, it was similar to the Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland Inc. logo that shows a three-member family with arms in the air framed by a roof and one wall, with the agency name underneath.
The new logo for The Refuge shows the silhouette of one person, arms outstretched, with a red heart drawn in just above the wording of the agency’s new name.
“We feel now that we have our own look it will represent us and what we do more than our previous logo,” Kyle explained. “We have been looking at different logos and we fell in love with this one. It is more simple yet symbolic, as we exist to help people.”
She quoted The Refuge’s director, Dr. Terry Johns, who she said often says of the organization’s work, “We serve others, not because they have a need but because we love them as God loves us.”
Of the new logo’s message to the community, Kyle explained, “The person represents the people and the heart represents love, so when we saw it ... we felt it perfectly fit The Refuge and everything we stand for.”
Shortening the agency’s name to just The Refuge became more of a natural transition based on community perception.
“Our name seems to have become ‘The Refuge’ over the past year any way,” Kyle pointed out. “The community often refers to us as ‘The Refuge’ so you might say we are changing it by popular demand. Obviously, it wasn’t a demand, but ‘The Refuge’ does seem to be more catchy and easier to remember.”
But only the logo and the name have changed. Everything else stays the same, including the critical programming that came to East Cleveland neighborhoods more than two years ago and continues to grow.
The Refuge is among several nonprofit organizations located inside the Family Support Center located on Blythe Avenue. Formerly the old Blythe Avenue Elementary School, the building was purchased and remodeled by the Family Resource Agency, a United Way member agency. Other services operating from the Family Support Center are the New Hope Pregnancy Center, the BICC (Bradley Initiative for Church & Community) Credit Union, Head Start, a Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland satellite and Circuit Court offices for the 10th Judicial District.
“We want to make sure the community knows that although our outside appearance is changing, everything is still the same on the inside — same staff, same services, same website and same location,” Kyle stressed.
The Refuge’s community programming is diverse and has continued to grow since the agency’s East Cleveland inception.
Programs currently offered include:
- A Refuge Community Christmas: Parents pick out new toys and items for their children.
- Clean Cleveland: Volunteers pick up trash, including recyclables, in the East Cleveland area.
- Computer Literacy: Training provided in Microsoft Word, Excel and Internet navigation; certificates of completion given.
- CPR Literacy & AED Certification: Taught by SkyRidge Medical Center nurses with certification through the American Heart Association.
- Financial Literacy: Information on bank fees, loan awareness, budgeting, and checking and savings accounts.
- Prenatal Literacy: Infant care and CPR, prenatal exercises and preparation.
- School Supply Provision: Backpack filled with school supplies for students in grades K-12; backpack cost is $1 with proceeds going into the next year’s program.
- Typing Tutor: Instruction on typing or improving typing skills and speed; certification of completion provided showing words-per-minute.
- College & Grant Application Assistance: Help provided in filling out any of these forms.
- Job Search: Help provided in finding a job; list provided each week with updates on job openings.
- Housing List: Lists maintained of affordable apartments, mobile homes and rental homes in Cleveland area.
- Referral Services: Referrals to appropriate agencies that can best accommodate a family’s need.
- Resume Writing: Instruction on completing a resume for job searches and opportunities.
- Welcome Newborn: In partnership with SkyRidge Medical Center, totes of baby supplies are given to new mothers.
“The Refuge exists to help families and individuals maintain sustainability,” Kyle said. “We do this through our many programs, projects and events serving the whole family from infants to adults through a personal long-term relationship.”
She added, “Our services are centered on a wholistic approach addressing social, economic, physical and spiritual concerns.”
Kyle pointed out The Refuge provides its array of literacy classes for a significant reason.
“We want to educate the community in many different ways ... because we believe knowledge is power,” she explained. “With this extra knowledge our families can improve their livelihoods. We assist, motivate and educate the whole family so that we may help them end the cycle of poverty.”
A Christmas Note:
“A Refuge Community Christmas” will kick off Nov. 1. This will be the agency’s first public event to use the new logo and agency name. The new logo and name will appear on the agency’s “Fill A Child’s Heart” campaign in which donations may be made at several community partners including T.J. Maxx, Cici’s Pizza, American Trust (both locations), First State Finance and Southern Roots Hair Salon.
“We will still have our toy donation barrels out as well, but our heart donation sales are a great new fundraiser this year,” Kyle cited. “We are also going to have them at our booth at the Apple Festival (weekend of Oct. 20-21).”
Last year, A Refuge Community Christmas gave two new toys each to 459 children, as well as provided items at a tent sale that parents could buy for their children at greatly reduced prices. Proceeds from this sale are being used to help with this year’s Christmas project.
“Our School Supply program needs increased greatly this year for the start of the new school year so we’re expecting the same for A Refuge Community Christmas,” Kyle stressed.
Additional details about the Christmas projects will be announced soon.
More information about the holiday initiative, any of the agency programs, how to register as a volunteer or about The Refuge and its new name and logo may be obtained by calling 423-584-5211 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.