Topic: News & Events

We Care 2017 Newsletter March 14, 2017 at 09:46AM

We Care 2017 Newsletter

WE CARE has been serving the Rhea County area since 1982 and has always endeavored to be open and transparent in everything we do. This past year (2016) has been the most challenging time period in our history. We were informed by the Tennessee Department of Revenue in March that we should have been collecting sales tax on everything we sell at both our Thrift Store and our Food Store with the exception of clothing and clothing related items. WE CARE thought this issue had been addressed and resolved back in the 1980's when we were informed by our State Senator that as long as all of our goods were donated then we didn't have to collect sales tax. Of course now that we know, we have been collecting sales tax since April and this has contributed to a decrease in store sales that has had a huge negative impact on our service programs. In addition, the State required us to provide them with sales data going back over four years after which, we were assessed a liability in excess of $ 300,000. Over a period of several months and with the assistance of State Senator Ken Yager and State Representative Ron Travis we were able to negotiate an offer of compromise for $ 5,000 which was accepted by the Department of Revenue. This money was subsequently donated by our Board of Directors in order to avoid having to pay it out of operating funds. So, gratefully, this issue has now been put behind us.

Then in October, we learned that our Food Pantry program was being suspended from our contract as a partner with the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (CAFB) for a period of at least six months. This notice came as a complete shock since we had just been inspected by the Food Bank two months before and were told that we were in good standing and within compliance of all policies and regulations. What led to the suspension was an allegation that we were selling donated foods. This, in fact, is not true at all. In addition, we were never given the opportunity to respond to this charge. We were simply suspended with no recourse. By way of explanation we just want to make clear that we have never required compensation or payment for food however, we did accept donations. These contributions were accepted and used to offset the cost of obtaining the food from CAFB, transporting back to Dayton and organizing it for distribution. We had a sign that read "The food you receive here is FREE however, your donation helps offset the cost of getting this food to you in this community" and those expenses are considerable. Even with our contributions, we still had to supplement nearly $25,000 to keep this program going. This situation has forced us to reduce our services in our Food Assistance program to providing emergency food assistance only because we do not have the finances to go out and pay either wholesale or retail prices for food. We are continuing to research resources that can help fill the void of not being able to partner with CAFB and are hopeful that a food resource program called King Foods might help in that regard. If you would like to know more about this program, please contact Laura Olmstead at (423) 775-1000 to find out how you can participate.

Both of these developments have put a significant strain on WE CARE as a whole but we are optimistic that better times are ahead. As Dr. Ring said, "we are going to keep working on this and doing our best to service the needs of our community. We just want to do whatever we can to make sure their needs are met and that we are empowering them to eventually be able to help themselves".

Alton Steen
General Manager

We Care Community Services and Thrift Store, Inc

We invite you to visit our friendly neighborhood thrift store located in the Food City shopping plaza. Merchandise is put out daily so you never know what you will find. You can donate your gently used items for resale, which will help fund our community service programs.

Our daily sales are posted and announced in the store for your convenience throughout the day. You can also visit our Facebook page at WE CARE THRIFT CENTER for a look at a few of our top selling items and possibly extra savings.

We have Senior Citizen discount day on Wednesdays for people over the age of sixty-five. It offers 10% off on non-sale or reduced items. If you don't have a card already, please ask for details.

WE CARE is dedicated to serving our community. Please show your support by visiting our store.

Pam Debes
Thrift Store Manager

Safe Haven and Dani's Dream Transitional Shelter

We Care has had a very busy year. Our Safe Haven Light Transitional Shelter for families with children and Dani's Dream Transitional Shelter for Adults have been in full operation and occupied to capacity nearly every single night of the year. We have seen a 97% success rate or our residents moving into permanent stable housing. WOW!! We have been blessed with a grant recently to restock our home with necessary items. We have also been partnering with area Youth Groups and Sunday Schools in our worship centers to help around the house with clean up, restock, etc. We are very pleased and thrilled that we have been able to help our most vulnerable population for so many years. Thanks for your support of this community.

Our annual golf tournament which helps fund these programs, is on April 26th this year, will be at the Dayton Golf and Country Club. If you would like to sponsor a hole or participate in this tournament contact Laura Olmstead at 423-775-1000 for more information.

Laura Olmstead
Director of Food and Housing Programs

Food Programs

One in 5 Americans faces food insecurity. For some Rhea county residents it is too often a reality they must face. We Care is constantly trying to evolve and expand our available services. Even in the face of our own struggles to find food sources.
We have 3 programs we operate at under the food service umbrella.

Our Friendly Budget Market which consists of aftermarket wholesale food, pet food and household items. We purchase a semi-truck of these items approximately every 6 to 8 weeks. We then go to work preparing and pricing these items as low as possible to be a service to our community. Our mission is to make this food available to help families stretch their already minimal dollar to the fullest.

Our Food Pantry which is our emergency food assistance program; where we help qualified Rhea County residents who are in need of emergency food. We have partnered with Jackson Farm and Wooden's Apple House to provide free produce to residents during the produce season.

We also are partners with King Foods Ministry. King Foods is a faith-based organization offering pre-boxed restaurant quality food packages for 40-60% less than store prices. One of our main family boxes is designed to feed a family of four for about a week or a single person for a month. New menus each month may also include convenience meals, bulk meat specials, kid's boxes and more! No income requirements, order limitations or applications!

We Care Food Programs strive to continually serve our community for many more years to come.

Laura Olmstead
Director of Food and Housing Programs

We Care's 5th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament January 31, 2017 at 01:49PM


Golf 2017

April 26, 2017

Dayton Golf and Country Club

315 Payne Lane

Evensville, TN 37332

Registration:  7:30 AM and 11:30 AM
Tee-Off:         8:00 AM and 1:00 PM
Lunch:           11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Entry Fee:   $60.00 per person
                     $240.00 per team
(4 players) Includes lunch, Cart and
Green Fees, Four person select shot

Mulligan's Available:  $5.00

Red Tees:  $5.00

Prizes will be given for the Longest
Drive, Longest Put & Closest to the

1st Place     $400.00
2nd Place   $200.00
3rd Place   $100.00
Gift Bags,
and Putter and Driver!
Putter and Driver.jpg

Hole in One Big Prizes!

Hole Sponsor:  $60.00
Hole Sponsor and Team:  $280.00
Rain Date May 3rd

We Care Community Services has been serving Rhea County for over 30 years, helping over 10,000 people annually.  It continues to be our mission to do everything we can to serve the needs in our community.  In the past year, we have assisted homeless families with children through our Safe Haven Light Home in Spring City and individuals and couples in our Micro Home in Dayton.  All of this is made possible through your support and participation in this Golf Tournament.  Since our last event, we have helped 59 individuals who stayed 2,798 nights in our shelters.  This year, in addition to our homeless programs, a portion of the money raised will go to benefit our Food Assistance Program in our Food Pantry.  It is through events like this that we are able to continue serving our people right here at home.

For more information, to sponsor a team and/or hole, please contact:

 Alton Steen:  423-775-4333 or 423-280-1380
Laura Olmstead:  423-775-1000

2015 We Care Charity Golf Tournament May 20, 2015 at 12:23PM

golf tournament 2015

Recently We Care Community Services held it's 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament. It was a beautiful day. With great music, food and people. Due to it's success we are able to continue serving some area homeless through our Micro home and Safe Haven Light. Furthermore it will aid us in expanding our homeless services. We could not do any of this without the help and support of this wonderful community. Please take a moment to look through the list of our wonderful area supporters! A Giant thanks goes out to each and every one of them.

Hole Sponsors

· Money Concepts
· Hi-Tech Tire, Inc
· Gladys Best
· Dillard Construction
· Napa Auto Parts of Dayton, Inc
· Edward Jones Financial
· Airxcel Suburban Manufacturing
· Sam Houston/TVA
· Bright Beginnings Child Care
· Logan Family Medicine
· City of Graysville
· Title Ins Company of Dayton
· Douglas Automotive
· Dayton Collision Center
· Platinum Salon & Spa, Shauntelle Hunter
· B.E. Lenior, DDS
· Robert Runyun
· Coldwell Banker
· River County Association Realtors
· J.W. and Ina Ring
· Rhea Medical Center
· Jerry’s Service Center
· Spring City Pharmacy
· Doris Watson
· Rocky Creek Company
· Keener Marketing
· Piggly Wiggly
· TAG Manufacturing, Terry Wilt
· John & Loretta Dourte
· Vanderwall Funeral Home
· Coulter Garrison Funeral Home
· Ellie’s Catfish
· Kimmie & Joe Randolph
· Scenicland Pest Control
· Bitler Bistro
· Regions Bank
· MMA Institute
· Blue Water Campground
· Eagle Exxon
· Sale Creek Self Storage & DW’s Motorcycle Accessories
· Jeff Yost
· South Rhea Animal Hospital
· CG Farm’s Meat Market
· Mattress Nook
· Benchmark Physical Therapy
· ERA Blue Key Spring City
· Bailey Reed Motors
· Specs in the City
· J & L Market
· Clark Heating and Air
· SouthEast Bank
· City of Dayton
· Professional Therapy Services
· Trowell Plumbing
· General Shale
· Ogden Rd Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders
· Steve Wimberly
· FB First Bank
· Risk Sharpe State Farm Ins
· Ron Travis
· Guy & Zama Denton
· Corner Market / Sue Ann’s
· Lifecare Center’s of America
· The Veranda Assisted Living
· Hassler Drugs, Inc
· McDonalds
· Travel Agency of Dayton

Gift Certificates and Gifts

· Burton Family
· Long John Silver’s
· Mane Attraction
· French’s Shoes
· Ayala’s Mexican Restaurant
· The Veranda Assisted Living
· Ayala’s Bar & Grill
· Stan’s Pharmacy
· Johnson’s Tiger Rock Academy
· Stiles Hair Salon
· Shear Strength Salon
· Hardee’s, Spring City
· Sweet Things Spring City
· Delia’s Mexican Restaurant
· Pond & Plants
· McDonalds
· Sherwin Willaims
· Advance Auto Parts
· Pizza Hut
· Express Lube
· Rent A Center
· Tri-County Quilters
· Winstead’s American Grill
· Paint the Town
· Dayton Drug & Wellness
· Donna Donavan Personal Trainer
· Smith and Grun Lawn Mowing
· La Hacienda Restaurant
· Charlie Roger’s Ford
· Huddle House
· Unique Hair
· Transmission’s Plus
· Gondalier Restaurant
· MoMo’s BBQ
· Lacey J’s Dance Studio
· You-niQue Cuisine
· Dayton Coffee Shop
· Bimbo’s Restaurant
· Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant
· Dayton Flower Box
· Market Street Café
· Rhea Floral
· Karla’s Kreations
· Academy Sports

· Donna Donavan
· Amanda Burton
· Faye Steen
· Linda & Joe Purser
· Jane Stultz & Neal Stultz
· Guy Denton
· Doris Watson
· Lorelie Whittington
· Karla Grun
· Kelly Ward

· TAG Manufacturing
· Farm Bureau Ins
· McCosh Landscaping
· Clark Heating & Air
· Airxcel Suburban Manufacturing
· La_Z-Boy
· Community National Bank
· City of Dayton
· Atlas Gym
· Professional Therapy Services
· River Valley AG Credit
· Mike Neal / Sheriff’s Dept
· First Bank of Tennessee
· RBA Construction
· Purser Insurance Agency

· Neal Stultz + Team
· Ray Talley / North Dayton Animal Hospital
· Nick & Kerry Nunley + team
· Rick Smith + team
· Goin’s Heat and Air
· 84 Lumbar
· Spec’s in the City
· ERA BlueKey Hixson
· Pacesetter Construction
· David Beard + team

Special Thanks

· Jim Hall Rhea County Fair for preparing the incredible food, just delicious

· Mt Leconte Jug Band for the awesome music everyone loved it

We Care Community Services Golf Tournament Benefit for Area Homeless March 03, 2015 at 09:59AM

golf tournament 2015




April 22, 2015

Dayton Golf and Country Club

315 Payne Lane

Evensville, TN 37332


We Care Community Services has been serving Rhea County for over 30 years, helping over 10,000 people annually.  We continur to strive to grow to meet the needs in our local community.  In the past year we have assisted homeless families with children through our Safe Haven Home in Spring City.  We have opened and been assisting homeless individuals in transition through our first Micro Home, Dani's Dream.  This very Golf Tournament made much of this happen.  (Thanks to everyone who will return.)  We have already begun the process of building our second micro home with the great help and partnership of Rhea County High School.  We still plan and have hopes to create affordable housing for seniors and veterans in our area in the future.  It is through events like this that we are able to continue to serve the people right here at home in need.


The money collected stays in Rhea County to support the programs of We Care Community Services.  Make plans today to assemble a team, sponsor a team, or become a hole sponsor.


Registration: 11:30 am

Tee-Off:  1:00 pm

Lunch:  11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Entry Fee:  $60.00 per person

                 $240.00 per team

(4 players)  Includes lunch, Cart and Green Fees, Four person select shot.

Mulligan's Available:  $5.00

Putting Contest:  3 Balls $5.00

Red Tees:  $5.00

Hole Sponsor:  $60.00

Hole Sponsor and Team:  $280.00


1st Place    $400.00

2nd Place  $200.00

3rd Place  $ 100.00

Longest Drive and Closest to the hole prize

Door Prizes

Rain Date April 29, 2015

For more information, to sponsor a team and/or hole please contact:

Alton Steen:  423-775-4333 or 423-280-1380


Laura Olmstead:  423-775-1000


We Care Housing Expansion January 19, 2015 at 07:45AM

We Care aims to expand efficient housing program for the homeless

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 2:38 pm

The holidays may have come and gone, but the work of We Care keeps the spirit of Christmas alive 365 days a year.

We Care is a community social services agency focused on empowerment by “Helping people help themselves.”

The leadership of Dr. Walter Ring provided the vision and compassion to inspire community leaders to recognize needs within our area and to explore possibilities for meeting those needs.

The We Care organization, which began in 1982 with a thrift store to provide affordable clothing, has expanded to include a food pantry; a food club for purchasing groceries, emergency, transitional and specialized housing; counseling; and emergency assistance programs.

Thousands of local individuals are assisted each year through We Care’s programs.

Two additions to the organization’s housing programs are providing vital services to our community.

Dani’s Dream, the micro house located on Beltz Lane off Highway 30 near the We Care offices, opened in the fall of 2014 as transitional housing for Rhea Countians who are temporarily displaced.

The house is now home to its second cycle of residents. After living with friends and then for a time in their automobile, the first residents of Dani’s Dream found respite there while they both regained employment and were able to find affordable housing.

The director of housing, Laura Olmstead, predicts a two to three month cycle for residents as they renew control of their circumstances.

The micro house was a gift to We Care from an individual who planned to complete the structure for her personal residence, but because of zoning restrictions, was blocked from placing the house on her property.

She knew of the work of We Care and offered it to the organization. Her offer followed notification from the Dayton Housing Authority that their building used for many years for transitional housing was needed for permanent housing by local families.

The two separate events lead to the decision to complete the micro house for use as transitional housing.

The 208-square-foot house includes a kitchen, bathroom, living room and sleeping facilities.

We Care owns property adequate for the placement of six to nine micro houses. A revised floor plan will allow for additional sleeping space in future structures.

The architectural plans have been drawn by Kyle Haston, vice-president of design for Jasper Highland Homes.

The model for self-sustainability of the micro house community calls for longer term renting of some of the houses in order to defray the expense of those houses used for short term transitional housing.

We Care plans to partner with the Career and Technology Education Department at Rhea County High School to begin construction of the second micro house.

In a recent meeting, Rhea County High School Principal Jesse Messimer, RCHS Assistant Principal Sheila Massengill and We Care General manager Alton Steen discussed the memorandum of agreement between Rhea County High School and We Care to provide student labor and teacher supervision to do the initial framing and wiring in building the shell of the structure.

Plumbing and other finishing tasks will be completed on site after the house is set on its foundation on Beltz Lane.

“[The construction plan is a] win-win situation for students and for the community,” Massengill said. “Teachers will follow state [instructional] standards for their carpentry classes and students will get valuable learning experiences.”

“[The community can get involved by donating] time, materials, contributions and construction skills,” Steen said. “We would love for a church group to have a local mission project to help complete the micro house this summer. We would appreciate a donation of materials or money for purchase of supplies or furnishings for the house.”

Steen also stated that We Care will sponsor a golf tournament in April with all proceeds going to the transitional housing projects.

The second new housing opportunity is Safe Haven Light.

The house, located in Spring City, opened in the summer of 2014. It is serving as temporary shelter for displaced families that have young children. Leslie Pruett is the resident director of the facility.

Applications for both transitional housing facilities are available at the We Care office located in the Bridgeman Building at 1273 Dayton Mountain Highwy.

We Care is governed by a board of local volunteers. The board employs staff members who provide professional and managerial services.

All contributions to We Care are tax deductible.

The largest percentage of We Care revenue comes from the sale of items at the thrift store.

Donations of gently used items of clothing or households goods for re-sale are welcomed at the We Care Thrift Store located in the Bi-Lo shopping center.

When discussing We Care’s housing projects, board chairman Guy Denton expressed an immediate need for funds for building materials for the second micro house.

While emergency housing for displaced individuals is identified as the most urgent need, the board is already looking to the future with a goal of building a senior adult village.

Members of The University of Tennessee College of Architecture have presented a rendering showing a proposed design for the village.

Another vision in the concept development stage is a Village for Veterans, a community of micro houses to serve housing needs of homeless veterans.

Steen is available to speak to any group about the micro housing project or about We Care in general. He can be reached at the We Care office at (423) 775-4333.

(This story was posted from the Rhea Herald News Facebook Page  http://www.rheaheraldnews.com/news/article_3f8c6444-9db7-11e4-8b7f-3fc4d1a56009.html)