We Care Community Services is now participating in the AmazonSmile program. The information below tells how to sign up. It also explains how and what you can purchase for charitable donation. If you would like for We Care Community Services to be your charity, just follow the steps below and become a sponsor to your community. Thank you for your support.
Click here to check out the AmazonSmile facebook page.
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.
Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
Can I change my charity?
Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”
What charities can I choose from?
You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.
What if my selected charity does not register to participate in the AmazonSmile program or becomes ineligible?
If an organization does not register to participate or becomes ineligible, you will have a chance to select a different organization or we will redistribute donations earned among other organizations receiving donations.
If I represent a charitable organization, how can I learn more about registering my organization for AmazonSmile?
Go to org.amazon.com to learn how to register your organization to receive donations.
How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.
Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?
Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.
We Care Community Services Golf Tournament Benefit for Area Homeless March 03, 2015 at 09:59AM
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
Rain Date April 29, 2015
For more information, to sponsor a team and/or hole please contact:
We Care Housing Expansion January 19, 2015 at 07:45AM
We Care aims to expand efficient housing program for the homeless
We Care Housing Director Laura Olmstead, left, and General Manager Alton Steen, right, review the new floor plan for We Care’s next micro house.
Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 2:38 pm
By Becky Tucker
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.
January 2015 Newsletter January 13, 2015 at 02:14PM
The year 2014 has now passed into our rear view mirror and we are excitedly entering into a new year with great anticipation and
expectations for a very productive year. The past year was quite an eventful one here at WE CARE and we hope that it was a good and
positive year for each and every one of you. I would like to share some of the highpoints from last year with you.
We started out the year organizing and promoting our first annual golf tournament to raise funds for our Micro House project which will
consist of a small community of “Tiny Homes” serving displaced families or individuals with temporary transitional shelter. The tournament
was a great success with local businesses and individuals making it possible for us to raise $ 5,000.00. At about the same time we had an
unnamed individual donate $ 10,000.00 to this project under the condition that we match that amount within twelve months. That was
accomplished in two months and this really gave us a strong jump start on moving this project forward. So, with enough money in the bank,
we moved forward and finished our first TINY HOUSE and had our grand opening ceremonies in August. We are now trying to get enough
money on hand to proceed with the next house. We welcome anyone who would like to help out with this project to contact either Alton
Steen or Laura Olmstead at the WE CARE offices.
SAFE HAVEN LIGHT was also brought on line this past year, initially to provide a local safe and stable home for children caught up in a
parent’s poor choices. After obtaining a license from the state and trying to operate the program for nearly a year, it became clear to the
Board of Directors that, due to the fact that we were receiving no reimbursement from the state for this level of care and that the local
demand for this type of housing did not rise to expected levels, we would have to redefine the services provided through this facility.
Therefore, SAFE HAVE LIGHT is now serving as a temporary shelter for displaced families that have young children. We are extremely
blessed to have Leslie Pruett serving as resident director.
In October we hosted a SAFE HAVEN LIGHT 5K run/walk in combination with a music festival which raised over $ 1,500.00. For a first time
event we had a lot of positive feedback from participants as well as attendees. So, the plans are to sponsor another similar event this fall
with the hopes of increasing our runner participation from the 70 this past October to at least 150 runners this coming Fall.
In December WE CARE partnered with a local business man from Charlie Rogers Ford to hold a Christmas Party for several needy families
from Rhea County. Santa was there along with his helpers providing food, refreshments and a pile of gifts for all the children as well as the
parents. All the parents
involved expressed their heartfelt appreciation for a Christmas that they otherwise would not have experienced. So, we want to give a great
big SHOUT OUT to Brian Smith for all of his efforts to make this event a reality for these families.
We have a lot of exciting events coming up this year – Our Golf Tournament in April, the River Run in May, the 5K Run/Walk in the Fall,
building another Hope Home sometime this year and of course, building our second Micro House for the homeless. Please continue to watch
for further details on all of these events in the near future and we solicit your involvement and help in the way of financial contributions,
materials and supplies, and whatever time you may be able to volunteer.
Laura Olmstead~ We Care Food, Shelter and Housing Programs
Wow it is 2015. As most of you I am still writing 2014. We have had a very eventful busy year. We have had some great events to benefit our homeless in the area. We have so far had two families in our Micro Home for the homeless with great outcomes.
We have been helping families with children in our Spring City location, under the careful and watchful eye of the awesome Leslie Pruitt. At this time Leslie is quite ill and the shelter is not in operation. We all continue to pray and wish Leslie well. She has really made Safe Haven such a great success through these families.
Our food programs continue to operate at full throttle. In recent months we finally acquired and assembled the final shelving needed in the Food Club. It looks awesome. We hope to continue to grow and improve in 2015.
This upcoming year we have so many hopes and goals in mind. We continue to serve the community the best way possible, and have different projects on our plate to continue to be Rhea County’s Community Service Provider. With the current news of a local manufacturer closing and moving to another state, it is our goal to prepare the best we can for those families who will be in need when this takes place.
From the desk of Ina Ring: We Care Thrift Center Director
We look forward to a new year with exciting possibilities. The Thrift Store is here to serve and benefit the community. We depend on you to help us do this. We continue to appreciate your quality donations which are vital to our existence. In addition, we need your input and suggestions as to how we can better provide what you need. I'm talking about constructive, specific ideas. We're all human so it is easy to notice and voice the things we do not like. (Specifically, we've heard our pricing of some items needs adjusting. We are working on that.)
I'm sure there are other issues some of you would like to address. We want you to do that, but in a constructive way. Unless you communicate directly with us we are sometimes unaware of what needs to be addressed. Call (423-775-6595), e-mail (email@example.com) or come by to talk with a manager. We will welcome your comments. Remember we need specifics, not generalities. We need constructive dialogue.
Also, don't hesitate to let us know what you feel we're doing right. We're human too and appreciate a little affirmation every now and then.
By working together, we can be a powerful force to enable individuals and families to better care for themselves.
As the saying goes “ You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” But we will never stop trying...
October 2014 Newsletter October 20, 2014 at 03:11PM
Time has really been slipping away and here we are already in the middle of October. This is my second most favorite time of the year. I love the fall color changes, the cool nights and early mornings, and the myriad of fall festivals that abound all around our region. One thing I don’t like is the time change that is lurking just around the corner.
As most of you are aware, we finished our first MICRO HOUSE for the homeless back in August and we are pleased to announce that we currently have a family staying in the house and it is working out wonderfully. We want to thank everyone that has had a part in making this house a reality – we could not have done this without you. We are moving forward as quickly as possible to start our next one, but of course, we can only do that as we have the funds available. So, be on the lookout here in this newsletter space to see how you can participate with us to make this possible.
Happy cooler weather all!
It has been a very busy, long summer. I feel like it has been non-stop since March. We have made such combined efforts to have successful events and complete our first micro home. Thanks to having a great support system, we have had a good run.
The food programs have been very busy. We made some changes to be in better compliance. Change is hard, but this change, as most are, has been a positive one. We have a new person on board. Everyone come in and welcome Jackie. She has been working hard to bring her talents to the store, and the store looks amazing. Alton's wife Faye has volunteered with us some. She has really cleaned this place up. I was out over a week on vacation, which was very stressful, but I am back and ready to move forward.
We have helped a family with three children in our Safe Haven Home. They are doing amazing. We have finished our micro home and have a very kind resident who works at Goodman's. He is doing amazing. We are so happy to be able to provide this service.
We had our Safe Haven 5K run and Music Festival. It was a fun and successful day. I am so thankful for Leslie and Katrina for making it all happen. Thanks to the Watts Bar Yacht Club for always supporting us.
Laura Olmstead - We Care Food, Shelter, and Housing Programs
From the Desk of Pamela Debes
It is time again for our Customer Appreciation Week. Begginning October 27th through November 1st, the thrift store will be having weekly and daily specials throughout the store. Our Christmas stock also comes out onto the shelves the first day of Customer Appreciation. We have a large selection of decorations, stocking stuffers, and trees. The last day, November 1st, we will have a drawing to give away prizes. This year they are in the form of in-store Gift Certificates. Our grand prize will be a $100.00 Gift Certificate. We hope this will benefit the people who regularly shop here.
We have this event every year around this time to show our customers how much we appreciate their support of We Care's services. Your purchases here are the main funding for our programs which help individuals and families in our community. Come on in and browse!
With the cooler air, it reminds us that our clocks will be turned back soon. Our winter store hours take effect when the time changes. On November 3rd, our winter hours will be as follows: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 7:00pm. The Saturday hours will remain the same, 9:00am to 5:00pm. I hope to see you there!
5k Fun Run/ Music and Craft Festival Success October 08, 2014 at 12:38PM
We Care 5k and Fun Run / Music Festival in Spring City this Saturday, October 4th.
All proceeds went towards Safe Haven Light House in Spring City, and to provide support for We Care's fight against homelessness throughout Rhea County.
Lots of fun at we cares charity music fest! Loved seeing some friends and making new ones! Monkeys of all different kinds were everywhere lol. First craft fair experience was a success.
Thanks to Sweet Things & More and Old Mother's Cupboard for your time and delicious sweet things you baked up. Thanks so much.
I want to thank Blue Key Real Estate for coming out. Donating all your time, work, food and 100% of the money raised from food sales to We Care Safe Haven Light! !!! Thanks so so much to the Blue Key Group!
"I am so fortunate to work with these fine and caring folk's. Thank you all so much!!!!", said Gary Venice.
"I am not sure how many people helped out with the SHL 5k run, Music Festival, and craft fair, but I am greatful to everyone who helped, everyone who gave, everyone who participated, and all who continually support our efforts to support others.", said Laura Olmstead, Director of the We Care Food, Shelter and Housing Programs.
We Care SHL 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run/ Vendor and Music Festival October 01, 2014 at 10:04AM
We Care announces Fun Run / Walk at Music Festival in Spring City to Kick off the Fall Season
Dayton, TN — We Care Community Services has lined up a fun-filled day for the entire family to kick off the Fall Season at Spring City Nature Park on Saturday, October 4. The day will begin with a 5k Run / 1 Mile Fun Run / Walk with registration at 8am. The run will be followed by a music festival which will feature some of the most talented musicians in the area playing from 1pm – 6pm.
All Proceeds will go to benefit the local homeless services provided by We Care Community Services through the Safe Haven Light Home and Dani’s Dream Transitional Care. This is a charitable event to prepare for the upcoming influx of homeless needs throughout the colder months and the rise of awareness of youth homelessness during the school year. The We Care organization continues within their capacity to serve those in need in Rhea County. Each year as students begin back to school their situations are more evident through teacher and staff reporting.
We Care’s mission is “Helping people, help themselves.” And that they’ve done. We Care has recently assisted three families with children through the Safe Haven Lighthouse in Spring City and are happy to report all have transitioned into permanent housing.
There work doesn’t stop there. The group expects to have another youth by the end of the week. These are but a few examples of lives helped by proceeds raised. Get involved now and join the fun at Nature’s Park in Spring City. Participants can register for the Fun Run / Walk at the following link – http://bit.ly/1xnZQog.
Registration starts at 8:00 am, 1 Mile Fun Start at 8:45 am, and 9:00 am 5k Run Start. Serious runners will be happy to know this is a timed event. Applications are also available at We Care Food Pantry or call 423-775-1000 for more information.
We Care encourages all vendors to join in the fun as well. If you are a vendor that would like to setup your booth at the festival, call Laura at 423-775-1000 or Leslie at 423-435-8324.
Vendor applications can be picked up at We Care Food Pantry in Dayton and Rocky Top in Spring City.
We Care June 2014, Newsletter June 24, 2014 at 10:34AM
I have now been here as the general manager of WE CARE for just over six months and it has been very rewarding to me to be associated with this organization and its’ Board of Directors. I am inspired by the board’s commitment and dedication to serving the residents of Rhea County. Also, as I observe the employees that work for WE CARE in its various programs, whether at the THRIFT CENTER, the FOOD PANTRY or other areas, I am in awe of their unselfish and committed attitudes as they perform their various duties. What a privilege it is to serve with such a wonderful group of people!
In our last news letter, I mentioned the challenges that we face in keeping the SAFE HAVEN LIGHT program viable. For the last couple of months we have not had enough money either from donations or our general operating budget to meet our salary commitments to the house parents at the home. As a result of that situation, the house parents have chosen to move out of the facility and pursue other endeavors. Without a doubt, this is a very unfortunate situation and we are very grateful to Randy and Patricia Schmittendorf for their commitment to making this program succeed. They had worked continuously there, with no time off, since last November. As they leave, we pray that God will continue to guide and bless them where ever His plan leads them. Thank you, Randy and Patricia, for your unselfish service. So, at this moment Safe Haven Light does not have full time house parents. Therefore, we will endeavor to keep the program viable, for now, by utilizing volunteers, as needed, when we have a request for a child placement. This situation is necessitating that we continue to evaluate the need for SAFE HAVE LIGHT and its long term sustainability.
In closing, I want to send out a huge shout of “THANKS” to a church teen group of volunteers from Mississippi and Louisiana called Camp Conquer. They worked for two days on several projects here at WE CARE and accomplished an unbelievable amount in the short time that they were here. What a blessing they were and we look forward to them coming back again next year.
Until next time,
Alton Steen, General Manager
Laura Olmstead - We Care Food, Shelter and Housing Programs
Kathryn and Courtney, our youth program representatives, have been hard at work organizing, cleaning and stocking our shelves. Chuck has been leading a project in the stock area with Jeremy’s assistance. He has the place looking great. We have things looking and operating much better. Karla is our ever present smiling customer favorite; she has been assisting everyone when she can.
We have had another busy month with the food and housing programs. We concluded our Father’s Day coloring contest for the kids with 3 winners.
There has been steady progress on the micro home. It is exciting to see it all come together. We soon will be able to help people with this home. We have had people coming by or calling nearly every day with housing needs. Some days we have received as much as 4 calls in one day with people in need of housing assistance. We need so badly to continue to rally community support so we can expand this home into many.
We also had a visit from Camp Conquer from Mississippi and Louisiana who helped us clean up several areas in and around the business. The Camp Conquer youth also help clean up our apartment’s area as well. They were an awesome bunch!
This fall we will be having a 5K/10K run to benefit various We Care Programs.
From the desk of Ina Ring - Thrift Center Director
It’s hard to believe we’re at the halfway point of 2014. Summer break from school just began, but in a few short weeks it will be time to return to classrooms. In July we will have out our school supplies: book bags, lunchboxes, computer bags, pens, pencils, crayons and other school related supplies.
Children going back to school may have some parents or grandparents or other care-takers wondering what to do with all their free time. We have the solution – come volunteer at the THRIFT STORE. There are clothes hangers to bundle, brass and other metals to be polished, toys to be repaired and cleaned, battery operated and remote controlled toys to be tested, strings of Christmas lights to test, plus many, many other tasks to get items ready to sell.
Call 775-6595 to express your desire to be of service. We have time slots available Monday-Friday any time between 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. It can be one hour or several hours, one day a week or month, sporadic or on a regular basis. We just need to know ahead of time so we can be organized and have a plan.
Visitors, Volunteers and more for We Care! June 06, 2014 at 02:11PM
This has been an amazing week for We Care! First, a visit from Mrs. Tucker with the Salem Baptist Church in Dayton. She along with April and April's awesome son have been working hard to spread the word about our Micro Home Project and nominated and selected this project for their VBS mission this year. A million thanks. They have also set out to challenge all the area places of worship's VBS to do the same. Let us work together to build a micro home for our area needy in honor of our Rhea County children's missions.
General Manager, Alton Steen and Food and Housing Services Director Laura Olmstead were invited to lunch and to speak with Rhea County Retired Teachers Association. They presentated to an enthusiastic group of retired teachers who even after giving their adult years in service to the children of Rhea County in such a remarkable way, still choose in retirement to continue giving back in a variety of ways. Thanks for a great lunch, great company and allowing us to share We Care's story and mission.
Our dedicated staff and volunteers are getting even close to completing our first Micro-transitional house. We are approximately three weeks away from being ready to take in our first clients. Check out the latest progress photos on our Facebook page >
We finished the week off by a large group of youth from the Mississippi and Louisiana area caming to volunteer. These philanthropic young people are staying at Fort Bluff Camp Conquer. The Camp Conquer youth group and leaders have helped us in so many ways with so many projects. They all have an unbelievable positive spirit and attitude. They are working so hard in helping us move forward at greater strides. Check out some photos of these hard working volunteers at our Food, Shelter and Housing Facebook Page >
I just wanted to express my appreciation to everyone involved in our first annual WE CARE GOLFTOURNAMENT. Even though our original date was rained out, the tournament proved to be a huge success on our make-up date of May 7th. We had 15 teams participate, 40 plus hole sponsors, nearly 30 businesses that donated gifts for the players and numerous volunteers that provided valuable support behind the scenes. I wanted to say a special “THANK YOU” to Ray Talley who was especially helpful on the day of the tournament and provided crucial guidance and advice on what we needed to do to make this event so successful. Again, thanks to everyone involved for making this such a “FUN” event and we are already looking forward to doing it again next year.
As most of you probably know, some of the money raised from the golf tournament is going to our MICRO-HOUSE project for displaced individuals and also some for SAFE HAVEN LIGHT, our home for displaced children ages 5-18. SAFE HAVEN LIGHT is a program that was originally initiated by Spring City businessman, Gary Venice, approximately five years ago. To say the least, it has taken considerable time for Gary’s dream to be realized and has, in the interim, come under the umbrella of WE CARE. It is here that we want to affirm that we believe 100% in the concept that SAFE HAVEN LIGHT was founded upon. Unfortunately, now that we have finally become licensed by the state as a non-custodial care GROUPHOME, this status provides no reimbursement for admissions. In order to continue the SAFE HAVEN LIGHT program, WE CARE has to reach out to the Rhea County Community to rally around this program with sustainable donations of approximately $5,000.00 each month. There has been a lot of effort put forth over the last several months to raise money, such as the golf tournament mentioned above, and we have experienced very gratifying results from this community. However, we have not raised nearly enough money to fund this program for the long term.
Where does this leave us? We may have to re-examine the future of SAFE HAVEN LIGHT as it now exists. We may have to re-format how we deliver this service. We may have to re-purpose the facility. Therefore, we solicit and invite community involvement and feedback involving the future of SAFEHAVEN LIGHT. Does WE CARE believe there is a need for this service? – Absolutely!! In numbers, is the need GREAT? – No! We now understand that we will serve perhaps between 8-10 children a year, and WE CARE simply cannot afford to carry this kind of financial commitment without significant and sustainable involvement by the Rhea County Community. If you have any questions or comments regarding this program, please contact ALTON STEEN through the main WE CARE office. The telephone number is (423)775-4333.
Thanks again to everyone involved for making the annual WE CARE GOLF TOURNAMENT such a great success!!
Alton Steen, General Manager
Laura Olmstead - WE CARE FOOD, SHELTER AND HOUSING PROGRAMS
We Care Food and Housing Programs have had a busy month. We Care Food Pantry saw a slight increase in food needs in April due largely to many families having children home all day during spring break, therefore their food costs go up. We received another semi-truck load of food for our Food Club for our shoppers to benefit from. We have been also very busy trying to put our efforts into a successful Charity Golf Classic to benefit the homeless initiatives. It has been fun work going out into the community meeting the area residents and business owners. They have been so generous and kind in helping us as a community work towards a common goal of serving and helping those most in need. We plan another Community Homeless Meeting May 20th at 5:30 pm. This meeting we will invite attendees to walk and see the progress as well as discuss a chronological plan of action to get the micro home ready. In one short month the property has been cleared, site and prep work complete and our micro home have been moved to its permanent location. It is very exciting knowing how many families will receive relief from a horrible crisis of homelessness in this home.
From the desk of Ina Ring - THRIFT CENTER DIRECTOR
REDUCE, REUSE, andRECYCLE. Those are the 3 R’s of recycling. WE CARE shares in this philosophy and practice of recycling.
My Mother grew up during the depression. Her family had it rough, so the 3 R’s were just a way of life for them. Her thrifty ways were passed on to me and my siblings. I, in turn, have incorporated them into daily operations at the THRIFT CENTER.
REDUCE: We try to reduce our use of water, electricity and supplies. The world at large is finding our natural resources are not limitless. It sounds trite, but it is true, that a penny saved is a penny earned.
REUSE: The THRIFT CENTER reuses plastic grocery bags in which to put customer’s purchases. The items purchased are all “reused” – items donated by individuals and businesses that realize there is more use left in the quality things they no longer need.
We also reuse cardboard boxes (e.g. banana boxes, apple boxes, large appliance boxes, etc. to store seasonal items (winter coats, blankets, holiday décor). Books and magazines, shoes and purses, kitchen items and what-knots are priced and put in boxes to make distribution onto the store shelves easier. Sturdy large boxes are used to hold the clothes, etc. for the “free box” area. (For those who haven’t been in the THRIFT CENTER – the “free box” area is a room at the front of the store where we put items that need repair, are out of season, have stains, etc. We give away upwards of 20,000 items each month from this area.
RECYCLE: Sometimes we get large appliances that would cost more to repair than they are worth; small appliances that the motor has long since given up any signs of life, single shoes, discarded school books, out-of-date encyclopedias, and no longer needed medical supplies. These are some of the items that other people and organizations find useful. We pass these items on to them.
We strive to be conservative with all our resources, make the best use of the variety of donations that come to us, and send as little as possible to the landfills (ALL PART OF THE 3 R’s), while presenting clean and affordable products to our customers.
We appreciate all you do to help us be conscientious stewards of your donations while enabling individuals to receive a HAND UP!
“I arrived back in 2012. My bf at the time had got deported. I was left out in the cold during winter.
THANK GOD We Care had a Safe Haven home. Y'all took me in no questions asked. I was broken. Thought life was over; however, I think that’s when things got better for me. I had hit rock bottom. Within a week of being at the home I had gotten a job at Mickey D and quickly saved up to get my own place. It wasn't the best but it was a place I could call home. When I didn't have no food We Care helped! I can't thank y'all enough! By the grace of God I'm doing very well now.
Matter of fact I'm a proud mobile home owner. Thanks We Care!!!!!!!!!! ”- Jennifer R.