MOUNT VERNON — The opportunity to win a storage shed for $1 and to help a local homeless shelter at the same time is now presented to the Mount Vernon community.
Members of South Vernon United Methodist Church have joined forces with Interchurch Social Services plus other local organizations and businesses in supporting the Winter Sanctuary homeless shelter. Funds raised from a raffle currently being sponsored by Interchurch will go directly to the Winter Sanctuary.
South Vernon congregation members saw a need at the Winter Sanctuary and decided to find a way in providing some assistance for the local shelter. “We’ve seen an increased number of individuals looking for emergency shelter this year already,” said Lisa Mazzari, director of the Winter Sanctuary. “The numbers are at least double what they were last year at this time. We have some staying with us that are working full time. They’re just trying to get to a point where they can afford to get into a place of their own.”
“We do not have enough affordable housing in our community to meet the needs of everybody,” said Joy Harris, director of Interchurch Social Services. “It’s very difficult. And I know the Winter Sanctuary board is working toward a full-time shelter,” she said, noting that this became more apparent with the recent closing of The Curtis Inn.
Funds are being raised through the raffle of an 8-by-8-foot storage shed. Tickets are being sold for the raffle which will run until Dec. 28.
The storage shed is made of 90 percent recycled wood from pallets. Members of South Vernon Church provided a portion of the materials as well as labor for the shed. It is painted with water repellent paint donated by Sherwin-Williams, and includes a plastic liner in the floor, roof and sidewalls. Habitat For Humanity donated the required hardware, and Lowe’s discounted the purchased lumber. Advertising for the raffle was provided by Good Impressions LLC.
Now in her second year of working with The Sanctuary, Mazzari pointed out that many people last year who were guests are now volunteers with The Sanctuary. She added that financial donations to the Winter Sanctuary are always welcome, plus residents volunteering their time at the shelter is also invaluable. Volunteers may be more in need over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays as they are trying to remain open during these times.
Other items that can be very useful as donations include toilet paper, trash bags, wash cloths, towels and shelf-stable food items that don’t need to be cooked. These can be dropped off at St. Paul’s Parish House or by calling Mazzari at 263-4182.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at Peoples Bank and First Merit Bank or by calling 393-3990. A goal has been set of selling 4,000 tickets. Drawing for the raffle will be Dec. 28.
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