WGPC donation will help Home Sweet Home help others

WGPC recently made a $36,000 donation to Home Sweet Home that helped the organization purchase a new truck to serve more people in need.

“The addition of Truck #2 will allow Home Sweet Home to partner with a total of 27 organizations serving more than 1,200 families a year,” according to an article in the organization’s newsletter.

The donation, which came from money allocated to missions from the Dorothy Meyer gift, provided about a third of the cost of acquiring the truck, which in addition to the cost of leasing the vehicle, required hiring additional staff members to drive it, said Home Sweet Home Executive Director Betsy Reznicek.

“The big cost, of course, is the staff to drive it. We pay a living wage, and we have to have two people on the truck. They drive Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. bringing furniture to the warehouse and delivering it to families,” Reznicek said.

The cost of the truck and its operation is about $90,000 a year, she said.

The mission of Home Sweet Home is to provide basic household furnishings and give clients a sense of pride. Providing furnishings for people transitioning out of homelessness into their first home can help provide stability, the organization’s website said.

The organization picks up donations by truck, works with case managers at partnering agencies to give clients access to furniture, and delivers new and gently-used furniture and household items to clients’ apartments and homes, the website said.

Reznicek said Home Sweet Home receives referrals from partnering agencies like St. Louis Crisis Nursery, St. Patrick’s Center and others that work to give people a new start or the comfort of home.

“There’s an immediate benefit for people sleeping in an actual bed with their own pillow, using their own dishes, dishes that match, that gives them a sense of pride,” she said.

“Our partners deal with big issues that people are dealing with like domestic violence or unemployment,” Reznicek said. “We help them pull their lives together at home so they can deal with those other things better.”

WGPC has been working with Home Sweet Home for about two years, providing volunteers on the first Friday of each month to help sort and organize donations and help clients, said Mission Outreach Coordinator Beth Kazlauskas.

Reznicek said WGPC’s donation was a very important contribution to their capital campaign.

“It not only helped because we need a lot of capital, but it served as a catalyst for others to donate. It solidified the work we’re doing and encouraged others to want to be a part of Home Sweet Home,” she said.

On Oct. 4, a group from WGPC will deliver furniture as a part of Mission Weekend, Beth said. Reznicek also is scheduled to speak during our Faith in Real Life education series at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 13, in the Fellowship Hall and will present a Minute for Mission during the traditional worship service. The program and the Minute will be about “what they do and how we can get involved,” Beth said.

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