The Women’s and Children’s Alliance operates Serena’s House, a safe shelter which houses up to 15 women and 27 children at any given time. Serena’s House has a small store where families can get new, donated household items when they are ready to take the next step toward freedom from domestic violence and sexual assault and move out of the shelter.
“The resident store at Serena’s House is a new beginning for the women. It gives them a chance to buy new items for a home when they move out. These items are purchased with points they earn by participating in the program. Many women tell me how much the store means to them and their children,” says Shayla DeVisser, WCA Residential Operations Manager.
As part of a national program, the UPS Foundation awarded funds to a local UPS facility in Garden City, which then selected the WCA as the beneficiary. In December 2012, employees of that UPS facility presented the WCA a $5,000 check to remodel the resident store.
The residents and staff of the WCA were elated. There was a lot of unusable space in the store – including an antiquated walk-in freezer – and the painting and flooring was showing definite signs of wear and tear. With the combination of the grant money and the many volunteer hours of time generously given by UPS employees and their friends and family members, the resident store got an amazing facelift and added display and storage space.
The remodel turned out to be more than anyone could have expected. Walls were removed, repaired and given a fresh coat of paint and new flooring was installed. The walk-in freezer was removed – creating more space for store items. Last, but certainly not least, came new custom-built display cabinets – which were installed in May.
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