Newsletter, May 2014 May 20, 2014 at 07:14AM


Hello everyone,

I just wanted to express my appreciation to everyone involved in our first annual WE CARE GOLF TOURNAMENT. 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 GROUP HOME, 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 SAFE HAVEN 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




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, and RECYCLE. 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!



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