On December 5, “Home for Christmas” a benefit for The Love Center was held at The Fifth Street Market in Gadsden. The event raised money, collected item donations and raised awareness for The Love Center.
Love Center volunteers Ashleigh Gaskin Langdale, Morgan Lavender, Kristi Hess, Carolyn Richard, Teresa Bright, Erin Morgan and Lorie Holloway planned the “Home for Christmas” event.
“Home for Christmas” was free to the public, which asked attendees for a free will donation or items that could be used at the shelter. Attendees and sponsors donated $1600 during the event. Modern Woodmen Financial matched $1500 of the money for a total of $3100 to benefit the shelter.
The Love Center Board Director Rose Marie Allenstein said that the money raised would go towards the monthly operating costs of the shelter, which is about $5000 a month.
“Modern Woodmen is promoting campaign across the country called ‘We take Homelessness to Heart,’” said Morgan Lavender, a financial representative at Modern Woodmen of America. “They are challenging all their employees to take interest and action for homelessness in their individual areas. I am excited that not only are they taking a stand but they are giving us the resources to do so! I am so blessed to have a warm house and roof over my head. To be able to help those that don’t have that really means so much to me. It is important to help those who are in need. It costs roughly $5,000 per month to run The Love Center. This will help keep them operational through some of the coldest months of the year.”
The event also garnered many needed household items such as soap, shampoo, paper towels, paper plates and more. Two local organizations kept up the giving spirit throughout the month. Buckets were placed at Hokes Bluff First Methodist Church and Absolute Fitness to collect more items. Absolute Fitness even hosted a “snowman meltdown” workout asking participants to bring donation items.
Lavender said that the outpouring of donated items “showed once again how much this community cares and is there to show support.” Allenstein said that with the value of the items added to the money raised the total value of donations was about $5,000.
The Love Center, located at 915 South 12th Street, was founded thirty-five years ago by Charlsie Tarrance, who was inspired to provide shelter to “God’s most forgotten people.” Tarrance noticed the problem of homelessness in Etowah County and created The Love Center to provide clothing, food, furniture and shelter to those in need. The Love Center still provides homeless single women, couples and families with children with long-term housing and meals.
Home for Christmas – 8A
In 2017, The Love Center was able to help more people than last year. In the first nine months of 2017, The Love Center had 113 people to stay at least one night up 135 percent from the 48 people who stayed during the same period in 2016. Both nights stayed are up and meals served are up 39 percent. Last year churches, individual donors, merchants and services by local businesses totaled 5,808 volunteer hours.
The Love Center would like to thank its business supporters and sponsors: Morgan Lavender of Modern Woodmen of America; Erin Morgan of Comfort Care Hospice; Teresa Bright of Advantage Properties; Kristi Hess of Mobile X; Lorie Holloway and Scott Lee of Maraella Winery; Ashleigh Langdale; Ragan Lonnergan and Adam Swann for providing entertainment; Landstar Trucking; Back Forty Beer; Carrie Robinson of Alabama Court Reporting; Local Joe’s Catering; Matt Skelton for Probate Judge; Yvonne Moody; Sonny Steen for Circuit Judge place 3; Saul’s Landscaping; Amy Barber Moman of American Fidelity; Cody Robinson for Circuit Judge; Beautiful Rainbow café; Downtown Deli; the City of Gadsden; and The Board of Directors at The Love Center.
For more information, call 256-546-8831, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or join The Love Center Facebook page. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1013, Gadsden, AL 35902.