By Richard Mundy
For Hometown News
"A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out" is the motto of the Family Renew Community, a non-profit organization in Ormond Beach that for nearly two decades has been alleviating homelessness among families with children in Volusia County.
Its work is supported largely through the "Secret Attic," a thrift shop at 32 N. Ocean Shore Blvd., Ormond Beach, which is where the Leadership Class of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce decided to focus its attention.
"Every year we hold a leadership program ... over a span of two and a half months, and as part of the leadership program they put together a class project and this year they chose to help the Family Renewal Community and the project consisted of emptying out the back part of the store, cleaning it up, painting, and then reorganizing the items back into the store, " said Tony Capozzi, executive director of the chamber.
The leadership program is made up of a variety of individuals, mostly in business in Ormond, who use this opportunity to network and learn more about the city.
The donated items sold by the thrift shop and the sponsorships, donations and volunteers make it possible for the Family Renew Community to house 32 families at its three residential facilities in Daytona, DeLand and Holly Hill, according to Claris Mac'Kie, executive director.
The "back room" of the store is used for intake of merchandise donated by the community and businesses, and the volume can be heavy at times. It was explained the priority is to move merchandise as quickly as possible to the floor for sales. There are areas in the back for cleaning, analyzing product, testing (and sometimes repairing) electrical and electronic items, and pricing.
The leadership group made the area cleaner and more efficient under the supervision of Family Renew volunteers, some of whom have worked with the agency for many years.
The Family Renew store sells furniture, appliances, clothing and small household items. Donations help furnish the residential apartments and profits from the thrift store go to help pay for client assistance, such as emergency health and childcare, transportation and maintenance.
The Chamber of Commerce considered it one of its most deserving beneficiaries.
The Thrift Store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the phone number is (386) 615-3837.