November 2015- Articles
Feature Article #1
A NOT SO SECRET CASA PLACE
By John B.
Everyone around here knows that CASA offers a live-in shelter for victims and children of domestic abuse. Most folks also know that the location is held confidential for the safety of our residents and by Florida State Statute. Unfortunately, many Pinellas County residents don’t really know that CASA operates a large thrift store right in the middle of downtown St. Petersburg!
But why would CASA operate a thrift store?
CASA Collections is a resource for our participants to get needed items left behind in the rush to escape a dangerous situation. CASA gives free gift certificates for shelter residents to purchase clothes for work, personal care items or whatever items they need most in their unique personal situation.
The thrift store is also one of the most important funding sources for CASA's programs. CASA Collections Thrift Shoppe offers furniture, boutique clothing and accessories, artwork, decorations, kitchenware and houseware articles in like-new condition. All proceeds from sales go directly back into our services.
The items in our store are regularly donated to CASA by hundreds of local residents who support the CASA mission and who can get a receipt for charitable tax deduction purposes. Since the drop-off area for donations is on one side of the building and the Thrift Shoppe entrance is on the other, many donors pull up on one side to leave their items and then pull around to the other side to peruse new and exciting merchandise that CASA has received since their last visit!
Many of CASA’s shoppers have second homes or a child leaving for school and they find the value of our items compelling versus the retail marketplace. Many customers just enjoy shopping and perhaps finding that perfect piece of artwork for the wall or a table that fits the niche in the hallway. For some, the clothing values are simply irresistible and at a price point you can’t find anywhere else. Most recognize that the store’s merchandise turns over quickly and that there are new and exciting items available each time they come by.
The CASA Collections Thrift Shoppe is located at 1011 First Avenue North in downtown St. Petersburg, and can be reached at 727-828-1233 for information or to schedule a furniture pickup. It’s just a short drive for our friends and supporters to donate their like new items and/or spend a bit of time looking through the store. So throw a few of those donations in the trunk and head on down for a visit! Or call the thrift store staff to arrange a bigger furniture pick-up. You’ll be glad you did and please feel free to tell your friends the CASA address that is no secret at all.
Feature Article #2
The Rays – Making Home Runs with CASA
By Sue N.
The Rays Baseball team has joined CASA’s team and the nonprofit KaBOOM! to help survivors of domestic violence and their children. Earlier in the fall we all gathered with residents of CASA’s domestic violence shelter to design the perfect playground for our facility. Imagine being a child at the meeting who could vote on what type of slide or jungle gym to include!
This week more than 150 Rays’ employees, KaBOOM! designers and CASA’s volunteers and staff will build the new playground, which will open to shelter residents after our ribbon-cutting on November 6.
At our first onsite meeting at the shelter, the Rays quickly recognized that CASA’s needs weren’t limited to a playground. The Rays started a clothing and accessory drive to help re-stock the shelter’s boutique, which provides emergency clothing to families escaping abuse. Soon, truckloads of carefully folded and sorted items will be delivered and put to use.
The Rays again stepped up after seeing the CASA Youth Center. They have “adopted” all of the children in CASA’s shelter and Outreach programs for the upcoming holidays, with gifts of toys for the individual children and for year-round use at the youth center.
In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Rays once again stepped forward to conduct a very successful public campaign against domestic violence. #DVAM!
In domestic violence prevention circles we have the phrase “it truly takes a team to help survivors and help prevent domestic violence.” With all the support The Rays baseball team is providing, they are proving it true! THANK YOU RAYS!!