The Caring Place has served over 50,000 families in need, provided 500,000 food pantry bags to the hungry and connected over 9,000 individuals to community resources, and this year they celebrate 20 years of 'meeting needs with love.' This milestone will be celebrated with a Christmas in July event at the Old Woolen Mill, 445 Church St. SE in Cleveland on July 29 at 6:30 p.m.
A portion of ticket sales will go towards The Caring Place, with an anonymous donor matching all donations up to $50,000. Dinner will be provided while nationally-touring comedian Karen Mills entertains guests. Ms. Mills is a Cleveland native and stand-out Bradley County High School basketball alum.
Executive Director Corinne Freeman says they believe the community they serve is a gift, and it’s this spirit of giving, tradition and family that inspired the “Christmas in July” theme.
“We see the impact of what we do daily as difficult to quantify,” Ms. Freeman said. “The joy of securing housing. The smile when a neighbor becomes a friend. Respite from the daily worry that poverty brings. The beauty of seeing the body of Christ in action working as one to serve and love a community with excellence. This event will be a joyful celebration of God’s faithfulness over the past 20 years, laughing along with Karen Mills, and looking forward to more opportunities in the future to meet needs with love.”
The Caring Place provides food, clothing, social services and spiritual support to residents in need in Bradley County and surrounding areas. They rely on the generous partnerships of 60 churches, 134 active volunteers, 16 staff members and over 150 organizations and businesses. Using the C.A.R.E method to connect, advocate, restore and empower their clients, Ms. Freeman says in addition to providing free food and clothing, they provide community support, temporary financial and housing stability, case management and spiritual support. “The ultimate goal of the Caring Place is to help our neighbors in need move beyond poverty, so they have joyful anticipation of the future. Our neighbors are creative and resilient, and our goal is to have them in a place of healthy independence where others can hear and learn from them and see the value of what they can bring to the community,” said Ms. Freeman.
Tickets to the event are $50 and can be purchased on their website at TheCaringPlaceOnline.org. Supporters can also donate by texting “WithLove” to 44321.
The Caring Place services are available Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.-noon and Tuesday evenings from 5-7 p.m.