After collecting the excess clothing, shoes, toys, and other useful items from Bridging the Gap Community Outreach and unsold items from this year’s church wide yard sale, we plan to ship a 40 foot container to Foundation Red De Misericordia Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Once there, the contents of the container will be moved to a storefront where workers will set up a thrift type store. This store will sell the used items in order to help the Foundation (orphanage) support itself. Prayerfully, the store will make enough money to purchase future merchandise from suppliers in the DR so that the store will support their own country’s economy instead of only supporting the US economy. Again, prayerfully, the store will also provide a few jobs and/or job training for some of the older children at the orphanage.
Shipping– Jose DePena has been making contacts with logistics companies to arrange for the purchase of a container and the safe and timely shipping of the container. This requires some level of expertise. It also requires knowing someone who works at the docks in the DR. Jose is still working to make the connections that will insure our container arrives at the dock in the DR and that it arrives at the Foundation.
Product– #1.Bridging the Gap Community Outreach has donated all clothing and other items that are not needed for the local ministry. #2. At the conclusion of the church yard sale we will load much of the unsold merchandise into the container. #3. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has donated many boxes of sports uniforms that can be sold in the store if not used by the children at the Foundation. #4. We are currently researching contacts in the DR for future merchandise purchases.
Donations– A pillow manufacturing company in Newnan donated new pillows for the children at the Foundation. This company also donated all the giant shipping boxes we will need to properly pack the merchandise for overseas shipping. Jenco offered the use of a pallet scale so that we can weigh and document all that we load into the container. Bridging the Gap also donated the use of storage space for all the sorted clothing we will pack into the container.
Funds needed and fund raising– Based on estimates given to Jose, this project will cost @ $4000.00. Because costs are always more than estimates, the goal is to raise $5000.00. This will allow us funds to make purchases we don’t even know we need yet.
What You Can Do–
1. PRAY for God’s overseeing all the details of this project!
2. Come by Bridging the Gap Community Outreach(19 First Avenue Newnan, Ga. 30263) on the scheduled work days or any Tuesday -Saturday to sort and pack clothes (let me know so I will be sure to be there). Many hours are needed to sort through the clothing because we are only going to ship them merchandise that will sell. We will not be sending them our garbage. Every piece of clothing they receive will have been touched by the hands of someone who deemed that piece of clothing worth purchasing themselves. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from quality control, knowing that you are giving them the greatest possible chance at success!
3. Volunteer to help with the church wide yard sale (first week in May).
4. Share any information, connections or contacts with overseas shipping companies with me or Jose!
5. All funds donated to help support this project can be made to Faith Bible Church and are tax deductible. Any donation should be CLEARLY marked for the Ephesians 3:20 Project. Any overage we receive will be given to the DR mission trip fund.
It is important to remember that this project has nothing to do with the DR short term mission trip. Funding is separate, and the DR team will most likely not be participating in this project as they are very busy training for the trip this summer. However, this is the same orphanage that the youth will be serving this summer. The plan now is for them to build a security wall to help protect the children and their property, including the container!
Contacts for further information or questions:
Terri Terrell firstname.lastname@example.org 678-591-4430
Jose DePena email@example.com
Debbie Lorincz firstname.lastname@example.org
Madeline Oliver (Youth coordinator)email@example.com
While at the Biblical Counseling Conference in LaFayette, Indiana in February of 2016, I met Olga Arocha. She is the founder of the Red De Misericordia Foundation in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The foundation houses as many as 90 children that have been rescued from hostile environments including homes and the streets. Most of these children are not adoptable, so they will likely live at the foundation the rest of their lives. When I met Olga I asked her what the greatest needs were at the orphanage. She mentioned school supplies and clothing. I immediately thought about the problem of excess clothing that I see every day at Bridging the Gap Community Outreach where I volunteer. My mind began to problem solve as to how these two problems could meet. Out of my mouth came the idea of helping the foundation open a thrift type store that would provide jobs, job training, and profit that would help to sustain the orphanage. This idea was welcomed with much excitement by Mrs. Olga.
Since the inception of the idea:
The idea was too big for one person, so I started asking others to come alongside and help. I also needed to do a lot of research into the feasibility of such a store. I asked our native Dominican friends as well as many other people whose opinion I greatly trust. Paul Robyn’s dad was wonderful in helping me think through many of the aspects of such an ambitious project. He suggested I fly down to survey the area, the orphanage, and to see if there were stores like that already in existence. Debbie Lorincz and I flew there is September, taking with us clothing and underwear provided by FBC members for the children as requested by Mrs. Olga.
Since that trip God has been pouring out the blessings. I literally feel like a catcher holding out a huge mit, and God just keeps tossing me stuff. Tony Davis helped me make the connection to Joey Potter with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has been a great source of information as well as a source of a lot of donations of sports clothing, equipment, and VBS supplies for us to place in our container. I also made contact with Scovel Blevins who works for a pillow manufacturing company in Newnan. He donated all the giant boxes we will need to pack the container. He will also donate 100 new pillows for the children. Bridging the Gap has been an amazing partner in this project by donating all the clothing and other items they cannot use, a room for storage of donations, and various other helpful things. They also shared their donation of school supplies with us, so we have a full pallet of school supplies to take. They have been amazing and really have a heart for these children and this project.
Where we stand now:
Jose is working diligently on finding a way to ship a container cost effectively. We had a Plan A, but that does not seem like it is going to work. Plan B is too expensive. We are now looking at a modified Plan A. Getting the container to the port in Santo Domingo is easy, but getting it from the port to Santiago is the hard part. Finding a storage area for the contents once there is hard, too. Recently thieves broke into the orphanage and stole food and the gas tanks they use to cook. If they will steel food and gas tanks, they will surely steel the contents of a container. The store is not big enough to hold the contents of an entire container. However, I am convinced that there is an answer to the problem, so we are moving forward with the project! We are researching the possibility of getting a container delivered to FBC church property within the next couple of weeks. We will continue to collect items from Bridging the Gap to load into the container. After the church yard sale, we will load much of the unsold items into the container as well. Then the container will be picked up and shipped.
What you can do:
Packing the container is a huge project, and all the contents must be inventoried. We need help at Bridging the Gap sorting through clothes that we will take, separating them, boxing them, and labeling for inventory. We have been working on this for months, but we need a lot of help as we get closer to “ship day”. We have designated 1 day each month until May for volunteers to come to Bridging the Gap to help. Please plan to come help on all of these days.
January 21, February 18, March 18, and April 8
Very specific prayers: