For the third year in a row, Newark Neighbours presented Red Roof Retreat with the shop’s income from the month of July.
“It’s a great thing, charities helping charities,” said Steffanie Bjorgan, executive director of Red Roof, a retreat for individuals with special needs.
“The story of Red Roof’s beginning and subsequent growth is a compelling one, and a demonstration of what our local community can accomplish when they set their minds and hearts to it,” said Newark Neighbours treasurer Julian Trachsel.
The money will go straight to Red Roof’s respite programs, Bjorgan explained.
“This kind of donation helps to keep our services accessible and affordable for families who need them … It’s great to get the group from Newark Neighbours to come out and see what we do here. They hear about us for years, and have some idea of what happens here, but when they actually come out and see it in action —see the camps running, see the kids playing — it changes everything. They get really emotional.”
Pat Hicks, a volunteer at Newark Neighbours said the organization is “pleased to support (Red Roof) and all the efforts of Steffanie Bjorgan and her team.
“She took us on a tour of her wonderful grounds, and we were happy to be able to present her with a cheque.”
This year’s donation exceeded the last one significantly due to some changes in Newark Neighbours’ pricing strategies.
Some donors to the charity had made it known they weren’t thrilled their haute couture donations were being sold for very low prices, so they would often take their finer things elsewhere, said Hilary Bellis, Newark Neighbours chair.
“This made us stop and think. Our core audience is people in need, but there are also locals who come in for good deals on designer clothing like Kate Spade and Tommy Hilfiger. So we created a designer corner with a slightly higher price point for those shoppers.”
She said it’s important for people to remember that every cent of the charity’s income goes back into the food bank, the bursaries they give to people in need, and their support of local charities, such as Red Roof Retreat.