Donations keep Lean on Me helping those in need

Lean on Me Director Lisa Shaffer (center) along with volunteers Duane Millering and Kathy Villegas welcome the many donations to the outreach center.

Lean on Me Director Lisa Shaffer (center) along with volunteers Duane Millering and Kathy Villegas welcome the many donations to the outreach center.

Lisa Shaffer, director of Lean on Me outreach center, appreciates all the donations that keep the center helping residents through tough financial times. Recently, patrons of the Sand Bar in Sand Lake held a chili cook-off and raised some funds. A promise of matching the funds was made by a northern Kent County store, and nearly $1,000 of merchandise was purchased for donation to the center.

Household goods, food and items such as toilet paper were all received in a shipment of hundreds of boxes, every bit of which will go, free of charge, to families in need.

“We are here to just love on them,” said Shaffer of the center’s clients. “We don’t worry about what they are receiving from other organizations. We are just here to help anyone who asks.”

The outreach center has the vision to take what society considers outdated, expired or damaged and offer it for free to those who want and need the items. The center relies on donations from businesses, individuals and organizations to provide food and items. On the day of the Sand Bar donation, 135 people had been through the doors. Weekly, the center helps 1,600 people.

Shaffer cites items such as toilet paper as an item that is always needed and rarely donated. “You don’t think about something like that that we all need, every day,” she commented.

Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Food box distribution hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. Donation hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday. The center is located at 11555 Edgerton Road, Rockford.

To find out more about Lean on Me, call (616) 866-3999 or visit online at leanonmeoutreach.org.

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