BY KEN LITTLE
The Restoration Depot is still up and running, and needs items such as furniture and appliances to help families in the community.
A ministry of Asbury United Methodist Church (UMC), the Restoration Depot was started in August 2011 to assist survivors of the April 2011 tornadoes, which destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in Greene County.
The Restoration Depot, in conjunction with AIDNET of Greene County, played a significant role in assisting tornado survivors.
But as the AIDNET relief effort wound down, the focus of Restoration Depot, located in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse at 406 North Irish St., shifted back to helping victims of other disasters.
"We had opened this in response to the storm, but we want to keep it going," said Andy Broyles, warehouse manager.
In the past year, Broyles said the Restoration Depot has:
* served a total of 204 people in 65 families;
* helped families referred by 12 different Greene County agencies and churches;
* distributed more than 80 reconditioned appliances, including washers, dryers, stoves and microwave ovens; and
* distributed more than 100 beds, including mattresses, box springs and frames.
There are too many empty spaces inside the warehouse where The Restoration Depot is located, Broyles said.
"We have served more than one family per week over the past year, many receiving enough furniture, appliances, linens, and household items for their entire home," Broyles said.
Providing furniture and other items to outfit an entire family can fill a large truck, he said.
Now that the needs of many families affected by the 2011 tornadoes have been taken care of, Restoration Depot needs donations to help meet the needs of others in the community, Broyles said.
"The Restoration Depot has been a great success and was born from the need arising from the tornadoes in 2011, but will continue to be a resource for Greene County residents that find themselves in a crisis and in need of immediate assistance," he said.
"With cold weather on the way, the potential for fires in homes will increase, and we will be ready to assist anyone who may experience this type of tragedy."
OPEN FOR DONATIONS
The Restoration Depot is open for donations from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month.
"We are in desperate need of donations of furniture and appliances," Broyles said. "The inventory at the warehouse is at the lowest level since we opened one year ago."
In recent weeks, several families that were victimized by fires and other disasters were assisted by The Restoration Depot, Broyles said.
"We've had families who lost everything in fires, so we want to keep it open for that -- just for people who have general need," he said.
Other families in the current economy find themselves in a financial bind, and have to start from scratch, he said.
Broyles said referrals for clients are accepted from the Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries Food Bank, the American Red Cross, school systems, law enforcement officers, area pastors, and other agencies.
Broyles said the greatest needs of The Restoration Deport include:
* mattresses, box springs, and bed frames;
* chests of drawers;
* working appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, microwave ovens and stoves;
* sofas and chairs;
* dining room tables and chairs;
* dishes, glasses, silverware and small kitchen appliances;
* linens and blankets; and
* monetary donations.
"All donated items should be in good condition. Broken, ripped, and soiled furniture will not be accepted," Broyles said.
All appliances should be in working order.
"We have limited volunteers to pick up items. Please try to bring donations to our warehouse located on Irish Street," Broyles said.
Donations are tax-deductible.
"The Restoration Depot is a part of Asbury UMC, so the donations are actually to Asbury Church," Broyles said.
Pickup of items can be scheduled by contacting the Rev. Jeannie Higgins, of Asbury UMC, at (423) 571-5190.