Contributed by Kathy Ross
“I am very grateful to those in our community who provide the many donations, and our volunteers who make it possible to provide this needed service,” says Kathy Ross, director of the Lois Davidson Better Living Center (BLC).
Ross recently reported that for the year 2022 the center, located at 85134 Hwy. 101 South, about a mile south of Florence, served families that included 10,932 individuals. Free items distributed to patrons included 61,036 articles of clothing, 2282 pairs of shoes, 1681 articles of bedding, 9328 household items, 6849 food items, and 11,179 miscellaneous items. All this was made possible by 2380 contributions of goods and 4997 hours of volunteer work.
In February, the BLC served families that included 1487 individuals. Free items distributed to patrons included 4221 articles of clothing, 149 pairs of shoes, 206 articles of bedding, 866 household items, 396 food items, and 1311 miscellaneous items. This was made possible through 350 contributions from the public and 533 volunteer hours in laundering, cleaning, and sorting the contributed items, and in face-to-face consultation with patrons.
“As you can see, we’re going backwards right now. Contributions are not entirely keeping up with demand,” says Ross. “Contributions made to the Better Living Center are tax-deductible and each contributor receives a general receipt on which they can list everything they gave us.”
The center, operated by the Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church, is open Sundays and Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to receive and distribute new and gently used clothing, bedding, towels, kitchenware, personal items, and small household items, but not furniture. The center was established in the 1980s through the bequest of church member Lois Davidson with the intent of “serving the poor and needy of Florence and the surrounding area,” stipulating that all items be given free to those who need them. The center’s phone number is 541-997-2137.
The Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4445 Highway 101, also sponsors Shoreline Christian School which is open to students of all faiths in grades kindergarten through 8. For an application and information on enrollment for the next session please email ShorelineFlorence@gmail.com.
The church invites the public to attend services on Saturday mornings. Adult and children’s Bible study classes are at 10:00 a.m., the worship service begins at 11:00 a.m., and a vegetarian lunch follows at on the first and third Sabbaths of the month. The church’s phone number is 541-997-3951.