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Shelter work offers help and rewards

Most volunteer work is rewarding. But can you imagine how it must feel to be able to help a battered woman _ and, in many cases, her children _ who is reeling from the effects of violence in the home?

A tender voice and a caring hand are just what they need, perhaps more than anything else.

The Haven, formerly known as the Religious Community Services Spouse Abuse Shelter, has 100 volunteers, but, unfortunately, that's not nearly enough because of the workload.

All potential volunteers need to do is call Haven volunteer coordinator Mary Lou Miller at 441-2029. She will find a job that fits the volunteer's interests and talents.

For example, new volunteers will be trained to help abuse victims go to the courthouse to file papers seeking injunctions for protection. Volunteers are needed to help overloaded staff members assist victims in the courtroom during hearings for permanent restraining orders.

Volunteers are needed for children's programs, whether it is simple child care, leading games that teach them how people work together or accompanying them on field trips.

People with specific talents are needed to teach interviewing skills and how to dress for success, to cut hair and to give massages. And they are needed for clerical work, answering phones and painting.

There is a special need for more lawyers to help those already donating their time and for more dentists to help the one now signed up.

Homeless project assistance

Volunteers are needed _ as well as shoppers and contributors of merchandise _ for the 6-month-old thrift shop that raises money for the Homeless Emergency Project of Everybody's Tabernacle in Clearwater.

Thrift shop devotees enjoy good pickings in this area; there are a number of browsers' and buyers' havens. This new one is worth checking out.

It has the usual assortment of clothes, jewelry, dishes, kitchen appliances and books.

The clothes include a lot of dresses plus specialty attire ranging from Mickey Mouse T-shirts to Kentucky Wildcats jackets. There is a special room devoted to baby clothes.

But this shop especially will appeal to people looking for antiques, knickknacks and paintings. Several back rooms overflow with "stuff from grandma's house."

The shop is at 1215 N Betty Lane, about two blocks north of Palmetto Street. If you are northbound, it is just past the Safehouse and Sailmakers buildings.

If you get to the somewhat misplaced sign that says "Unique Boutique, Pre-owned treasures," you have just passed the shop. It is the dark green building with the orange awning.

Shop hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. You can drop off donated items on those days.

If you would like to volunteer to be a clerk or merchandise sorter and if you are donating large items like furniture (in good condition, please) that need to be picked up, call 442-9041.

The shop has brought in more than $15,000 since opening in February.

Get well to a shining light

Otis Green, who is the founding pastor of Everybody's Tabernacle in 1954 and who with his wife, Barbara, is the leading light of the Homeless Emergency Project, underwent colon cancer surgery Thursday.

He will be at Morton Plant Hospital at least through this weekend, but Barbara said they probably won't be able to keep him any longer than that.

So anyone wanting to send a card better address it to 1120 N Betty Lane, Clearwater, FL 34615.

Or you can wait until Sept. 2 and send him a birthday card for No. 70.

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