RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — CARITAS is the Richmond area’s largest homeless services provider, helping about 2,500 people every year.
This week it is celebrating the beginning of a new chapter. The Gathered Goods Marketplace that started as a yard sale to raise money for the programs now has a permanent home.
When Michael Gordon walks through the Marketplace, he exudes so much joy. It is a far cry from the life he says he lived before finding sobriety.
“Lonely, destructive. It was a meaningless life. I had no purpose at all,” Gordon remembers. “If it wasn’t for this process, I know either I’d be dead or in jail for the rest of my life.”
Now he can get excited about every donated chair, table, houseware item and decoration. They are part of the permanent thrift store that will be open to the public twice a month.
“Every donation matters, and every purchase matters, makes a difference,” says Clara Stokes, the Chief Development Officer at CARITAS.
Stokes says all proceeds from this new Gathered Goods Marketplace go back directly to the four programs that make up CARITAS: The shelter, furniture bank, Works program providing job readiness skills and The Healing Place, which helps men like Gordon recover from their addictions.
“As CARITAS grows, you grow with it personally and professionally,” says Gordon, who is now the procurement manager for the furniture bank.
He knows every shopper at the Marketplace will be a gift, allowing CARITAS and its success stories to keep on giving.
“That’s what my purpose is,” explains Gordon. “To help others.”
The Gathered Goods Marketplace is holding a grand opening celebration on Friday, October 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. It is located next to the CARITAS furniture bank at 1125 East Commerce Road in Richmond. All furniture will be 30% off during the grand opening celebration.