A nonprofit organization that helps refugees settle in the Rochester area says the current political climate has inspired more people to volunteer and donate items to its annual fundraising sale.
Isabel Miller, executive director of Saint's Place, says the Trump administration's pursuit of stricter policies on refugees entering the U.S. has more people asking how they can help.
"In the last three months, at least 35 new volunteers have come forward. They are volunteering in our clothing closet; they're volunteered in our tutorial program - we teach the refugees to speak English - and they're working in our rooms to get ready for next year's sale."
Saint's Place is holding its annual Super Sale through Saturday at St. Louis Church at 64 S. Main Street in Pittsford. The sale of donated household and personal items will support the organization's mission to clothe and educate refugees and furnish their apartments.
"We also need the money to buy things like boots,” Miller said. “The refugees take the lowest paying jobs, which is construction and landscaping, so we spend a lot of money on boots, socks and underwear. All the money that we're raising in this annual sale contributes to those costs and that's why it's so important to our mission."
The sale offers items ranging from new or gently used toys, jewelry, linens, books, sporting goods and household items such as dishes and glassware. A large room is devoted to antiques and furniture. And Miller said purses are such a hot item at the sale that a separate room is dedicated to those, too.
The hours for the sale are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 13 and Friday July 14. On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon shoppers can pay $8 to fill one bag with any items, $12 to fill two bags, or $15 to fill three bags with any items of their choice.
This year, Saint's Place is hoping to welcome more than 700 refugees from Cuba, Syria, Ukraine, Myanmar and other countries.