This site is set up to keep our friends updated on our recovery efforts.
It has been just over two weeks since the fire, and let me tell you, for me and the staff, it has sometimes felt like an eternity!
For the last two weeks, our number one priority was to find a temporary location in which to set up shop so we can reopen for our clients. I am thrilled to say that yesterday, we found the place. Our dear friend, Jan Hay, helped us locate the perfect spot.
We are moving to 35 Greenwich Street, which is just off Elmwood Avenue. It perfect for us as an interim location because it is just 2 blocks from our permanent home. And it is beautiful, move in ready, fully furnished and the lovely landlord has graciously agreed to rent it to us on a month to month basis.
Our landlord and upstairs neighbor is architect Luis Torrado. He fully refurbished the interior of our new space and I have to say, it is just gorgeous. We can’t wait to move in!
So, now that we have a space, we have some new needs for help.
- Folks to help clean the space. (It is a bit dusty from being empty for awhile)
- Strong men or women to help us move a huge copier down a flight of stairs.
- Excellent computer geeks who can help us set up our new computers.
- Designer types that can help us arrange the open space in the new location.
- Prayer and more prayer.
The next step is to let our clients know about our new location!
Yesterday was a wonderful, exciting day.
Things are changing day by day and it is a challenge to keep on top of all everything, but we are optimistic about the road ahead.
Here are some things we know:
CareNet is a ministry that is dear to God. We are resting in that fact.
The clean up at the building is going far faster and better than we could have imagined. Water Out, the company doing the clean up, is amazing. They had heated blowers in there for days and there isn’t a drop of moisture left.
We have several folks helping to scout for temporary office space. We hope and pray that within a couple of weeks we will be back up and running.
We are working on an inventory of the contents of the house for our insurance company. It is a monumental task, but the sooner it is done, the better.
Our bible study is starting offsite tonight, as planned. We are so pleased to be able to meet with clients again!
Our nurse, Dorie, is going to spending the downtime in doing supervised ultrasounds so that we will be able to, once again, offer ultrasounds to our clients. This is HUGE.
Because we are still without space, we are asking folks to either hold virtual baby showers… (ie $10 gift cards from Walmart or Target) or be willing to store items for us until we are up and running. We will need a LOT of baby items to replenish our stock. (We lost thousands of dollars worth of diapers, wipes and new baby clothing.)
As soon as we are in a space, we are going to need to start thinking about purchasing replacement items. If anyone has a connection at a furniture store and could get us either donations or a discount, that would be amazing.
We are grateful for the donations that are coming in.
Once the space is habitable, we will need volunteers to help with things like putting together furniture, hanging shelves, moving, etc. Stay tuned!
And please, above all, keep us in prayer.
What a whirlwind this week has been! The staff and I have been working hard to recover from the fire. We have met daily at one of our houses and have been divvying up responsibilities to make sure that we are on top all the many details.
We are extremely grateful for all the prayers. We have been hearing from folks all over the country who are reaching out with offers of help and support. One pregnancy center has promised to box up some baby clothes and diapers for us as soon as we are in a position to receive them. And closer to home, many individuals and churches have reached out to us to offer moral support and prayers.
Things are changing FAST, but I will try to keep everyone updated on the current status of our needs.
- We are actively looking for new space for our center. It looks like the repairs to the center will take months, so we are going to relocate in the mean time.
- We have contacted all the churches who are doing the baby bottle campaign and asked if they can count, roll and deposit the change from the bottles for us. This would be an impossible task right now and all have graciously agreed to help.
- How about throwing a ‘virtual baby shower’ for CareNet? We don’t have storage for baby clothes and diapers yet, but would love to be able to offer our New Beginnings clients some gift cards to Walmart or Target. Holding a baby shower for gift cards isn’t as much fun as shopping for clothes, but maybe you could pick out some sweet cards to include to encourage our moms.
- Please keep Cathedral of Life Christian Assembly in your prayers. They are the owners of the CareNet building have a huge task ahead in the reconstruction.
And of course, we are asking for prayers. The staff, board and volunteers are doing an amazing job of keeping an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. Prayer helps us so much.
When I got the call at 3:00 on Saturday morning, I hoped it was a false alarm. Our alarm company told me that both our burglar and our fire alarm had tripped at CareNet. I was in Virginia for training with CareNet’s nurse and unable to get to the building. And, in fact, since there was a state of emergency in RI, no one else could get there either.
Sadly, we found out that it wasn’t a false alarm. The beautiful Victorian building that has been our home for 2 ½ years was badly damaged by a fire. The cause is yet unknown, but we believe it was related to the electrical surges from the blizzard.
Click here to view a photo gallery of the damage done to our facility.
My nurse, Dorie, and I managed to get back to RI on Sunday afternoon and since then the entire staff and board have mobilized to get our center back up and running in a temporary location as soon as possible.
Today we have not yet been able to get into the building, but we are looking for alternative space. I am getting this blog up and running to keep folks posted on our progress. I have been in touch with other organizations in the area that are willing to help our clients, including Problem Pregnancy in Providence and Gabriel’s Closet in Pawtucket. RI Right to Life has offered space, and the Providence Rescue Mission and several churches have stepped forward to help.
How can you help?
We are in need of immediate financial assistance. Although we did have insurance on the contents of the building, we have immediate financial obligations. In addition, as the days and weeks unfold, we will need new office furniture and equipment… and folks to help us move it. We will need to restock our baby boutique with clothing and diapers. We lost much of our medical equipment as well.
And mostly, we are asking for your prayers. There is no doubt for any of us that this organization will rise from the ashes of this tragedy stronger and even better able to support the women and men who need us. God is guiding us every step of the way.
Thank you for your support and prayers. We will check in on this site to keep you posted about our progress.
…and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…