‘Giving Tuesday’ magic for Ottawa County

Portage Resale Center sets record, awards 45 grants totaling $155,000

The Portage Resale Center is the gift to Ottawa County that keeps on giving to those in need, awarding 45  grants totaling $155,000 to local non-profit agencies on Tuesday morning.

The “Giving Tuesday” largesse is a substantial in- crease from the $125,000 awarded in 2016 and 2017. In  just seven years, the Portage Resale Center has granted more than a half-million dollars – an amazing $594,000  – to agencies doing good work in a wide variety of Ottawa County communities, said Bob Snyder of Catawba Mini Storage, who created Portage Resale Center in  2011 with his wife, Linda.

“That first year, we raised $22,000 to help fund non-profit agencies like our own,” said Snyder. “Our success has always been fueled by amazing community support and a great group of volunteers.”

Portage Resale Center collects quality donations of clothing, furniture, books, and household items. While some of the household items and clothing are given to  families in need, sales also fund grants to non-profit agencies that range from food pantries, libraries, and  social programs to housing for men and women battling opioid addiction.

“When we began, we had four classrooms at the old Portage Elementary School and what we believed was a great idea to provide funding for many deserving non-profit groups in the community,” said Snyder.

A 10-member board of directors was created to help give Portage Resale Center direction, and six members of the board determine which of the dozens of grants submitted each October are awarded.

The Portage Resale Center moved to the Heineman Building, 301 W. 2d St., Port Clinton in 2012.

“The building was gifted to us by Mary Heineman after the death of her husband, Harry, in 2011. We developed it into a wonderful place to shop for gently used  items with prices people can more easily afford,” said Snyder. “The store is managed by Mary Maine, one of  three full-time employees, aided by a long list of volunteers. We do have a truck for picking up heavy goods,  such as bedding and furniture, and a food pantry for those in need.”

Board member Heather Stouffer believes that the  community working together is what has made Portage Resale Center an impressive success.

“All of our volunteers, our shoppers and our donors are the fuel that makes us a success,” said Stouffer. “The  Portage Resale Center is the vehicle, and the charity organizations are the drivers.”

Stouffer helped to create the Portage Resale Center Youth Council, made up of 10 students from the five Ottawa County high schools. The young scholars visit two agencies on monthly tours of Ottawa County, an exercise that generates entrepreneurship, said Snyder.

“These kids were blown away by the need that they saw around the county,” said Snyder, “and  started a drive that raised $4,000 for Unit- ed Way. They also began a clothing drive in  the schools, gathering clean, age-appropriate clothes to be sold at Portage Resale Center.”

People wanting to donate clothing, house- hold items, furniture, small appliances and  antiques to Portage Resale Center, or want to help fund its mission, can visit Portage Resale Center on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.Interested volunteers can call 419-732-1780.

AWARD RECIPIENTS INCLUDE:
• Arc of Ottawa County
• Bataan Memorial Primary Elementary School – One Book One School
• Bataan Memorial Primary Elementary School – Watch D.O.G.S.
• BCS Food Pantry
• Benton Carroll Salem Lunch Club
• Bible Methodist Church – Youth Program
• Bistro 163 • Champions for Children
• Community Support Services
• Danbury Food Share Program
• Elmore – Grace Lutheran Church – Food Pantry
• Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center
• Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services
• Friends of the Marblehead Peninsula Library
• Genoa – Christ Community Church Food Pantry
• Heartbeat of Ottawa County
• Ida Rupp Public Library
• Joyful Connections
• Light House Sober Living Men’s House
• Light House Sober Living Women’s House
• Magruder Hospital Foundation
• Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
• Oak Harbor – Oak Harbor Alliance Chap- el – Food Pantry
• Oak Harbor – United Methodist Church – Food Pantry
• Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center – CASA
• Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center – GRAND Love
• Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center – Summer Lunch and Fun
• Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center – TNT Mentoring
• Outreach Unit of Community Support  Services (Division of Transitional Housing)
• Pathway Inclusion Center
• Church of Truth Ministries – Food Pro- grams
• PRC Youth Council • Riders Unlimited, Inc.
• Riverview Industries
• Seed Faith Food Pantry
• Shoreline Church Care Ministry
• Shoreline Church Food Pantry
• St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
• Stein Hospice Service, Inc.
• The American Red Cross
• The Oak House
• The Salvation Army
• United Way of Ottawa County
• Women Helping Young Mothers
• WSOS Community Action Commission Inc.

Portage-Resale-Center-Grant-Awards-

A large crowd of social service agencies gathered on Tuesday morning at the Portage Resale Center in Port Clinton to be awarded 45 grants that totaled $155,000. (Photo by D’Arcy Egan)

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