Another Chance is a faith-based non-profit program that serves men, women and children who reside in the Greater Cleveland community. The organization was established as a way to get needed gently cared for clothing, furniture and toys into the hands of individuals at no cost to them. It was found that many households have these items to give and all that is require is that someone arrange the pickup and/or drop off of these items. Many were also intrigued to hear that they were going to be given away and not sold for profit. In 1990, New Parker Community Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Elder Walter J. Clark Sr., Pastor, accepted the charge to make a difference in the lives of people in need and the organization was born.
The Philosophy of Another Chance is that individuals; empowered by giving themselves to others is the answer to building a strong community. Many traditional social services strategies have left individuals and communities without the coping mechanisms necessary to overcome the difficulties of the century. Many families have become too dependent upon receiving assistance with no expectation of repaying “the community”. Welfare reform legislation has many families afraid and unsure of what they can do to empower themselves to deal with reality. The aim of Another Chance is to assist local residents to empower themselves through providing services which allow them to take the next step which is providing a stable, safe, nurturing and productive home life through family, community, and work; this is accomplished in part by providing services at no charge to the individual. However, we encourage customers to volunteer a portion of their time to the community either at the store or on a community project. Each individual is asked to complete a volunteer information card which outlines their unique skills, talents and interests which may be of service in the community.
Volunteerism is a founding premise in Another Chance’s philosophy and is a concept that is put into practice. Another Chance believes that giving back to the community; neighborhood; block and ones own family is what builds character that is needed to be a concerned, responsible and productive youth or adult. In today’s “me first” society there is little concern and respect for others which leads to a lack of respect for one’s self and one’s community. Individuals who have benefited from the program services often volunteer as a way to “give back” for what they have received. They sort clothing, put items on shelves and racks or repair damaged items before they are put on display racks. This benefits the program, but more importantly the individual has found a way to give to the community in which he or she lives.
Value to the Community
Another Chance has seen a steady increase in the need for its services. By recycling thousands of pounds of clothing and goods each year, Another Chance of Ohio saves these materials from littering landfills, vacant lots and street corners.
Secondly, the value to the neediest citizens of the community is measured in the number of individuals who come to the agency each month. Hundreds of individuals visit the store each month in search of clothing, household items, furniture and appliances for themselves and family members. These gently used items provide for basic need, that all individuals have which is to feel confident, assured and to convey a positive self-image.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, what distinguishes Another Chance of Ohio from other organizations that provide a similar type of service is that everything is given away and not sold.