On April 17, 2015, the Rescue Mission of Trenton will celebrate 100 years of Working Together to Rebuild Lives and Making Miracles Happen. A lot has changed in our country in the past century. Throughout that time, the Rescue Mission has remained steadfast in its dedication to serve the truly needy, those without shelter, food, and clothing.

Mary Gay Abbott-Young, CEO of the Mission, has been a part of the organization since 1978. “The Mission today is very similar to where it started as an emergency shelter. In addition we have expanded to meet the changing needs of new generations of clients,” she says.

The Mission’s core principles include providing services no matter how many times an individual has fallen down; incorporating work therapy in many of the programs to give residents a sense of responsibility; and generating a significant portion of their revenue through entrepreneurial activities such as the salvage and resale of furniture and clothing.

The Mission currently has 35 units of permanent supportive housing, in addition to temporary housing in the shelter. Its store, located at 100 Carroll Street in Trenton, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mary Gay explains “families throw away 68 pounds of clothing a year.” A large percentage of this does not make its way to clothing bins, but instead end up in landfills. Donations can be made in many of the Mission’s many clothing donation bins (white with green letters) throughout the area, or you can arrange for a pick up by calling 1-800-528-8825 ext. 124 or visiting their website. Items must be placed inside of the boxes in order to be protected from the elements.

The Rescue Mission of Trenton is always seeking volunteers to run clothing drives. Mary Gay emphasizes “anyone can do it.” From schools to senior centers to every age in between, the Mission makes it easy to champion a clothing drive by providing cardboard boxes before the event, to coming by at the end to pick up the donations.

In addition to men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, the Mission also accepts furniture, outdoor furniture, and working appliances. These donations not only help the Mission, they help the environment by keeping items out of landfills.

The Mission’s other greatest need is for volunteers to teach their residents. Mary Gay says “if you have a talent, you can teach someone.” They need volunteers to teach basic math and literacy skills to help residents earn their GEDs. There are also opportunities to teach yoga, knitting, computers, sewing, or anything. A very popular program is a current events discussion group. Mary Gay has found it a wonderful way to gain a different perspective on life from their “panel of experts.”

As for the Mission’s 100th anniversary, on April 17, 2015, they will formally celebrate with a very special event that will include an indoor mini golf event with special guest speaker Eric LeGrand at their 100 Carrol Street building, and the unveiling of their wall of fame. A series of special events will continue throughout the year.

The Rescue Mission of Trenton, Carroll Street, Box 790, Trenton. 609-695-1436. rmtrenton.org.

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