The Quota International club of Alliance, Ohio, is one of the oldest clubs in the worldwide service organization. Chartered in 1924, the club members instantly made an impact in their community by founding the local YWCA as their charter service project.
Over the years, the club continued to support the YWCA and volunteer at the Market Street facility, but the aging building eventually needed structural repairs. In 2003, when the club took on a major renovation, the project reminded the entire city of Quota’s longstanding commitment to community service, especially through “the YW.”
Labor of Love
The Alliance YWCA includes five single-occupancy, low-cost rooms for women in need of transitional housing. Residents share the use of a single kitchen, which had fallen into disrepair. Betty Rush, past club president, says that initial work days for Quota volunteers had to be rescheduled when workers saw the condition of the kitchen. “One wall was very bad from water damage,” says Betty. “We had to hire someone to come in and plaster it before we could even begin our part of the job.”
A month later, the club began a labor of love to give the disadvantaged women who depend on the kitchen a safe and pleasant place to gather and cook. Club volunteers first removed old duct work and raised heating pipes closer to the ceiling. Next, they cleaned every inch of the room; installed new countertops, light fixtures, and a sink; painted the walls and cabinetry; scrubbed, sealed, and waxed the floors; and hung cheery new yellow curtains.
Involving the Community
The club invited the community to help finish the project with a “kitchen shower.” During a regular club meeting, Quota members as well as local residents donated new kitchen items and gadgets—a wall clock, can opener, casserole dishes, coffee maker, colander, cookie sheets, cooking utensils, cutting boards, dish cloths and towels, dish soap, dishes, flatware, skillets, ice cube trays, measuring cups, mixers, mixing bowls, pitchers, pot holders, pots and pans, rolling pin, rubber spatulas, salt and pepper shakers, knives, soup pot, sponges, toaster, waste can, and baskets.
The club created a kitchen every cook would love. And with the very few duplicate items received at the shower, club members plan to offer them to residents as they move out of the facility into new homes.
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