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Rotary Learns About Compassion Center

The Carmi Rotary Club
Thursday’s meeting of the Carmi Rotary club, a Rotarian was on hand as the week’s speaker, Melissa
Questell gave the club an update on the Carmi Compassion Center and what will be happening in the
near future with that business.
Melissa told the group that she has been the director of the Compassion Center since 2014. Before that,
other organizations in the area took care of helping residents with fuel, lodging, utilities and a few other
items, but there was a need to do more, and to coordinate the efforts through a central site. With that,
the Carmi Ministerial association got together and created the Compassion Center, and named Melissa
as its first director.
The Compassion Center helps those in need in our community with such items as: clothes, furniture,
appliances, and recently added diapers to the list. The center does not accept donations of anything
breakable, jewelry or toys, and does not assist people with rental payments.
To take a step to the next level, a board of directors was chosen in November to help with the legal and
other functions of the center. The president of the board is Drew Flannigan of First Christian Church, the
vice-president is Katherine Stewart, the secretary is Josh Moore, the treasurer is Larissa Hayes, and the
additional board member is Ron Fellows.
Melissa and the board of directors have been very busy planning the next big thing for the Center, as
they map out the move to a new location. After seven years on Robinson Street, the Center will be
moving to 7th street in Carmi, to the former location of the Print Shoppe and Logo Graphics. If things go
as planned the move will happen in mid-August, with a grand re-opening on Saturday, August 21st
. The
Center will be looking for volunteers on Saturday, July 17th to help clean the new building. Volunteers
are asked to bring their own cleaning supplies.
Melissa let the club know that they are moving from a rent-free location to a place that will be costing
$550 per month to rent. However, there is much more space, more parking, and the new building will
have windows and a bathroom, something the current location is lacking. To help cover the cost of rent,
the Center is looking for local clubs/businesses/individuals who might be willing to put up one month’s
rent. At the close of the meeting, The Carmi Rotarians voted to donate one month’s rent to the Center
as soon as it is needed.
The Carmi Compassion Center’s new hours will be the same as current ones; Tuesdays and Thursdays,
9:00-noon and 2:00-5:00 for drop offs, and 2:00-5:00 for residents in the Carmi School district to shop.
In club business, Tom Logan won the 50/50 drawing but didn’t claim the day’s cash prize. Don Drone
named Cindy Hillyard as the day’s phantom.
The Carmi Rotary Club meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church on Main
Street in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this civic organization is welcome to attend a
meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.

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