The new Ashby House Resource Exchange facility at 5th & Mulberry received a Dillon’s van full of milk Monday afternoon. Local State Representatives J.R. Claeys, Diana Dierks and Steven Johnson contributed 100 gallons of milk to the Free Store and Salina Dillon’s Stores matched the donation for a total of 200 gallons.
“In state government there are many needs we are unable to fully and efficiently address,” said Johnson. “Ashby House provides services critical to our community and it is great to have partners like Dillon’s to meet this one need in such a timely manner.”
The 200 gallons of milk were unloaded Monday afternoon by the representatives meeting one of the critical needs of the Ashby House that also includes meat products and infant formula heading into the holidays.
“I’d like to express our deep gratitude to the representatives and the Dillon’s stores for their generous donation to our homeless families,” said Kathy Allen, program director at the Ashby House. “We have several needs throughout the year including fresh fruits and vegetables, diapers, formula and baby food.”
Ashby House provides help for homeless women, victims of abuse and those seeking help for substance abuse.
“The Ashby House is the one true bright light for those seeking help in truly hard times,” said Rep. Dierks. “ Our contribution today is just the tip of an ever growing iceberg.”
Dillon’s, Walmart and Target currently contribute baked goods and other items to the Ashby House Free Store.
“Dillon’s was happy to expand their commitment to Ashby House by matching our contribution today,” said Rep. Claeys. “I hope our involvement today will generate awareness of the needs Ashby House has as they make a real difference in the lives of the women they serve.”
The new facility at 5th and Mulberry in Salina is a former USD 305 maintenance building. It is being transformed into a multi-use facility for Ashby House clients.
“The new Resource Exchange is going to meet several needs in Salina beyond providing a free store,” said Claeys. “We need a Safe Exchange/Safe Visitation program in this region and Ashby House has the facility now to make that happen. The next challenge is finding the dollars and support to get it started.”
A Safe Exchange program gives parents a safe and secure place to exchange children from one parent to another when a protective order is in place. The Safe Visitation program gives parents an opportunity to spend time with their children in a supervised setting while courts make final dispositions in a case.
“The availability of a safe and less public environment for families is certainly needed,” said Dierks. “We will continue in our efforts in seeking additional funding, but they also need help from the community.”