janetGREENVILLE, Ky. (8/7/17) — There are few organizations like the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center — opportunity being the key word in the name. The center assists handicapped individuals with jobs and also offers a day treatment service and peace of mind for many families with special needs members.

The center runs mostly off reselling donated items. Donated furniture and clothing are available to the public in the center’s stores. Unfortunately, many people donate items that should be trashed and that cuts down on profits for the center, said MCOC Director Gretchen Davis.

Davis said when the county convenience centers raised the price of garbage bags, an increase of unwanted items started appearing at the Opportunity Center’s donation box. On Monday mornings, the staff would arrive to often find the parking lot around the donation box strewn with trash.

The center does not accept mattresses, yet mattresses are dumped at the center donation box on a regular basis. Other items are left out in the rain and are ruined.

The center operates on a shoestring budget, where every penny counts, said Davis. Time and resources spent on cleaning up the parking lot on a regular basis subtracts from the center’s bottom line. Security cameras have been placed to hopefully stem the flow of unwanted items dumped at the center.

gretchen davis“I ask donors to think about it like this: If you wouldn’t want to buy it, don’t bring it to us,” she said. “Chances are that no one else will want to buy it either. If someone donates a shirt with buttons missing or stained, we can’t resell that.”

With an abundance of unwanted clothing donations, one of the clients uses a machine to break down the clothing into rags that can be purchased for $30 a box. The center also accepts cardboard to be recycled.

With increases in PACS transportation fees, several clients from Hopkins County no longer come to the center. Still, about 40 clients are served at the center each day. Some are learning job skills, others benefit from the day treatment area and others do assembly work in the center’s production area.

The center gained a new office building in 2014 leaving the former dilapidated building behind. The center is a clean and safe place for clients to spend time either having classes or working.

opp center 4Davis hopes more people in the community including churches will embrace the center for the vital service it provides. Last Thursday, Green River Chapel Church brought lunch for everyone at the center and spent some fellowship time with clients.

“It was a real treat,” said Davis. “We would like for more organizations, churches or anyone to visit the center and find out more about us.”

The center is located at 615 Opportunity Way, Greenville, KY, 42345. The phone number is 270-338-5970.

opp center 2Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director
Region 3 Vice President

 opp center 3opp center 1

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