Archive for July, 2010

New Beginnings of Tampa teaches new skills to homeless and those in drug recovery

 

TAMPA, FL — In a small storefront on East Fletcher Avenue you’ll find more than just itemsf being sold on-line. You’ll find hope, and optimism.

Here, people who’ve been down on their luck, and have turned to the New Beginnings Church of Tampa for help, are learning new skills by processing, appraising, and shipping items around the world.

Items that have been donated to the church.

“Hopefully wind up finding a good job,” says Jeremy Perry, checking-out donated DVD players.

What’s most unique about this eBay outlet is that it’s being run almost entirely by people who’ve been homeless, out of work, or on drugs.

Pamela McClure, helping manage the operation, proudly says she’s been “clean” – drug free – for six weeks. The eBay experience, has kept her busy and out of trouble.

“I have a lot of skills but i had a very hard time finding a job,” she says.

Tony Flores says his experience photographing items and using a fairly complex bit of software to post them on the web. could help him get into the military.

“Learning all this brand new stuff it’s going to help me get away from my past and help me to have a bright future,” he says.

“This is the wave of the future,” says Pastor Tom Atchison.

Atchison says it’s an increidble opportunity for people who’ve turned to them for help to learn computer, management and marketing skills they would never have gotten elsewhere.

“It incorporates all the skills they need to come into the 21st century,” he says.

The New Beginning’s eBay store was provided through a donation from a man named Russ Grove, whose NuMarkets company has been the focus of investigations, complaints and criticism in recent years. A quick search and you’ll find entire websites and chat-boards filled with people who claim Grove’s business model for eBay franchises – essentially playing the middleman – failed.

But in the case of the church, donors aren’t expecting to get paid. And workers are compensated with experience.

So for them, Pastor Atchison says the idea ”has been fantastic.”

The system allows the church to post dozens of items a day online. It can usuallly take much longer.

Pastor Atchison hopes the eBay concept provides a solid foundation for people looking for a better life, and perhaps provide a blue-print for other churches and non-profits to follow.

 

Original story done by: Eric Glasser at Tampa Bay 10 News

http://archive.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=135937

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