Payson's Ace Hardware staff and about 40 volunteers are making the Time Out Shelter a new and improved place for the women and children victimized by domestic violence.
Time Out, Inc. was selected as one of 10 valuable community places across America to receive $5,000 worth of improvements from Ace Hardware as part of the company's "New Faces for Helpful Places" program.
"It is the largest in-kind contribution from a single source any of us can remember Time Out receiving," said Gerry Bailey, executive director for Time Out.
Joe Nation, manager of the Payson Ace store, which is owned by John and Claudette Patricia, submitted the application for the award.
"We saw a video," Nation said, explaining how they made the decision to apply for the award. "We already support the shelter, and it's the perfect organization for the award. The hardest part was explaining why in 100 words or less."
Nation submitted the application in early November, and by the end of the month it was announced they had been selected as one of the 10 winners.
The "New Places for Helpful Places" project started last year as part of the company's celebration of its 80 years in business, said Lou Manfredini, nationally known home improvement expert and Ace's "Helpful Hardware Man," who led the project.
"It was a way to give back to our retailers involved in community projects," he said. There were eight projects selected, and it was so successful and popular with the retailers it was brought back again this year, with 10 projects. The Payson work was the first of the group.
"It is enjoyed so much by the retailers and has such a big impact, it is the most rewarding thing I've done in my career," Manfredini said. "It's an awesome opportunity to give back. John and Joe are blessed to have a successful business and being able to give back. They are also one of the most organized teams I've seen. So much goes into it before the work starts and that's what makes it go easily."
John Patricia and his wife, Claudette, have owned the Payson Ace Hardware store for 18 years and have always been supportive of community projects.
"This is the first really big thing we've done, but we support a lot of charities," Patricia said.
In addition to members of the Ace family from Payson, Ace also had its retail business manager for New Mexico and the White Mountains, John Salter, and its regional paint representative, Clement Gonzalez, help with the work. Several Rim country contractors participated too: Dave Thomas did a lot of painting; Dale Struemke worked with the big kitchen remodel, as did Bud Beckel and Rob Appleby. Among the others on the project were Habitat for Humanity volunteers, including Tom Herbolsheimer and Ken Althoff. Time Out volunteers also helped.
The project included ripping out most of the old cabinets in the kitchen and replacing them and putting in a new countertop, ceiling fans, venting, plumbing and security screen doors, as well as painting.
"It would have been absolutely cost prohibitive for us to do all this," Bailey said. "Lots of times when women go to a shelter they expect to find a dark, dingy, bug-infested place. First impressions often determine if the shelter will work for them or not," Bailey said. With the improvements they will have a clean, functional place to provide a level of comfort in which these women and their children can make some decisions about their life.
"Things work smoother when things work," she said. "We're honored and delighted to be selected as the project Ace wanted to submit to their corporation. We know we have a good, solid program, but not everyone knows that. Joe Nation and John Patricia have been fantastic to work with and the volunteers have been unbelievable."
Clients at the shelter shared their thoughts about the project.
"We will have a more optimistic attitude and outlook! ... It lets me know that people within the community actually care about the families here in the shelter and are so willing and eager to give of themselves. ...We will have a more comfortable feeling, as if it were our own home. The generosity of this community is awesome! ... I did not realize that there was such a place with such a caring community. Had I been aware of this earlier, I would have taken my children and left my situation sooner. I thank everyone concerned for our beautiful, temporary home. ... The environment is so nice and comfortable now for the women and children, and I believe that it will boost morale. Hopefully, these changes will encourage pride in our new home."