Harvest Compassion Center helps valley families in need

This time of year donations are down but the need is up as more and more valley families go without simply because they can't afford it. We're talking about basic every day needs like food, clothes, and personal hygiene products. A husband and wife team is working to change all that.

At first glance it looks just like you're inside a grocery store. The shelves are neatly lined with canned goods on one side, and shampoo on the other.

"They get to shop, and pick what they want," said Gaye Swaback.

Most food banks you walk in, they give you a box, we would like our resources to go as far as possible, so if they get to choose if we're giving them green beans, and they don't like it, it's a waste of our resources," said Gaye.

Resources go a long way at the center, Gaye is one of the founders.

"We give them a black bag, we ask them to bring it back, and they go shopping in it," she said.

"We started in one little small room at a church," said Bob Swaback.

Bob Swaback is the other founder of the center which opened four years ago. It's named after the couple's son, 23-year-old Mitchell who died in a rafting accident 10 years ago.

"You need to know Mitch, he was full of life, he loved people, and he had a heart to serve, we wanted to carry on his legacy," said Bob.

The first day they were open the Swaback's had one guest. Now they serve about 125 guests a week.

Clothes are cleaned and sorted on site. Many of the other products come from St. Mary's Food Bank and are donated. Just about everything a person needs is in the center.

While there are some limitations based on what is in stock, the Swaback's want people to leave knowing there is compassion in the world.

The center is located at Thunderbird and Tatum, hours vary.

For more information visit: www.harvestcompassioncenter.com
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