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Bringing in thousands of dollars for the Historic Triangle Community Services Center, an auction of hotel furniture over the weekend has been deemed a success in obtaining much-needed items and pay to local people in need.
The Patriot Inn & Suites recently offered to donate its 110 rooms of furniture to the Community Services Coalition, the owners of the HTCSC. The Center, located on Waller Mill Road, is home to about a dozen nonprofits and agencies; it aims to give them an affordable building to work from and a chance to work together.
The Center held an auction Sunday to sell the items and it was “a great success,” according to Bill Unaitis, president of the HTCSC Board.
The auction pulled in around $5,000, he said. The Center donated more than 100 mattresses to families, halfway houses and foreign student housing. About 30 sets of linens and all motel toiletries were donated to FISH, and some furniture was donated to tenants of the Center.
The Center hired some out-of-work and homeless locals to help with the auction; they received a total of $2,700 in wages for their work.
Of the items sold, some went to local motels that rent to people in need of housing, Unaitis said. Several rooms of furniture were purchased to furnish apartments for college students.
Two stories from the day of the auction will stick with him always, Unaitis said.
“A father, who was one of our paid workers, looked me in the eye and said he did not know what he was going to do for his kids for Christmas,” he said. “Now, at least, he could get them something.”
A different father and his son were also working on the auction project for pay.
“The son was sleeping on the floor where they stayed and they received a brand new set of mattresses, still in the plastic wrap,” Unaitis said. “I found out later that the son gave the mattress set to his sister, so that she would have her own bed to sleep on.”
Knowing the auction helped so many people “makes it all worthwhile” for Unaitis.
The Historic Triangle Community Services Center is the home of agencies including FISH, the Historic Triangle Senior Center, the United Way of Greater Williamsburg, WJCC Head Start and many more. About 26,000 people visit the building each year, and the agencies within its walls serve thousands of people in the community each year. Read more about the Center on its website.