Idel Suarez Jr., the President of the International Missionary Society, said that the organization wants to help the community by giving away tools, décor, plumbing fixtures, windows, flooring, interior doors, paint and more to qualifying families and individuals in the area.
The giveaway will be between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 11 and Wed. Dec. 12. There are some qualifications that must be met in order to receive the home improvement items.
“The restrictions are that people need to be within 130 percent of the poverty level and have children at home,” Suarez said. “Or they could be elderly or disabled or have an elderly or disabled person in their home. They need to be legal residents and show a valid ID.”
Suarez said that there are no requirements for the paint they are giving away.
“We do it every year, last year we had 100 people and I'm expecting more people this year,” Suarez said. “I would say that 90 percent of the things we are giving away are brand new.”
Part of the funding for the giveaway comes from the organization.
“We pay for the warehouse where the items are being stored,” Suarez said. “We finance the entire infrastructure to carry this out. It requires us to go pick up items at least two or three times a month.”
Suarez said that the items have been donated anonymously from industries in the area.
“Come and see what is available,” Suarez suggests. “We are going to limit it to eight items per person. It is on a first come, first served basis. We will give a short presentation at the beginning about the requirements and then we will assign one person to each family to go through the gym to pick out the items that they want.”
Suarez mentioned that the benefactors must be responsible for transporting the goods away from the giveaway, and that they must also be responsible for any installation of the home improvement items. He also said that the organization doesn't guarantee any of the items because of the cost.
“I estimate that we will give out between $20,000 to $25,000 worth of materials,” Suarez said. “If you go to a hardware store you would have to pay hundreds of dollars for some of the items that we will be giving out.”
The organization also offers other services for people in the area including English for professionals, Spanish for professionals and health and nutrition classes.
“We've had lawyers, judges and investors come in for our Spanish lessons, where they learn conversational Spanish,” Suarez said.
The International Missionary Society is a non-profit institution with their headquarters in Cedartown. According to their pamphlet, the organization is a Seventh-day Adventist Church who does missionary work in over 100 countries for more than 1,300 people.
“Our primary goal is to spread the Gospel,” Suarez said. “We give away bibles in third-world countries and clothes. We open and provide funding for Primary Schools, and we provide health seminars.”
Suarez has a PhD. in Nutrition Education from Florida State University and interned at Pasco County Public Health in Florida. He is also a registered dietician and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Suarez said that he uses his training in nutrition and health to teach the health seminars held by the International Missionary Society. He said that he uses his experience in being a pastor for family seminars.
Suarez said that the next event planned for the community would be a seminar on diabetes in January. He said that their next international plans are to have a missionary trip to Egypt or Jordan in March.
For more information about the International Missionary Society, visit their English website at www.imssda.org or their Spanish website at www.sda1844.org. The headquarters is located at 625 West Ave. in Cedartown. The giveaway will be held in the gymnasium.