Goshen’s First Friday on April 5 gives back to community in big ways

NOW: Goshen’s First Friday on April 5 gives back to community in big ways


GOSHEN, Ind.—The City of Goshen’s First Friday on April 5 is giving back to the community with a “Spring Into Action” theme.

Participating downtown Goshen businesses have selected their favorite non-profits to receive a percentage of all sales on Friday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Other businesses are running donation drives instead of donating sales. For example, Salon J will be collecting toiletries and other necessities for nonprofit Interfaith Hospitality Network.

'Elkhart County's best kept secret' 

The Elkhart County Clubhouse sits on South Fifth Street in Goshen in an old house that boasts Elkhart’s first indoor plumbing fixture.

The now non-operational sink rests against the wall in a room on the Clubhouse’s second floor, surrounded by bustling activity.

A community clothing closet, reading room, administrative space, newsletter making workshop, and video studio live on the floor above the Victorian house’s industrial kitchen, café, and community room.

Community members who live with mental and/or physical disabilities don’t just take advantage of these spaces; they run them.

Clubhouse member Holly Martin says the Clubhouse is "Elkhart County's best kept secret."

“The clubhouse generates a sense of self-worth in people by becoming involved in what we call the ‘work order day.’ The work that takes place in the Clubhouse needs its members or else the Clubhouse just wouldn’t exist,” David George, a longtime Clubhouse member who sits on the organization’s board, said.

George regularly uses the Clubhouse’s services and also participates in the Transitional Employment program, which allows members to ease their way into working at jobs in the community with the support of other members.

“The idea is to get people who haven’t been in the workforce in a while but are trying to make their way back in,” George said.

George used to work for Goshen co-op Maple City Market, overseeing the produce department, picking out bad apples and keeping the cooler clean.

“The people there were great. Knowing that I had a mental illness, they were just absolutely fantastic. They never made mention of it and never treated me differently from anyone else,” George said.

Maple City Market front end and wellness manager Victoria Moore wants the community to show up on Friday, specifically to support nonprofits like the Elkhart County Clubhouse.

“People should come out to Goshen’s First Friday to celebrate Goshen’s wonderful community,” Moore said. “This particular event is very special to us, Spring Into Action, because we’re supporting Elkhart County Clubhouse.”

Fundraising for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child and Parent Services in Elkhart will have a table set up inside of Reverie Yarn Décor & Gifts to share information about how they help parents in the area.

The organization is ramping up awareness efforts as April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the money fundraised during the First Friday event will help them do just that.

Watch the video below to hear from CAPS marketing manager Cindy Sawyer as she explains how the organization can use donations.

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