A nonprofit organization in Columbus dedicated to helping individuals become self-sufficient is hoping a new fundraiser will advance its mission.
Sans Souci is hoping to raise $9,000 from a live auction Saturday.
The event will feature items such as a new bike, furniture, Coach purses, a golf outing at Otter Creek Golf Course and artwork, said Sheryl Adams, executive director of the organization.
Fans of the Chicago Cubs might be particularly interested in an autographed picture of Ben Zobrist, the 2016 World Series MVP.
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Also available to bidders are a handmade leather purse and wallet, a wine tote bag, wooden toys and a framed photo that comes with a gift certificate for a room at the Inn at Irwin Gardens.
That’s the same inn featured in the recent “Columbus” movie.
Many of the items that will be auctioned off were donated by individuals or businesses with a soft spot in their heart for people who could use a boost.
Proceeds will help continue the organization’s work, which involves helping local individuals and families become sustainable, Adams said.
The live-auction fundraiser replaces Murder for a Cause, a mystery dinner theater fundraiser that raised about $5,000 each of the two years it was conducted.
Sans Souci, which means “without worry” in French, sells items such as clothing, shoes, books and furniture to the general public at a low cost. It was founded in 1979.
Sans Souci has three initiatives it focuses on, which includes its free assistance program that gave away $100,000 worth of items to the needy in 2016, Adams said.
Its role in the community is supported by statistics.
“We serve one in three who are in poverty in the community,” she said.
The organization also focuses on providing necessity items at a low cost to people in need, along with an employee development program designed to remove barriers that individuals may have in seeking employment.
That involves getting them assistance with housing or medical needs they may face, said Adams, who has been at Sans Souci since 1995.
“Anytime (someone) can meet a goal or succeed, it is very gratifying,” Adams said.
Many of the store’s employees have benefited from Sans Souci’s help, including Nancy Hardin, who has worked at the organization for the past 16 months.
Hardin credited the organization in helping turn her life around after being homeless for two months. Sans Souci provided Hardin with a job that allows her to earn an income. She has also utilized programs such as workplace financial wellness.
“I really love it here,” Hardin said. “I never dreamed about being homeless, and this is a blessing.”
Now she gets to pay forward the help she had received herself.
“I love helping people and that’s been the best part of my job since day one,” Hardin said.
Marlene Fabiny Dollinger, who was Sans Souci’s first director, said a committee of different entities within the community pooled their resources after identifying a need to provide services.
Dollinger said the goal of Sans Souci was originally intended to help disadvantaged youths, but its focus has become much broader over the years.
“I am absolutely fascinated and intrigued by the people that help us,” Dollinger said. “That’s what keeps me going.”
Connie Munn, who has been a member of Sans Souci’s board of directors for 13 years, said she feels the organization’s work is important to recognize.
“The help they give the community and the help they give to the folks who come in is amazing,” Munn said.
But providing those services requires funding — which is where events such as the live auction come in.
“We cannot make the impact we make without the funds to do that,” Adams said.
What: Live auction fundraiser for Sans Souci led by auctioneer Mike Mesendiek
When: 10 a.m. Saturday with items available for preview beginning at 9 a.m.
Where: Sans Souce building, 1526 13th St.
More information: The public can view available items that will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on Mesendiek’s website, auctionsandrealestate.com. Some items that will be auctioned off can also be seen in display cases at the store in advance.
Sans Souci, which was created in 1979, is a non-profit retail thrift store that offers clothing, furniture, shoes and other items at s low cost to the public.
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
More information: sanssouci.org