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Saint's Place holds annual Super Sale to fund services for a new wave of refugees in Rochester

photo provided

Dozens of volunteers were busy Wednesday morning at St. Louis Church in Pittsford, preparing for the annual "Super Sale" to benefit Saint's Place and its refugee services.

The nonprofit's executive director, Isabel Miller, said there is an added urgency to pull off a successful event this year.

"The reason is that we are expecting more refugees than we've ever had before," Miller said.

Since last July, Miller said, Saint's Place has assisted 450 Ukrainian refugees and hundreds more from other countries, including the Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Venezuela, and Sudan, as well as people displaced by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Saint's Place said some 1,200 refugees sought help from the organization over the past year.

Within days of arriving in Rochester, refugee families are taken to the Saint's Place clothing closet in Fairport, where they are fully outfitted with everything they will need for four seasons of weather in upstate New York.

"The passion comes from seeing the faces of the refugees," Miller said. "They are the most grateful. They may not speak English, but they're going to learn. They'll pat our faces, our hands. They're thrilled. We're one of their first encounters when they've left their home."

To fund the clothing closet in addition to education and vocational training, laptops, washers and dryers, and more, Saint's Place relies on its Super Sale.

At the yearly event, shoppers can browse deals on donated new and used household items such as small kitchen appliances, linens, electronics, dishes, books, toys, sporting goods, bicycles, clothing and more.

"Each year, we seem to zoom in on an area that we hope will do very well, and this year, it's going to be furniture," Miller added. "The furniture collection is unbelievable."

The goal is to top last year's sales of $150,000.

The Super Sale, held on the campus of St. Louis Church, 64 S. Main St. in Pittsford, is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. until all items are sold on Saturday.

A "First Chance" sale is scheduled from 1 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday with a $10 admission fee.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.