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Non-Profit Seeks 'Gifts of Love' for New Building

By Jessie Sawyer

Gifts of Love plans to move out of Avon Village Marketplace, but will stay in town. 

"It's the same size as what we have now, but it's under one roof," Carolyn McGrattan, marketing and development director for the non-profit, said. 

Gifts of Love is buying a building across the street on Route 44 and expects to close on the property May 6, McGrattan said. The Wool Connection previously leased the 34 East Main St. space in Avon Village North, she said. 

The new location will have separate entrances for clients and people dropping off donations. It also has storage space on site. Gifts of Love also has Planning and Zoning Commission approval to build a private driveway onto Mountain View Road.  

Staff worked with an architect to design an open floor plan. The architectural design can be viewed in the PDF attached to this article.  

"It's going to be comfortable," McGrattan said.

Launching its first capital campaign to help pay for the building through grants and private funding, Gifts of Love is also turning to the community for help moving and working on the new site. 

Avon resident Nick Mando will be helping paint the interior and re-carpet the space for his Eagle Scout project, McGrattan said. Executive Director Diana Goode said Gifts of Love is looking for experts in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, kitchen design and windows to donate work on the project, as well as volunteers to help pack and move. McGrattan said the organization is also seeking furniture donations like desks for the new office space. 

"We are really looking right now for everyone in the community to come together as they've been doing for years," McGrattan said. 

McGrattan and Goode said that they are looking forward to having Gifts of Love under one roof in the 5,000-square-foot space. Goode said the organization started looking for a new location six months ago along Route 44 in Avon and Canton.

Gifts of Love, nearing its 25th anniversary next year, helps financially struggling families in the Farmington Valley and Greater Hartford region get food, clothes, furniture and other necessities. 

"In six years, our clients have doubled," McGrattan said. 

Gifts of Love was founded in Simsbury, running out of a resident's garage. The non-profit currently has about 13,000 clients and 100 volunteers. 

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating work or items for the new building can contact McGrattan at cmcgrattan@giftsoflovect.org or 860-676-2323, ext. 205. 

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