‘This is a really big deal’: BlvdHome donates $30,000 to Dove Center of St. George

Representatives from the Dove Center of St. George hold an oversized check presented by owners and management of BlvdHome, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After setting aside a portion of the proceeds from mattress sales for an entire year, representatives from BlvdHome presented a check for $30,000 to the Dove Center of St. George.

L-R: Jerry Thomas, Marc Wittwer, Tyler Wittwer, Lindsey Boyer, Shonie Christensen and Maureen Minson, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

BlvdHome CEO Marc Wittwer, along with COO Tyler Wittwer and Director of Sales Jerry Thomas, gave the money to Dove Center Executive Director Lindsey Boyer and board members Shonie Christensen and Maureen Minson.

“Good thing my mask was on because my jaw dropped,” Christensen said. “I’m always so impressed by the generosity of the community, and not just of businesses but also of individuals. You have no idea how far $30,000 will go for survivors and their families.”

The short ceremony took place in a part of the furniture store with wall art depicting Dove Center and its mission. Dove Center St. George serves the Washington and Kane County area, and as a private nonprofit it can provide free, confidential services to families and individuals in need of support. 

Dove Center is a victim service provider organization providing supportive advocacy counseling. Services include safe emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence, domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as transitional housing for families trying to regain their independence.

Dove Center Executive Director Lindsey Boyer talks about the challenges securing funding during the 2020 pandemic, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

“Thank you to all those who make this possible,” Boyer said. “This is a really big deal because we don’t have a lot of freedom in our funding. So much of our revenue comes from restrictive grant funding. When we get these unrestricted gifts, it helps to support the programming that isn’t always easy to fund, for example, our prevention education work.”

Thomas, who’s worked for the furniture company for almost 33 years, said the giving was inspired by the company’s core value of community contribution. He also explained that there were personal reasons that made the receiving organization especially meaningful to him.

“My mother was in an abusive relationship when she was young and had to seek help from somebody like the Dove Center,” Thomas said. “The Dove Center, far and away, helps people that are at the end of their rope and need someplace to go. I love being a part of something that’s bigger than I am.”

Thomas said that his mother was able to get the help she needed, attend Southern Utah University, become a social worker and end up working for Dove Center in Richfield. He said that success stories like hers were made possible through community giving.

A mural in the bedding section of the BlvdHome store tells the story of the Dove Center as part of a charitable campaign, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

BlvdHome raised funds for the donation through sales of a private-label brand known as the “HomeTown Collection.” With mattress styles named for small Utah towns like Monticello, Fillmore, Newcastle and Escalante, the HomeTown Collection was always intended to be tied to local charitable causes, Thomas said.

“It really started last year with the Dove Center,” Thomas said. “Before that, we made a lot of donations to the Washington County School Foundation and other things – pretty much always something to do with kids. This year we’ll be donating to the Iron County and Washington County Family Support Centers.”

The donation caps off a week of fundraising by the Dove Center. The nonprofit was able to raise around $160,000 through fundraising efforts tied to its virtual gala held Thursday.

“It’s a little bit tricky to create an environment of connection and feeling connected to what we’re trying to accomplish through a computer screen,” Boyer said. “But our supporters helped us to raise more money this year than any year yet. It was a really nice outcome, and a pleasant surprise going into our first virtual event ever.”

Boyer said that an anonymous donor promised to match up to $50,000 dollars in donations secured through the fund-a-need, and they were able to raise around $51,000 to secure the matched donation. With newly secured funding, Dove Center will be able to continue providing services to local survivors of domestic abuse.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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