There is a lovely symbiotic relationship — both giving and receiving.
Libby Suttles and her husband, Dale, have a “typical” kid, Taylor, who is now 24. They also have a 13-year-old special-needs son, Matthew, whom they fell in love with as a foster baby and adopted at 14 months old.
“We moved to Danville because of Wilderness Trace,” she says. “Matt was there from 2 years old until 5 1⁄2. They taught him to sign. He learned to walk there.”
Suttles recently left her position with Heart of Kentucky United Way as director of marketing to come to work for WTCDC in much the same capacity. She says her relationship with United Way, one of the financial streams supporting WTCDC, will be valuable to her new position. One of her first fundraising ideas at her new position is Blue Bird Market. The steady income produced there will help keep the program operating.
Located at 1857 S. Danville Bypass, Blue Bird Market has access to more than 8,000 square feet of space.
Besides Suttles, help is coming from WTCDC board members such as Kourtney Shewmaker of Harrodsburg, who is a pharmacist at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, and local veterinarian Aaron Rowland of Danville, as well as others.
“It feels kind of risky,” Shewmaker said of the new venture, “It’s a huge step to take, but we are all very excited,”
“This was Libby’s idea and, from a board perspective, it makes sense to become more financially independent,” Rowland says.
Jacob Bryant, a senior at Morehead State University is working toward his degree in social work by working with Blue Bird Market and the kids at WTCDC.
“I¿am a big people person all the way, and I especially want to work with kids,” he says.
“They are a pretty great bunch,” he says of the kids at WTCDC.
Travis Adams of Shelbyville, a sophomore at Centre College, is donating an average of 10 hours weekly to the Blue Bird Market as part of the Bonner Scholars, a national program where college kids work in local communities to help make a difference.
“I’ve already told people about this in Shelbyville, and I know some are planning to donate,” he says.
“I¿know there are people that have things in their basement or attics or whatever that they are thinking about what to do with those things,” Suttles says. “I know a lot of these people will let us put the things to good use.”
What do they want, and can use, as donations?
Used furniture in good condition, antiques, art, glassware, garden tools, working electronics, jewelry and building materials are all on the list. Clothing donations are not needed.
“Sofas will probably be $200 and under,” Suttles says.
A pristine clawfoot tub with what appears to be new gleaming new fixtures has a price tag of $300.
Suttles envisions having special events such as guest curators and artists hosting an evening sale or maybe a jewelry event.
“Maybe pay something like $30 and leave with something really nice like a bracelet you made yourself,” she says.
Blue Bird Market will pick up and sell entire estates donated as a tax deduction to spare the owners the time and trouble of disposing of unneeded items.
For pickup, call (859) 516-1193.
“We are already getting really nice things. We are thinking maybe even themed rooms. And 100 percent of it is going back into the center,” Suttles says.