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RV show raises truckloads for a local shelter

RV show raises truckloads for a local shelter

OTSEGO COUNTY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- A homeless shelter in Otsego County got a generous donation from the Northern Michigan Camping and RV Show.

"We've pretty much been full since we've been opened at this location." said Vicky Rigney, the vice president of The Refuge.

Until last November, the shelter bounced from church to church with mats for people to sleep on.

Now, the group has a small house that can provide shelter for nine people at a time and feed them breakfast and dinner.

"It's just amazing how much of a help this is to people who don't have a place to stay, who don't have a place to put their head down at night," Rigney said.

At this year's Northern Michigan Camping and RV Show, instead of charging an entree fee, it charged a donation of food or money for The Refuge.

It ended up raising more than $9,000 and about seven truck loads of food.

"This is going to help us greatly to continue with this mission that we have," Rigney said.

The Refuge is for adults who don't have a place to live.

"I was the first one to check in right after it opened, the day after it opened, after Thanksgiving," said Carl, who stays at the Refuge.

Carl found himself in a situation where he had nowhere to stay and was camping in the cold.

He was been staying at The Refuge since it opened and helps to volunteer when he can.

"You meet all different kinds of people," Carl said. "It's surprising how many circumstances can put you here. You can have a normal life, your own business even and have a beautiful house. I had a retirement home on a nice lake here and all of the sudden you get a divorce and you lose it all and you're stuck in a place like this. So you're really appreciative to have a choice to go, because I was camping until then and I was getting really really cold."

The Refuge used some of the donated money to put in a much needed new toilet.

There was so much food that they shared it with the Otsego County Food Pantry.

Anyone interested in donating to The Refuge can find information on its website.

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