For Douglas High School Class of 1977 Alumni Michael Rochin coming back and helping in any possible way the Douglas community has always been a personal goal. And now he has been given the opportunity to do so.
Summit Life Center staff welcomes all the community to their location. From left, volunteer Adam Garcia Sr., owners Mike and Sharon Rochin, and volunteers Daniel Y. Harper and Rene Nuñez. Francisco Barrios/Douglas Dispatch
Rochin said they came to town with the intention of helping the Summit Life Ministry, which is a non-profit organization with the goal of helping communities with clothing, water, food, as well as to offer spiritual help when needed.
“We are in constant contact with donors across the country, who believe in our vision and we have opened this center to make a positive impact on the community,” Rochin said. “We brought a 53’ truck of discounted vegetables and other items to the old Kmart about three months ago, and that was with the purpose of seeing if there was a need because this is a big step for us; the response was so great that we decided to open the center in no time.”
Although Summit Life Center received donations of goods from external donors, they encourage local businesses and individuals to visit the center and get involved with it in order to reach more the needy in town.
“We accept donations from community members for merchandise that would otherwise be too expensive for them to purchase at the Douglas area supermarkets, so for instance, if you donate a box of Nesquik that is like $5 at the store, we would ask for a donation of $2.50; that means we are not out to make a buck; we are out to stay in the ministry so that others in the community can gain.”
Rochin also said that thanks to the generous support of Joe Borane, who is helping them with the building and volunteer, they were able to open the center. Borane approached to the family when they brought the truck to Kmart and let them know he wanted to be part of the project.
Another benefit for the community, according to Rochin is that whatever they don’t get a donation for, the center will partner with the local Food Bank so they can distribute it throughout the community, so nothing will go to waste.
“On that occasion when we brought the truck we ended up giving to the food bank 14,000 pounds of vegetables to the community through the Food Bank,” he expressed.
Right now, items available at the center include bottled water, Sobe soft drink, mouthwash, baby crib bumper pads, oatmeal cookies, ranch dressings; tanning oil, mop heads, Aloe Vera after sun lotions, and more.
Summit Life Center will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 9-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-4 p.m.
For more information about the center, please call (520) 465-7141.