Recent News Archives - Lake Wales Care Center

Lake Wales Surplus Thrift Store Has Moved!


Come visit the Surplus Thrift Store at our NEW LOCATION!

The Lake Wales Surplus Thrift Store is now located at 39 W. Park Avenue, Lake Wales, FL


Dedication Ceremony Recap

Lake Wales Care Center had a much anticipated celebration on Monday, August 14, 2017. The community gathered, cookies were eaten and smiles were glowing as Care Center staff took a deep breath of fresh air and cut the ribbon right down the middle during our Store Dedication Ceremony. Many supporters attended the celebration, including Mayor Eugene Fultz and his wife, Jan Fultz. Mayor Fultz encouraged Lake Wales Care Center to continue pursuing their mission of helping others and showed his excitement for the many more people to be helped in the future.

The Thrift Store opened just a few weeks ago at its new location. The simple move down the street and the wide open spaces ended up tripling sales in the very first day! The store is projected to hit about $500,000 in sales in 2017. The average sale is $7.36 and over 60,000 customers supported Care Center and its programs by shopping at the Thrift Store this past year.

Thank you to those who came out to the event and to those who continue to support Care Center in various ways. It’s because of you that we are able to do incredible things and will continue to make an impact in our community for many years to come.


Photos From the Event





Empty Bowls 2017 in Review


Thank you to all who attended the Empty Bowls


hosted by


Friday, January 27, 2017


First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales


Empty Bowls is a nationwide fundraising event aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight hunger. In its 11th year, our local Empty Bowls event, “Soup-er Bowls for Hunger” is going strong. This event is free to the community and guests enjoy a simple but delicious supper of crackers and soup, and the beverages offered were limited to water. This reflects that those struggling with hunger often have a limited diet, sometimes consisting of little more than soup and water. There is also live music and a silent and live auction. Local celebrities, artists, and community members create original hand-painted bowls for the cause. During the event, each guest can bid on the bowls by participating in the silent or live auction. This year’s event boasted close to 300 guests bidding on 163 bowls painted by over 150 artists and community members.


A Special Thanks to…

All the local artists and community members who created beautifully painted bowls for the event.


The Band – Fort Greene Pickin’ Society

For entertaining guests throughout the evening with your “toe tappin’ music.”

Everyone enjoyed your sets of music. You provided nice background music within a rather noisy space.


Our Four Live Auction Auctioneers

Jerry Miller – Community Relations Director, Duke Energy

Larry Bossart – Realtor & Chairman, Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce

Cliff Tonjes – Local Business Owner

Laura Hunt – Care Center Board Member


Our Community

To all who gave of their time and resources to make a positive impact on the multiple ways hunger affects our community.


Local Restaurants

Thank you to all of our local restaurants who generously donated their delicious soups to serve our community.

Candlelight Café

Crazy Fish Grill

Crooked Bass

Lake Wales Family Restaurant

Lake Wales Medical Center

Marketplace Café

Pedro’s Downtown Deli


More About the Empty Bowls Project

Empty Bowls is a nationwide program begun in 1990 by an art teacher wanting to teach his students about community involvement. The basic idea for Empty Bowls is simple. Participants paint beautiful ceramic bowls that are then auctioned off at the event.

Guests come to the event and bid on a bowl to keep as a reminder that there are always Empty Bowls in the world. In exchange for a soup meal and the bowl, the guest gives their bid donation to a local charity to help fight hunger.

We at Care Center thank you for your participation today. Please know your gift will help fill empty bowls within our community.

Care Center's Hunger Relief Programs

  • Food Pantry & Basic Needs – Each week nearly 90 families come to Care Center for assistance. Case managers interview the families in order to assess their current needs. Care Center provides tangible resources such as FOOD, clothing, furniture, household items, and equipment, etc. We are also able to provide financial help with rent/mortgage, utilities, Rx, gas, and lodging.
  • Holiday Assistance – FOOD BASKETS are provided at special times of the year for local families who work hard throughout the year to make ends meet. Food drives help stock our Food Pantry with enough food to fill these baskets.
  • Meals On Wheels – provides one well-balanced noon MEAL each weekday to area shut-ins. Meals are prepared daily by the Lake Wales Medical Center and delivered to the recipients’ homes by volunteer drivers.
  • Transitional Housing – Helping families stay together. A real hand up and not just a hand out.  Families stabilize and NUTRITION improves.
  • Community Kitchen – Each Sunday, different churches and other groups throughout our community provide a hot meal to any family or individual who would like to come enjoy the food or just a time of encouragement and fellowship.


Below are some pictures from the event…



Although the Empty Bowls event is just one day in January, a year’s worth of planning, painting bowls,
and organizing goes into making it happen.
We hope to see you at the Empty Bowls “Soup-er Bowls for Hunger” Event Next Year!

2016 Annual Report

Thank you, all, for an outstanding 2016 year! We especially wish to thank all of our past and present volunteers. For a detailed report of all our ministries, click the link below to view our Annual Report and learn all about the outreaches of which we are a part.


Annual Report 2016

Volunteers Make a Difference, Wherever They Are!

A volunteer, by definition, is “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.”  To Lake Wales Care Center, volunteers are even more than that – they are the people who give of their valuable time to make sure Care Center’s mission is accomplished. 

Water’s Edge, Lake Wales’ Senior Living Community, houses some wonderful volunteers that are willing to do just that. This summer, residents of Water’s Edge expressed interest in helping out, but were unable to travel to offer their time, so the Care Center simply came to them. Volunteer Coordinator Jolee Beamer set up a time in the Water’s Edge auditorium, and willing and able residents showed up in great spirits, ready to help. 

The volunteers were a big help, cheerfully taping hangers together to sell in the thrift stores and rolling silverware for the Community Kitchen that happens every Sunday. One resident mentioned how excited she was to be volunteering when she said, “We love the Care Center! You all do such wonderful work. We’re glad to help.” 

Old or young, big or small, volunteers are invaluable members of Lake Wales Care Center. There are always opportunities to serve and be a part of the people helping people helping people.

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