Beaufort County charity that shelters homeless wins makeover

dburley@islandpacket.comJanuary 31, 2014 

Ten-month-old Zeph Nehila draws the winning ticket from a hatbox held by his father, Timeless Interiors general manager Joe Nehila, during a drawing Jan. 31, 2014, to donate a 1,500-square-foot office makeover to one of 15 area charities. Holding Zeph is his grandmother, Timeless Interiors owner Holly Dixon. The winning charity was Family Promise, which shelters homeless families.

JAY KARR — Jay Karr Buy Photo

A Beaufort County charity that shelters homeless families won a new room of its own Friday afternoon.

Bluffton-based Family Promise of Beaufort County was chosen by Timeless Interiors, a furniture and interior design store, for a free, 1,500-square-foot room renovation.

"Oh, it's exciting," said Georgia Boehlke, program assistant at the nonprofit that provides temporary shelter for families in the county. "This is a big deal."

The charity was one of 15 organizations entered in the Bluffton company's drawing. Anyone could nominate a charity, and the winner was drawn at random from a basket by Timeless Interiors general manager Joe Nehila's 10-month-old son, Zeph.

The idea for the drawing stemmed from Timeless' need to rid itself of a showroom full of furniture. The firm is moving operations to a new, 52,000-square-foot Bluffton Road location, which it hopes to open this spring, chief information officer Logan Bertram said.

"We knew we were moving soon," Bertram said, "so we thought we could move the furniture we have left over to charity."

Along with the furniture, Timeless will also help design and decorate Family Promise's room makeover.

Bertram estimated the furniture and design time will amount to $10,000 to $15,000.

Boehlke, of Family Promise, said she isn't sure what the group will do with its renovation.

Located on Bluffton Road, the interfaith organization helps homeless families through the combined efforts of a small paid staff, a large group of volunteers and 12 host congregations.

"I imagine we'll do something at the day center," where the families spend their time taking classes or working with a case manager before heading to one of the churches for the evening, she said.

The day center has a laundry room, a kitchen, a great room, office space -- all possibilities for renovation, she said.

"I'll talk to the director, and we'll see," she said. "We're just lucky to win."

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