TROSA raises money for medical clinic

From Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 18, people in the Durham area can stop by Oxford Commons and get almost anything from an office chair to a used car.

 TROSA resident Steve Jackson stops to smile as he backs up one of the many tractor-trailers filled with donations for Wednesday’s sale.

TROSA resident Steve Jackson stops to smile as he backs up one of the many tractor-trailers filled with donations for Wednesday’s sale. Staff photo by Katie Reeder

TROSA – Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers – holds its fundraising sale this week to help raise money for a new medical clinic for its residents.

But this sale is not just about fundraising. Jeff Stern, TROSA’s director of business operations, said the fundraiser also helps put a face to addiction. When people come to Oxford Commons at 3500 N. Roxboro Rd., there will be 50 TROSA residents, all friendly and willing to help, available to assist them.

“It allows us to really humanize what’s going on and see it’s not a weird, scary thing,” Stern said.

TROSA’s residential program helps people recovering from substance abuse. It typically lasts two years, and during that time residents receive vocational training as well as counseling, Stern said.

TROSA-operated businesses and other sales TROSA holds throughout the year support the program so that residents do not have to pay for it, Stern said.

Residents receive training in different areas of TROSA’s businesses with opportunity for promotion. TROSA has lawn care, moving and storage, thrift store and Christmas tree businesses.

The manager of the North Roxboro Street thrift store, Michael Lally, said this training is a foundational part of what TROSA does.

“It’s a huge part of recovery,” he said. “It builds self-confidence.”

Resident Rene Torres has been with TROSA for 23 months and earned his horticulture certification after working in TROSA’s lawn care department. He said TROSA has taught him vocational skills as well as leadership and interpersonal skills.

“I like this place,” he said. “This place has made me a leader.”

Torres said he was once shy and did not know how to speak his mind, but he has since learned how to be a leader in his home and help others instead of only worrying about himself.

“It’s not Rene, Rene, Rene,” he said, “There’s other people too.”

Torres has decided to continue as a program graduate with TROSA after he completes his second year. He now works as a sales coordinator in the North Roxboro Street thrift store.

During the fundraising sale, Torres said he will not be under the tents assisting customers. He often serves as a translator inside the thrift store since he speaks Spanish. The store will be open during the sale, and Torres expects it to be packed.

Lally said he expects the sale, TROSA’s second largest fundraiser of the year, to be packed with more than 4,000 carloads of people coming from all areas.

“Realistically, it could be around 25,000 people,” he said.


TROSA supporters donated 40 tractor-trailer loads of items. TROSA will continue to accept donations during the sale. Staff photo by Katie Reeder

Lally said they have been planning and collecting donations through their moving and storage department and the thrift stores all year long. Other people have donated directly to the sale, and Stern said people can still drop off their donations during the sale.

Lally said the variety and quality of the goods are some of the sale’s biggest attractions.

“TROSA tries to put out something that’s not falling apart,” he said. “Not to mention, it supports such a great cause.”

Although Stern said TROSA has the freedom to funnel the money from the fundraiser to where it is most needed, he said much of it is planned to go to the building of a new two-story medical clinic.

With 525 residents, Stern said the current medical facility does not meet TROSA’s needs.

“We just need to be able to keep growing in order to match the growth in our resident population,” he said.

The sale will run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, and people can continue to donate items during the sale.

One thought on “TROSA raises money for medical clinic

  1. Sandie Alger says:

    This is TROSA’s biggest yard sale ever. Everyone should go and check it out, lots of good stuff. Great to buy a new dishwasher, stove or some clothes and furniture

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