Nonprofit Moves into New Building After Tornado

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Work is underway to renovate S.A.F.E.'s new space in Plains Township.

"We've walked this building many, many times and we've been in that space plenty of times, so it's really different today," S.A.F.E. board member Stefanie Crothers said. "It looks totally different and we're thrilled."

S.A.F.E. stands for "Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere. It is a nonprofit that puts on actives and provides services for families who have children with autism.

Back in June, the organization's location in Wilkes-Barre Township was destroyed by the tornado that hit the area. It's been searching for a space ever since.

"It's been difficult to find a place to go where there's lots of parking and is easily accessible from the highways," Crothers said. "Our kiddos can be pretty sensitive to noise and different smells. So, we had to make sure that we're in a place that isn't overwhelming."

S.A.F.E.'s new space is in a shopping center on North River Street in Plains Township.

The group applied for a $5,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation to help renovate the space. Volunteers are doing all the work.

"Most of (what we do is) kind of veteran-driven, but they had certainly a need and they're part of our community," Wilkes-Barre Home Depot General Manager J.T. Tauber said. "So, we felt it was inherent on us to ensure that we're certainly giving back to our community."

S.A.F.E. hopes the renovations will be done in a week. The organization hopes to open by the first of May.

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