Local resource center will close its doors

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COLUMBIA - CoMo Cares is a non-profit organization and will close its doors Friday evening.

CoMo Cares was founded nearly three years ago and has served as a resource center providing things like clothing and toys for children ages five and under.

Kara Amann works for CoMo Cares and said people who run non-profits face many challenges.

"I think every non-profit struggles with overhead costs," Amann said. "That's rent, utilities, things like that. People don't want to donate and give to overhead costs because that's not something that's going directly to people in need, but it's necessary to run a non-profit."

Amann said CoMo Cares would need a larger and less expensive location to continue.

"And hopefully somebody who is willing to work with us for a good price on rent," Amann said. "We also outgrew this space really quickly, so we don't have enough space for everything and our storage is in a different place. It would be nice if we could do everything in one big place."

The resource center will donate all the unsold items to other organizations after the store closes.

"So we donated the maternity clothes to Lutheran Family and Children's Services, the books are going to Columbia Public Schools, we donated all the books about parenting and pregnancy to Parents as Teachers, and then we are donating clothes to Columbia Pay It Forward."

All of CoMo Cares services operate through referral agencies. Amann said people who need the help should continue to go to these other agencies because they are knowledgeable about other resources in the community.

"We go to places such as Love INC and Voluntary Action Center," Amann said. "They would still be able to connect them to other resources in the meantime. And those are still the ones we are giving the diapers to, so they would continue to be able to get diapers through those agencies."

Amann said a lot of people are sad to see the resource center close but she is excited to see CoMo Cares grow as a non-profit organization.

"This is giving us the opportunity to step back and do some strategic planning thinking about where CoMo Cares is going to go in the future," Amann said. "So that's a really good thing for CoMo Cares. We'll be able to see what needs to change, what we can continue doing."

Although the resource center will close its doors, Amann said it will continue to provide diapers to its non-profit partners.

Customers, volunteers and anyone who wants to keep connected with CoMo Cares while it reworks its business plan can visit CoMoCares.org or visit its Facebook.

"The best place to check is our Facebook because we try to keep that as up to date as possible," Amann said. "