Center reaches out to lost in community

Published 1:08 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

“Life is much easier when you meet it with a smile,” is a line from a poem written by Kim Bradley’s late grandfather L.P. Bradberry.

Bradley adopted this slogan for the non-profit organization, Heavenly Smile Inc. that she recently co-founded at the intersection of Highways 39 and 47 in Chelsea.

“Many people have lost basic day-to-day functioning skills because of certain circumstances in their lives,” Bradberry said. “People who’ve recently lost a spouse through death or divorce, recovering addicts, recently released inmates, families of recently incarcerated, people overwhelmed by everyday life. We provide a place where people can come for fun as well as to receive help when they are hurting.”

Bradberry said some need food or help paying bills, some a place away from the pressures of life to sit and read or to share fun activities with others. She said other people need to learn job skills.

Staff and board members at Heavenly Smile teach basic life skills like personal health and hygiene, balancing a checkbook and managing finances. Professionals are also available to train people in several job-related areas.

In the past, the center hosted free community senior luncheons and movies, Bradley said, but stopped during the summer because so many people were traveling. But the dinners will resume in Jan.

Presently, the center is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. By Spring of 2009, Bradley said, they plan to be back in full-swing with speakers and local talent.

The latest event was a coffeehouse-style, benefit fund-raiser by a local band. A special “Senior Holiday Brunch” is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. Interested persons can call 678-6603 to RSVP.

“We also plan to start on the third series of the Dave Ramsey 13-week-course, ‘Financial Peace’ on Jan. 8,” Bradley said. “We did the first two during 2008.”

The class involves a small cost for study materials, she added, but scholarships are available for people who can’t afford it.

“There are hundreds of individuals who might gain the self-confidence they need to make it in life when given the proper setting for learning and training,” said Bradley.

Her hope, she said, is to make Heavenly Smile such a place.

She wants to — as another line in her grandfather’s poem says — “spread that Heavenly smile.”