Why Grateful Heart ReSale is closing at Vanderbilt Commons

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this letter. After a year and a half, all the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention the amount of money spent and hard work that Drew and I put into Grateful Heart. We are forced to move because of what we sell. We were approved through collier county zoning to sell antiques (which was told to us at the time that we must sell at least 51% in Antique sales) no problem! 1 Antique item sold would likely make up the 51%. So we went a head with the buildout. Opening January 5th only to have code enforcement at our door January 15th saying we are not in compliance. The President of the HOA for Black Bear Ridge never wanted us to open therefore she sent people into the store on several occasions to take pictures and even speak to me incognito, while smiling to my face yet reporting back to her with pictures of the non antique items. She would then call code enforcement and send them pictures that were taken of me building things to save money for the store. We were told to make certain adjustments to remove the clothing, shoes, purses. Which we did. Then we recieved a  rack of clothes that were donated the day code enforcement came back in to inspect and the landlord was fined and required to attend a special code hearing on May 3rd, which I attended. I went to collier county zoning to speak to the head of zoning department to find out inadvance of the special hearing,  why I was not being asked to prove my sales of 51% as promised and he said, they should have because your business license is approved as stated to be 51% Antiques. And if you are selling at 51% antiques you are in compliance. I walked into the hearing with my head held high because of that meeting only to walk out with the news that the definition was misunderstood with in the PUD. Keep in mind that no one, NO OTHER PERSON has/had any issues with the store except the Black Bear Ridge HOA president. So per the special magistrate hearing that was held on May 3rd, 2019. We are to be held to selling strictly antiques and antiques are now defined as per the Webster's dictionary of 100 years or older items only Vanderbilt Commons landlord (George Vuko) has been very supportive because he also believes in Grateful Heart's mission as with all of you. He tried diligently to help sort this out. The store can not survive selling strictly Antiques and the cause can not be achieved through Antiuqes only sales. I have not been able to run the store efficiently since the opening because of the perpetual relentlessness she has had against the landlord, Gratful heart which proceeds are linked to St. Agnes Church because of her personal power trip. One example of this is while I was visiting a friend in Black Bear Ridge, I knocked on doors of the Parishioners to have them sign a petition in show of their support of our cause, she chased me down barefoot screaming for me to leave. I then confronted her and asked why she is doing this to a non profit? I went on to ask her if she even knows our cause. Her response? "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR CAUSE IS. George lied to me." She went on to say it doesn't matter how many signatures you get, I will shut it down! Well, She won! We are moving! I congratulate her for her hard work. I cant imagine that she speaks for all of Black Bear Ridge since there are many St. Agnes families residing in that community. I would NEVER be comfortable living in a community where the president of the HOA can have that much freedom with no heart, so much so that residents are afraid to speak up and to speak for themselves.

The landlord is letting us out of our lease but we have lost all the monies invested in the buildout and other related expenses. Not to mention the lack of sales from not having a sign up because we were not able to display "Resale" or what we wanted.

Grateful Heart was created from my heart and our shared love for at risk youth. You know the ones; they didn’t ask to be born yet here they are, with a job! The job to take on the messes of their parents because they, themselves were not equipped to bring a child into this world for whatever reason, be it right or wrong. These kids were forced to endure things we can only imagine and can only be seen in horrifying movie scripts. Some get lucky and meet wonderful foster parents that are invested in their future. God bless them! Some are fortunate enough to get adopted by good people that will care for them as their own and are equipped to do so. God bless them too! What about the ones that just wander from foster home to foster home? I’m not blaming the parent/s or the foster care system. That's not what we’re about. We are for the children! Children should be laughing and playing, free of responsibility and fear. We are for the ones that fall through the cracks as life doesn’t just hand them some lemons, it keeps dumping buckets if it onto their laps. Our dream is to make sure that each one of these children know that they matter!!! That they are special!!! That their unique qualities define them, not the life they were born into. We want them to know that they have a choice now! They can do what they were created by God to do in this world and to add value to it and that THEY bring value and that THEY are precious as they are, Uniquely themselves! How many children do you know feel this way about themselves whiling living their life? NONE!!!

We can not fully express our deep gratitude for all your love and support. Since it is our dream to see fulfilled, we will endeavor to find alternative ways through different fundraising events and other avenues. Hopefully with your continued support.

The Store closing date is June 30th (Sunday) 2019. We will be open that day. Please come by and show your support and wish us luck and prayers.

This is horrifying hickup!!! But I know GOD has a plan for us.

 He didn’t bring us this far to have us fail.

~Yours truly,

Grateful Heart Inc.

Marie Striebel~Grateful Heart Inc.