Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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August 31, 2007

Resource Center helping families

The Family Resource Center fills a large building in Gun Barrel City. The Center is a non-profit organization that has grown from a small garage sale to two thrift shops whose profits goes to helping low-income families.

In the late eighties a group of women heard about a family in need of water. The women got the water for the family, and then set up a garage sale. The group became known as the Gray Ghosts. A local company donated a building for the ladies growing garage sales.

The women have since added space onto the building, and the garage sales have become a thrift store. All of the products are cleaned and washed before being placed on the floor.

“We don’t put anything on the floor that we wouldn’t wear or use ourselves,” Toni Muirhead co-founder and Executive Director of the company said.

Although the thrift store is large, the main purpose of the company is to help the less fortunate.

“They just don’t know where to go,” Muirhead said. “We are here to help them in whatever way we can.” A family will come into the center and talk with one of the employees about their current state. The center will listen, and then screen the couple to make sure that they are on food stamps. If the family is not on food stamps, the center will show them how to obtain the stamps.

The Family Resource Center has a “Back to School Program.” This program allows children to get new clothes for the school year.

“We find that children who dress like their classmates are less likely to get into trouble,” Muirhead said. The center collects new clothes throughout the year, and keeps them so that the children can “shop” through the racks of clothes and choose what they want. In the same vain as the “Back to School Program,” the center is wanting to begin a school work program. The program would help to find jobs for teenagers.

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