Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

September 17, 2010

Thrift Store realization of a mission for God

Athens — Drew Douglas has always been mission minded. He has been on more mission trips than he can count to Mexico and other countries.

He has been a vital part of the First Baptist Church of Athens’ Furniture Ministry. He’s helped out with feeding the hungry with the Fry Daddy group, and he has worked with different organizations in cleanup efforts and disaster relief.

Douglas, along with help from several different groups in Athens, have opened Athens Thrift Store at 1419 A E. Tyler St., just east of Wal-Mart.

This was a vision Douglas said God gave him after a trip to Brenham. He says he had recently prayed to God to receive insight on some means to help the Athens community.

“I had a teammate at Baylor who I knew went through some hard times in life,” Douglas said. “When I found out he had turned his life over to the Lord, I also found out he was running a mission down in Brenham. I called him up, and told him I was proud of him, and asked what all he was doing.”

Douglas said after talking to him for a moment, he knew he wanted go to Brenham, and see what his teammate was involved in. He thought they might need some help from the First Baptist Church’s construction team.

“There mission is called Faith Mission,” he said. “They do everything from feeding the hungry to clothes closet, furniture ministry and helping the homeless. Where we have all these different entities doing things in Athens like the food pantry, clothes closet and feeding the hungry, all this is under Faith Mission’s umbrella, funded by a thrift store.”

Douglas said that when they got there they were working on a free clinic like our Disciples Clinic here. It was their next project.

“While we were looking at all of this stuff, we saw everything but the Thrift Store,” he said. “I don’t know why that was, except I guess the devil was trying to pull us away from it, but it stayed in my mind.”

Later on, Douglas asked his friend about the Thrift Store, and what kind of money it did annually.

“I expected him to say $50,000 to $100,000. He told me it did $600,000 annually, and that it was the reason they could fund all their projects. I mean, that’s you giving me your old blue jeans or giving me your old washer when you replace it, and the store sells it and gives the profit to charity.”

The next question Douglas had was how much could go back into the community to support entities like the local women’s shelters or food pantry, and other non-profit groups that need help. They told him is was about  half.

“I’m listening to all of this, and I’m about to fall out of my chair,” Douglas said. “I mean, I’m thinking to be able to give $300,000 a year back to the community to people who really need it is an awesome thing.”

Thirty minutes later, he and First Baptist Missions Pastor Steve Akin are back on the road, headed home, and Douglas says he wants to do this for First Baptist to help with their missions program.

“Steve being wiser than me said he thought it was a great idea, but he said I was missing the boat, and that it needed to be for the community, not First Baptist,” Douglas said. “The Lord put the general idea in my head, but I have to admit I was being a little selfish, because I knew of all our church did for missions, but Steve knew better.”

Akin knew it had to be a community-wide endeavor, and that it had to have support from all charitable people and local churches, according to Douglas.

That was in February. Douglas said he gave the project a lot of prayer, took two trips to Brenham to research their store, and consulted with his friend Ray Cockrell, about how their store was run.

The next step was to get the 501C3 non-profit status application done with help from Holdredge and Co. CPA, and that came back approved.

He then had to find a building. He looked at a building that was for sale, and the owners said they would rent it to him. The only problem is it was a bit out of the way.

Later, the owners of the building approached Douglas, and said they had a buyer, and they needed to sell. The best part was, the company that was buying the building, was moving from the building on East Tyler Street, owned by Cleo Hickman, a church member and friend, who worked with him on the rent.

After obtaining the building, First State Bank of Athens was willing to create a loan to help get him started on retro-fitting the location and buying supplies.

Matthew Akin came on board as a volunteer, and has now become the manager.

“It was all just God at work,” Douglas said. “He worked it all out where we are now in a prime location and easy access.”

Since opening it’s doors three weeks ago, the Thrift Store is averaging $500 per day, with people bringing items for donation just about every day, according to Douglas.

“We have so many people and churches who have helped with the store,” he said. “The pink ladies from the hospital are out there just about every day working on pricing and hanging clothes. I have some other guys and gals who come out to build us shelving, and whatever else we need. It’s been great.”

Douglas is quick to point out that this is not something he has done, but rather something that  God has put together.

“I could have never worked out all of this without Him,” he said. “There have been so many people that have helped. The community has embraced it, and that’s the goal I had with this venture. I want God to get the glory for all of it. This is not me, but God working in our community.”

Douglas said he is expecting it to take about a year to see the income potential, and to get all the bills paid, and then he will know what he will be able to give back to the community.

“My prayer is that this will change the lives of many people in our community, and I believe it will,” he said.

The grand opening for the Athens Thrift Store is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free hot dogs, drinks and chips from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Donations needed are clothes, furniture, sporting goods, lawn care products, books, jewelry, small and large appliances, glassware, construction supplies, antiques, shoes and others.

For more information on pickups, contact the store at 903-675-3160, or Douglas at 903-677-7829, Matt Akin at 903-681-0858, or Ernie Ratliff at 903-677-3615.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through  Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  on Saturday.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Knife-wielding man arrested

    The Athens Police Department arrested a 34-year-old man who allegedly entered an apartment early Saturday and injured another man using a pocket knife.

    July 22, 2014

  • fair Henderson County Rural Resource Fair

    When you find yourself in need of help, it's important to know where to go. The need to know is what drew a crowd to the Trinidad ISD cafeteria Monday morning.
    Approximately 30 non-profit vendors were on hand for the first Rural Resource Fair. The vendors were there to provide information to the public about available resources in Henderson County.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mission Minded

    Eight ladies are in Garland to teach the word of Christ to the area’s Arabic-speaking population.
    Makaye Key of Eustace is part of a group of ladies known as the G.M.A.’s or Girls Missionary Auxilary.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former Pct. 5 JP dies

    Judy Newman, who served as Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace for parts of three decades, died Thursday at age 75.

    July 21, 2014

  • ADR logo.tif City of Tool re-zones property for new Dollar General Store

    After an hour-long  public hearing, the Tool City Council voted to re-zone property located at 1301 S. Tool Dr. (Highway 274) from residential to commercial.  This re-zoning was a required condition for a proposed Dollar General Store.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0122.JPG Broken water main

    City of Athens crewmembers worked in falling rain to fix a broken 8-inch cast-iron water main near the intersection of Barker Street and Faulk Street in Athens Thursday.  Workers believed the reason for the break was the age of the water main. Shown are workers Jonathan Davila, Eric Davis and Marion Klutts.  Also present was Dean Burkhalter.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Mover convicted for stealing goods

    A family’s nightmare finally came to an end on June 25 when John Junior Smith, formerly of Tyler, was sentenced to eight years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for his role in defrauding a family who had hired him to move them. 
    Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner prosecuted the case.  Smith was sentenced in the 173rd Judicial District Court with Judge Dan Moore presiding.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 back to school bash.jpeg Back to School Bash needs donations to help children

    For the second year Leslie Ward has been organizing the Back to School Bash at Cedar Creek Lake. Her goal this year is to provide free hair cuts, immunizations, bibles, backpacks, school supplies and  bags of food to 700 local children.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 CCL ribbon cutting.jpg CCLACC new member

    The Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Friday for new member LaQuinta Inns & Suites in Gun Barrel City. Friends, family and chamber members help Nadina and Reema Patel cut the ribbon. The hotel is owned by Jay Patel and Vimal Patel. Sarah Turner is the general manager of the hotel.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-19 CCL rotary.jpg Speaker at Rotary Club of CCL

    Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn (right) welcomed Pastor Nancy Schoenle as speaker to the Friday Rotary Club meeting. Pastor Nancy is the Director at The Genesis Center. The center is a faith based shelter for women. Genesis provides safety and shelter for victims of domestic violence.  The Center serves Kaufman and Henderson County.  Amanda Michael (center) has lived at the shelter for 10 months. For information The Genesis Center call Pastor Nancy at 972-932-4351.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo