Athens Thrift held one of its donation events Wednesday and gave $126,000 to 21 local charities.
The shop was opened by Drew Douglas in 2010 to raise money for charitable causes in Henderson County. Since opening it has given away approximately $800,000 to non-profits in the community.
Douglas said he is hoping to give a total of $1 million dollars by 2020.
“I believe Christ has asked us to help our communities, and I'm glad He has given me an opportunity to serve here,” Matthew Akin, store manager said.
The thrift store annually supports 21 charities. It accumulates proceeds and then splits them evenly toward each organization. Some of the local non-profits that have benefited from the program include East Texas Crisis, Family Peace Project, First Baptist Children's Clothing and Bedding, Lila Lane and Ruby's Safe Haven.
All of the stores profits go to the community. In order to get the grant, organizations have to apply each year.
President Douglas spoke to the crowd Wednesday. First order of business was thanking the volunteers for their tireless efforts to make the store a success. He said they need volunteers badly and encouraged anyone that has some spare time, or maybe just needs a little purpose to come help at the thrift shop.
He also thanked everyone for the donations. They asked that the public helps them in filtering the trash when they donate. A large part of the volunteers time is spent having to pull actual trash out of donation bags, and the expense of disposing of these items significantly cuts into the amount they can donate back into the community. They value the donations and don't want to discourage anyone, but please make sure when you donate you give respectfully.
“I would like to say Thank you for everyone's donations and volunteer efforts. A lot of people don't know what we have here, but once they find us, they come back,” Akin said
If donations are made when the shop is closed, there is a high chance that the items will be stolen. They asked please donate during business hours or call and arrange a pickup when needed.
One project they were excited about was the grand opening of the Christmas store Nov. 2. The store was filled with hundreds of quality decorative and practical items and gifts. Prices were affordable. Santa will be present and they will serve hot dogs, chips and drinks.
If you are looking for a way to give back to the community, Athens thrift is a window to many local groups.
“There are three ways to help, volunteering, donating and shopping,” Akin said. “Thank you for everything you do, we enjoy working here, because we know it is going to help the community, and we get a lot of pride from that. Jesus has done a great thing here and we hope it continues to bless the area.”
Athens Thrift is located at 1419A E. Tyler St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Recipients of the 2019 grants included:
Athens Soup Kitchen
East Texas Crisis Center
Faith in Action
Family Peace Project
First Baptist Clothing and Bedding ministries
Henderson County Food Pantry
Henderson County Help Center
Henderson County Young Life
Iron House (Call to Recovery)
Labor of Love
Lila Lane Outreach
Love in Action
Meals on Wheels
Ruby's Safe Haven
The ARK campus ministries