Lewisville-based Christian Community Action has long been known for two things: its charitable work helping the needy and preventing homelessness and its four reSale branded thrift stores in Lewisville, The Colony, and Carrollton.
CCA President Chasz Parker said the stores provide about 30 percent of the revenue that the charity uses to fund its activities. Now the organization’s board of directors has made a change that Parker says will help CCA keep focus on its charitable mission while maintaining that revenue.
As of Friday, CCA began a partnership with Dallas-based Recycle2Support, which owns the Thrift Giant retail chain. Recycle2Support takes possession and will operate CCA’s thrift stores and the Flower Mound donation center.
The stores will continue to operate and be renamed “Thrift Giant in Support of CCA.” Revenue from the stores will still flow back to CCA, but according to Parker, this allows the charity to avoid the overhead and labor costs of running the stores. The arrangement is for a minimum of 10 years.
“CCA’s mission has always been to serve the poor in the name of Jesus Christ by providing comprehensive services that alleviate suffering, bring hope and change lives in communities throughout North Texas,” read a sign placed near the checkout in CCA’s reSale store on S.H. 121 Business in Lewisville. “Our primary purpose is not to be a retailer, but to serve those in need.”
Tammy Wallace, the chief operating officer of Thrift Giant echoed Parker’s comments about the deal allowing CCA to keep its focus. “It’s hard to be devoted to running a social enterprise and social services,” Wallace said. “There’s so much regulation and reporting nowadays.”
Wallace knows a thing or two about that. She was CCA’s chief financial officer from 2008 to 2012. Now in addition to running thrift stores, she provides consulting to nonprofits.
Wallace said that her company interacts with a lot of nonprofits to help them convert their streams of in-kind donations into a cash flow. For CCA, Wallace said the move is win-win for both parties, and that it will take away the headache for CCA of trying to operate the stores.
She said that customers could expect to see the stores selling even more clothing. Thrift Giant will double or triple the amount of clothing in the stores, since those are the biggest sellers. Store hours will remain the same as they are now until January at least.
Beginning Sunday, December 10, the donation drop-off locations will also have Sunday hours, allowing donors who clean their closets over the weekend a more convenient time to bring their donations. CCA had not been able to accomplish that due to labor constraints.
Donors will still be able to drop off tax-deductible donations at CCA’s current locations and get a receipt from CCA for tax purposes.
Recycle2Support has hired all of CCA’s thrift store employees. Wallace said that CCA will be paid based on the in-kind donations of merchandise received. In this way, CCA’s take will not be affected by retail decisions that might cause sales fluctuations.
Wallace encouraged donors to bring their donations of clothing in, whether or not they think it could sell. She explained that Recycle2Support’s mission is not only charitable, but environmental.
The organization diverts 99 percent of what it receives away from the landfill. Even odd socks, holey jeans, torn shirts and mismatched shoes can find a use. Wallace explained that items are sorted, and that items could be sold for repurposing in other forms. A torn shirt could become a mechanic’s rag. Blue jeans could become insulation.
Parker is hopeful that CCA’s donors and supporters understand the decision and continue to donate.
“We want people to know us as the organization that helps people in tough situations,” Parker said, noting that CCA helped 500 people in the past year not to become homeless.
CCA provides its clients with various forms of assistance, including housing and utility support, transportation assistance, clothing (via vouchers to its thrift stores), training, and access to its food pantry.
For locations and hours of CCA’s thrift stores and donation center, or to make a monetary donation, please visit https://ccahelps.org/give/?campaigncode=LTJ