Children's Haven International

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Traditionally CHI’s fabulous Thrift Store has only operated while the “Winter Texans” were around. In fact in 2008, we shut our doors before the end of March, due to the heat and lack of volunteers.

But this year, after much discussion & debate with board members, office staff and “Year-round Texan Volunteers” – we decided to try to keep our doors open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. this summer!

Our basic motive was simple, more hours, more sales = more money for the Children at RIN. In addition, we felt that with all the donations coming in, it would help make for a less overwhelming job in the fall for our store volunteers.

All of us have heard the old adage: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and we certainly have been fortunate to find a great group of treasure hunters this summer!
The Lord answered our prayers by providing ample donations, faithful customers (both new & old) and most importantly enough new volunteers to cover all five days. Each with new ideas and lots of energy!

Not only have we been able to keep on top of the incoming donations, but the biggest surprise has been that our summer sales have matched last year’s winter sales. Doubling the money taken in for the care of our children has made even the constant 100+ degree temperatures bearable!

In the fall, once our “veteran” store volunteers return and join the “new recruits”, together we should have Children’s Haven’s best year of thrift store sales ever. Plus, the more volunteers we have, the stronger our CHI family unit becomes; and the more we can contribute to help maintain and even expand our ministry to needy children.

Now, a welcome surprise for everyone the CHI Board has approved installing a drop ceiling and air-conditioning in the store. Certainly that will encourage volunteers to continue, expand potential hours of operation and hopefully, motivate shoppers to spend more time & money with us. Which all adds up to increased revenue, that can help make some of our dreams- reality for the youngsters at Refugio.

For those of you less familiar with our thrift store operation, it is important to note the following:

  • All donations are carefully sorted and those that can be used for the children of our Home, go directly across.
  • Next priority would be to price items reasonably so as to make funds for our children, but also serve some of the Valley’s neediest communities such as our neighbors from Lopezville. Because we run on all volunteer labor, 100% of our proceeds go straight to the children
  • Specialized donations, such as medical equipment, are shared with other sister organizations like Mable’s Clinic. (Computer supplies have been given to an Inner-city Ministry in Houston, reading glasses make their way to the Lions Club, etc. )
  • And if we can’t use it, sell it or share it, we bundle it up, take it across the river and give it away in Reynosa’s poorest neighborhoods, known as the Colonias.

So you see, when you decide to donate, volunteer or shop, not only are you a blessing to our 55 children, but also to literally countless, needy folks on both sides of the border.

Special Thanks also goes out all to our other Summer Thrift Store Volunteers : Delia Salinas, Mary Reyes, Ilka Steele, Fira Altman, Darlene & Jesse Curtsinger & Sarah Roach

Editor’s note: This article was written by Pat Turany, our “Volunteer” Volunteer Coordinator. Without her dedication, and the help of her husband Ron, the improvements to the store wouldn’t have been possible! -B.C.

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