Dear ACO Friend and Neighbor,

Hard times…. We all know how hard it can be to make ends meet. Perhaps you have faced hard times in your life and have learned from these experiences, making you appreciate what you have today. Most of us at one time or another have had to scrimp and save to get by, go without something we wanted, and perhaps had to juggle paying bills. Fortunately for most of us, we have a nice home and a good life. Our kids are happy and go to bed at night with full tummies. But for more than 100 local families that we see at Allen Community Outreach each month, hunger and homelessness is their reality.

Yes, here in Allen, Texas! In 2016, our caseworkers have seen an increase of 20% more families come to ACO for assistance. That’s as many as 50 additional families we are seeing in financial crisis each month. Job loss, illness and high medical bills, divorce, and lack of transportation, are just a few of the many reasons that lead families to dire situations. We hear their stories and see their despair every day.

For many of these families, without ACO there would be no way out of poverty. They have no family to turn to for support, and there’s no other safety net. Through crisis management services and ACO’s Transforming Lives Program there is a path out of hopelessness and poverty. But it takes the support of the community and donations from individuals, businesses and organizations to make it possible.

ACO’s Christmas In July Campaign is a time to remind our community partners each year that we need your help. Without your gifts to support our programs we cannot prevent hunger and homelessness here in Allen. Your support may mean the difference in keeping a family in their home tonight or their children fed tomorrow.


“No one knows how it feels until you can’t feed your kids. When there is nothing in your fridge and they look at you and no longer even ask what’s for dinner because they know you don’t have money for food, that’s when you know you have to do something drastic. I was ready to steal food if I had to. I’ve never felt so desperate in my life.

I had just dropped my kids off at school when a big green and purple truck pulled up in the lane next to me. On the side of the truck it said ACO FOOD PANTRY. That was a life changing day for me and my kids. A year later and many trips to the pantry for groceries, and a few appointments with the caseworker that helped pay my rent for one month, got me enrolled in the GED program and find a better paying job and I’m back on my feet. We are living like normal people again. All because of ACO!”        —Tammy A.


While ACO’s Crisis Management Team is working overtime to assess and counsel the many new and returning families needing emergency assistance just to remain in their homes, feed their children, keep clothes on their backs and their utilities turned on, our Transforming Lives Program is working with families who are on a path to move out of poverty and on to self-sufficiency but need some guidance. We currently have more than 50 students in the GED program, working to better their education so they can increase their income. The Transforming Lives Program works with mentors, tutors and counselors to help families with financial literacy, job counseling, and professional development. The results are strong and measurable. We are seeing families leave the program with college degrees, savings accounts, as first time home owners, and a sense of pride and accomplishment.


“It saved my life. I know it sounds cliché but it’s true. Without Transforming Lives I could not have moved past the obstacles I was facing. Now with this degree I have an appreciation of what this means to me- it’s not just a credential, it means everything because I had to work so hard to get it. I owe ACO and hope I can give back what you’ve given to me.” — James T.


These are the stories we hear. These are the people we meet. These are your neighbors. And we cannot help them without your support. Twenty years ago we began the “Christmas In July” Campaign as a reminder to this community that there is a need all year long. Everyone is reminded to give during the holiday season, but during the summertime while so many of us are enjoying vacations and relaxing with our friends and family we forget those who struggle to pay their rent and high electric bills or simply live without air conditioning. There are hungry children at home alone this summer. It’s easy to forget that there are families in our neighborhoods that are simply one paycheck away from financial disaster.

  • Last year, ACO provided rent and utility assistance to 989 individuals.
  • In 2015, 12,885 Allen area residents received 537,335 pounds of canned foods, meat, dairy and produce from the ACO Food Pantry.
  • Free clothing and household items were received by 1,653 individuals.
  • 1,266 local hungry kids received bags of breakfast and lunch foods for the summer.
  • Backpacks, new shoes and new school supplies were given to 486 students in the Allen ISD.
  • 473 families received holiday groceries for Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners.
  • Christmas toys and gifts were provided to 997 children, teens and seniors.

The services and programs above are made possible because of you. Donations made through Christmas In July and throughout the year prevent hunger and homelessness, and most of all- prevent hopelessness. Please GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE this July and support the Christmas In July Campaign on online at our secure website. Click HERE TO DONATE NOW!

Many thanks,


Glenda May                                                                    Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr

ACO Executive Director                                                Deputy Assistant Executive Director




Client Services 7am-5pm/  Admin Staff 8am-6pm Mondays-Thursdays,  Closed Fridays  

(Closed for Lunch 12:30-1pm)



Don’t let a child go hungry this summer…. Help us feed hungry kids this summer with a donation of $25 or more which will provide a bag of kid-friendly groceries for 2 weeks of breakfast and lunch foods for a child. For a list of food donations needed click here:  aco kids shopping list 2016
During the school year more than 15% of Allen ISD students receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch at school but during the summer they can face hunger. Donate to the cause online and help ACO by FILLING TUMMIES AND FIGHTING HUNGER. Designate in the note section that your donation is for “ACO KIDS SUMMER FOOD.” Click on the link below.

Donate To ACO

  • 2016 ACO Golf Classic

    2016 ACO Golf Classic

  • FILL THE BUS- School Supplies Drive

    FILL THE BUS- School Supplies Drive












If You Can Help

Care & Share Needs

Kitchen Tall Trash Bags
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Body Wash/Bar Soap
Hand Soap
Dishwasher Liquid or Pods
Male and Female Deodorant
Hair Shampoo & Conditioner
Men's Shaving Cream
Household Cleaning Products
Cleaning Wipes
Female Hygiene Product
Adult Toothbrushes
Laundry Soap
Zip lock bags

Current Food Pantry Needs

Rice White
Rice Brown
Tomatoes Whole
Tomatoes Stewed
Tomatoes Diced
Tomatoes Crushed
Tomatoes RO TEL
Potatoes Canned
Potato Mixes
Peas and Carrots
Black-eyed Peas
Pinto Beans in Can
Pinto Beans dry in 1 pound bags
Refried Beans
Pork n Beans
Hamburger Helper
Tuna Helper
Canned Fruit any kind
Grocery Gift Cards

Allen Community Outreach
801 E. Main Street
Allen, TX 75002 
Phone: (972) 727-9131
Fax: (972) 727-1995

Open Monday - Friday
Closed for lunch 12:30pm-1:30pm

Allen Resale Shop 
801 E. Main Street 
Allen, TX 75002
or to schedule pick ups

Monday - Saturday

Farmersville Resale Shop
676 Audie Murphy Pkwy.
(aka Hwy 380) 
Farmersville, TX 75442


Treasure Chest
301 W. Boyd Dr.
Allen, TX 75013

Open 1st and 3rd weekends
of each month

Treasure Chest 2
604 Hwy 78 N
Farmersville, TX 75442

Open 2nd and 4th weekends
of each month