Dear ACO Friend and Neighbor,
The ACO Board of Directors and Staff hope you are enjoying your summer. While many families in Collin County are relaxing with vacations, cook-outs, leisure time at the pool, and fun in the sun with lots of ice cream, we are seeing many local families come through our doors facing a different type of summer.
Due to job loss, illness, domestic violence, or a bad decision, many families living in our community are faced with the decision to either buy food for their children or to pay their electricity bill. There isn’t any money left for ice cream, picnics, and much less for vacations.
While most families are enjoying a stress-free summer, other families are faced with piling bills, disconnection notices and even facing homelessness. It may be hard to imagine that there is this type of tragedy and despair here among our neighbors so close to home. But for more than 100 local families that we see at Allen Community Outreach each month, hunger and homelessness is their reality.
Most often we think of the end of the year as a “season of giving” when donations are made to local charities at Christmastime and thoughts of helping others are on our minds. But for more than 20 years, Allen Community Outreach has spread a message of giving in the summertime through the annual “Christmas In July” Campaign. YOU can make an impact on these families facing crisis by giving to ACO this July. YOU can insure that children don’t go to bed hungry and parents can sleep soundly knowing they will continue to have a roof over their heads.
The number of families we see continues to rise. Recently we added another case manager to our staff to handle the increased number of clients in need of vital services and programs. Without an agency such as ACO in our community, poverty would be much more prevalent.
Without ACO services to provide financial assistance, many families would lose their homes because they are not able to pay their rent. They would struggle through the summer with no air-conditioning or heat in the winter time. There would be no one to help them avoid homelessness.
Without ACO programs to assist with education and employment, there would be students unable to obtain their GED or continue their education at local colleges and training centers. There would be no one to provide career counseling or professional development. We would have families continuing to live below the poverty line without living-wage jobs.
Without the ACO Food Pantry, hunger would prevail. There would be no free pantry to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy or meats to put dinner on the table. Cupboards would be empty in many homes, illnesses related to hunger or unhealthy eating habits would be widespread. There would be no one working to prevent hunger.
Without ACO supporters to help us to meet the needs of many families with nowhere else to turn, sick children would not have the opportunity to see a doctor, and our elderly would not be able to receive much needed prescriptions. Mental health and domestic violence would be higher without assistance for counseling.
Without YOU, our community would not be strong, vital and have the quality of life we all value.
YOU make it possible for Allen Community Outreach to open its doors each day and provide these critical services and programs in our community. We hope to keep counting on your support through donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.
Please continue your support and donate TODAY to the “Christmas In July” Campaign.
“I was a donor to ACO for years. Every time we cleaned our closets, my kids’ outgrown clothes were donated to ACO. We brought cans of food to school when there were food drives, and bought toys at Christmas to give to families who were less fortunate and in need.
Never did I think that we would be one of those families. I always knew that ACO was a great service to our community, but I did not know just how vital it was until we needed help. Until you receive that eviction notice that you cannot pay, and there’s nothing in your kitchen to feed your kids, AND until you are so broke you begin to think the unthinkable, then you know how important those donations you’ve made in the past have impacted desperate families. I was desperate.
So I went to ACO and met with their kind and caring staff who were able to provide some instant relief and put us back on a path to self-sufficiency. We aren’t there yet, and still depend on ACO occasionally for food and school supplies. But when we are able, we will again give all that we can to that agency. —Donna F.
These are the stories we hear. These are the people we meet. These are your neighbors. And we cannot help them without your support. 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 survive day to day.
The services and programs of Allen Community Outreach 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 with the envelope in your mailer or online at our secure website, www.acocares.org.
Monty Moore Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr Daniela Mesquita
Chief Executive Officer Chief Operating Officer Director of Fund Development
$100 provides healthy groceries and fresh produce for a family of 6 for one week
$250 assists a family with their utility bills for one month
$500 keeps a family safe in their home for one month
$1,000 is the “Santa” Level of giving. Your commitment of $1,000 will impact many families by transforming their lives. (Payments can be set up for auto draft for just $84 per month!)
Your gift gives families hope…
Make a difference today!