A MESSAGE FROM
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO
Could this be you?
It’s 2020. You live in a nice Collin County neighborhood and own your home with a large mortgage, and you lease two cars. You and your spouse work hard to support your family and care for your children. You have little savings, but you hope to begin building a college fund/retirement account soon. You know that many of your neighbors are like you, living close to each paycheck but never missing a payment or bill. Your year is off to a great start.
But it’s 2020, so we know how this story will go… In the first 6 months of the year you have both been furloughed or laid off from your jobs. Your kids are all now schooling at home and there’s chaos and frustration building in your household. There is fear all around due to a pandemic that has impacted our country. You have little money in the bank, large bills from last Christmas and realize you now can’t pay your mortgage, your utilities or even buy groceries. This has never happened to you before. You have no idea where to turn for help.
But you remember the local non-profit where your spouse volunteered before you had kids, where you send a donation for a tax deduction at the end of each year, and where you’ve seen a sign for their food pantry. So you Google ALL COMMUNITY OUTREACH.
Soon, thanks to ACO, you have 3 months of your mortgage paid, assistance with your electric bill, and an easy drive-thru food distribution to get groceries each week- including milk, eggs, produce and meats. You had no idea that so much help was available. You had no idea that so many families in Collin County were also reaching out to ACO for assistance.
You know that someday, when you are back to “normal” that you will write a bigger check for that donation and look into their volunteer programs. You know that you will be forever grateful that a social services agency with a mission to prevent hunger and homelessness exists and now understand how vital an organization can be to struggling families. You never thought that this could be you.
ACO is funded by your neighbors, local businesses, foundations and generous Collin County donors. It’s not affiliated with the government, though we have amazing support from local cities. It’s a local non-profit, formed in 1985 to serve the community. It’s been feeding hungry families, helping neighbors stay in their homes, providing job assistance and education opportunities, medical assistance, distributing school supplies, toys at Christmastime, and much more for than 35 years.
2020 has been difficult for all of us, and ACO is no exception. We’ve had to change our focus to meet the immediate needs of our community, and provide services in a safe environment. We’ve had to protect our staff and volunteers who are community first-responders. We’ve had to continue to operate and provide financial assistance to those in need, while having our own operational income cut. But we have continued our mission, thanks to you and your gifts.
I have asked for your support as we have maneuvered through the challenges of this year. And some of the largest challenges are ahead of us before year’s end. I continue to ask for your donations of food and financial gifts to help families through the holiday season, the cold winter months and the continued struggles due to COVID-19. I ask that you continue to join hands with ACO!
I thank you ever so graciously for your gifts and support in 2020. And I ask you to please continue to give what you can. There are so many families who can’t give at this time and need your help. Just think, it could be you.
ONE MORE THING…
Please drive down Main Street in Allen and slow down in the 800 block. You will be amazed at the transformation taking place at our main location at 801 E. Main!
We could have never been able to afford the skill, labor, supplies and paint to update our building inside and out. Thanks to the Allen Chapter of Young Men’s Service League, we have a refresh and beautiful new look taking place.
They have replaced our dated décor and paint inside our admin offices and food pantry. They have cleaned and replaced fixtures, ceiling tiles, and redesigned our resale store space. The exterior of the building has a fresh new look! It’s just incredible!
The ACO Resale Store will reopen in 2021 with a renewed spirit and shopping experience. We are so excited and forever grateful to the organization and the businesses who have donated their time and supplies. We are honored that the community has come together to support this project. Soon we will post photos and a list of all who have made it possible.
ALSO– please check out website for updates on dates and needs for ACO holiday programs- www.acocares.org. I apologize for my misinformation in the last email- I had the date wrong on our food drive and mentioned wrapped toys for Christmas but I meant UNWRAPPED TOYS! I type too fast and am a terrible proofreader.