When will it open? – January 2024

Happy New Year to all our ACO Friends and Supporters! ACO has an exciting year ahead with so much growth and expansion underway. What I hear most often is, “when will it open?” What they are referring to is the ALL COMMUNITY OUTREACH RESALE, under construction and renovations to open our new MEGA store and donation center at 117 North Greenville and Main Street. Customers ask us when they are shopping at our current location. Volunteers want to know. I am even asked by those who recognize me at the grocery store or out in the community!

The answers are the same- SOON! We have faced some challenges along the way since we purchased the former Big Lots store in that shopping center more than a year ago. We have had delays with permits, unexpected repairs, and necessary changes to meet codes, funding challenges and all that comes with these very costly projects. But, “soon” is getting “sooner!”

This Spring we hope to complete the construction, and in the following months we will begin the relocation to the shopping center. The sign is already installed to recognize our major donor who has so generously supported the project, the DIANE AND JOHN SCHOCH DONATION CENTER.

The new RESALE STORE sign is also going up and will increase our sales floor by 3X of what we currently have. We will host a ribbon cutting and celebration to announce the opening.

The questions however will continue as we will still be asked, “when will it open?” Families we serve and volunteers are also asking when the ACO CARES CENTER/FOOD PANTRY will open in its expanded center on Main Street. As soon as we have moved the resale store, the center will take its place. Plans are underway for renovations there as well, but funding will determine how quickly we can proceed. Our goal is to soon have families step into a brand-new, client-choice pantry and large cares center where they can shop with dignity and select the groceries, clothing, household items and essentials they need most. 

Now’s your opportunity to make a lasting impact and leave a legacy for your family or business. Naming opportunities are available for the ACO Cares Center and ACO Food Pantry to help fund the project. If you are interested in having your name on a building that empowers and uplifts countless families in our community for years to come, please contact me for more information. (The ACO Employment Center, ACO Volunteer Services and other naming opportunities are also still available.)

Our expansion projects are not the only time the question is asked, “when will it open?”

The young mom who is looking at her empty pantry and children’s faces when they tell her they are hungry asks to herself, “when will it open?” She is referring to the next possible time that she can get to our food pantry and receive free groceries to feed her family.

The out of work husband lying awake on a Sunday night, who is struggling to find employment and knows that free services for job skills training, interview skills, resume writing and job search are available at the ACO Employment Center is wondering what time it will open on Monday so that he can call for an appointment.

The student who left high school at 16 and now is working towards her GED diploma is excited that she has completed the last of the tests required for graduation and can’t wait until ACO opens in the morning so that she can be acknowledged by the ACO Staff. She will put the graduation cap and gown on to pose for photos at the office and walk the halls at ACO as the staff cheers and claps with pride. This is all possible thanks to the ACO Learning Academy and the generous gift from the Kiser-Covington families. We will soon be officially recognizing the opening of the academy and its new name!

“When will it open?” is the question asked by hundreds of families who apply for financial assistance with rent and utilities and await a call from our intake staff. Thanks to the help they receive from ACO case managers and funding for housing, many families facing homelessness will remain safe and warm in their homes.

“When will it open?” is a critical question asked throughout Collin County by so many families in crisis and despair who have nowhere else to turn for help. All Community Outreach is open and ready to assist, counsel and guide them to change their lives! With the expansion, we will be able to serve many more residents in need.

One more thing…Honestly, I too lie awake at night wondering “when will it open?” I worry about those who need ACO services so desperately and I know that we cannot open and expand soon enough for those families.

Our staff is working diligently to get our resale operations into the new location so that we can generate operating income. Income from the resale department covers most of our operating costs so that financial gifts from donors and funders can directly impact programs and help those in need. 

We are working diligently to find the additional capital funding needed to complete these projects so that we can open as soon as possible. We are excited to have naming opportunities to recognize our major capital donors. I am grateful to those who have given so generously to ensure ACO’s growth for the future.

Mostly, I am excited to know that soon we will have it ALL OPEN and be able to better serve Collin County. Our mission is to prevent hunger and homelessness. Our mission is to end poverty by providing a path to financial stability. With your support, we will be open soon!

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