Where Do Your Donations Go?

You clean out your kids’ closets, maybe you got new dishes for Christmas so time to donate your old set, and that old bookshelf in the garage is just taking up space, so you load up your SUV and drive over to 2 Butler Circle in Allen, and pull up to the All Community Outreach Donation Center Drop Off.

Staff or volunteers come to your car, unload your items for you, give you a tax receipt and say thank you. You drive off, lighter in your load and for a moment you wonder what happens to all that “stuff” you just donated.

I can’t speak for other organizations who accept donations, but I can tell you that ACO’s mission is to help local families and that is exactly what your donations do. Inside our warehouse we have teams of amazing staff, who work alongside with volunteers to sift and sort through as much as 25,000 pounds of items from 500-700 cars each week.

But how do those clothes, furniture and household items actually help a family who’s facing homelessness or can’t afford groceries? Our priorities: Repurpose, Resale, Recycle.

1. Your items may be sorted for delivery to the ACO Cares Center. Clothes, shoes, housewares, diapers, cleaning supplies and other essentials are all available from the donations that you provide. At the center, families in need have a “cares card” with a preloaded value where they “shop” for items they need for their family. Families shopping with their cares card are getting the things they need at no charge, but learning to make good financial choices and budget with the credit they have on their card. More than 100 families use the ACO Cares Center each month for necessities that they would otherwise have to purchase at a store. That’s savings they can put toward other critical items and bills.

2. Your items may be sent over to our resale operations and priced for sale in one of our stores. Providing quality, gently-used items at bargain prices attracts local shoppers, and the proceeds from the sales fund ACO operations and vital programs to assist families in crisis. ACO’s Resale Operations gross more than $1,000,000 each year.

3. Your items not repurposed for other families in need, or sold through resale to raise vital funds for programs, are recycled with one of our local partners who also pay us for those items. Recycled items earn ACO as much as $200,000 each year.

ACO’s priorities are to make the best use of your donations, AND keep all local for Collin County families in need. We greatly depend on your donations to keep our facilities and staff available to your neighbors in need.

What about the food, laundry detergent, diapers, school supplies and other essentials that we ask you to donate? Where do they go?

These items, along with donations from local food drives, and weekly overages we receive from local grocers are all sorted in the Donation Center as well. Food is distributed to families through the ACO Food Pantry, currently in a drive-thru model to serve hundreds of hungry families each month. The household products are sent to the ACO Cares Center for distribution there, as mentioned above.

Whether your outgrown clothes, bedding, décor, no longer needed furniture, new school supplies and backpacks, groceries and even pet food, all of your donations go to assist Collin County residents. Through a qualifications process that families must apply, ACO ensures that we are making the best use of your gifts and are good stewards of your donations to give those who are truly in need.

I hope this will help you better understand how ACO benefits from your household donations and know just how vital those donations are to our operations and to local families in crisis.

Hopefully before year’s end, the Donation Center will be moved to a new location with the larger resale store once renovations are complete at our building at Greenville Ave and Main St. Stay tuned for those details, but in the mean time please use our convenient drive and drop processing center at 2 Butler Circle at McDermott, next to the Allen Police Department.

Please accept our sincerest thanks for all of your gifts, and please keep them coming!

One more thing…

I can’t emphasize enough our appreciation for your donations. That includes financial gifts- of all amounts! Funding is critical to assist those families who are at risk of losing their homes, or facing utility cut-off notices. ACO works with these families to stay in their homes, feed their children, have the essentials they need, and find gainful employment.

This time of year our financial donations slow down. While we see so much generosity during the holiday season, we need your help year round. Hunger is not a seasonal issue, and neither is homelessness. Support our mission all year long with a recurring monthly donation from a check or credit card that is easy to do on ACO’s secure website. Set it up once, and your support continues throughout the year! Click the link below.



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