By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY Churches United In Caring in addition to a mission to the poor now offers something for almost everyone in the area.
Residents on the east side of Harris County can now shop for baby clothes, clothing, furniture, exercise machines, and sundry items at fabulously reduced prices over retail items. The Thrift Shop is open Mon.-Sat. from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
I’m sure that we have one of the best Thrift Shops around with goods comparable to retail stores in quality at greatly reduced prices. People who are shopping, trying to stretch their dollars can do themselves a lot of good here. Inez Jones explains, We take donations of goods that are in good repair, we take almost anything donated. If there is a question about what is appropriate they can call 281-328-3178. After meeting with our volunteer counselors, people in need are given vouchers for clothing items, housewares or furniture from our Thrift Shop. We provide the giver with a Donor Receipt for clothing, household items, furniture, and food. The donations are tax deductible. The donations of goods if not given away can be resold to help with food, rental assistance, utilities, gasoline and or prescriptions, as well as other direct services.
Last October, the volunteer mission, supported by at least 15 area church in Crosby, Huffman and Barrett Station dedicated a new, $300,000, two story center at 944 Church Street. Greenwade Service, Inc., acquired the land for the new building. The new location, on the northeast side of the fairgrounds, near US 90, is much more spacious and has more parking spaces than their previous location at 5223 FM 2100.
Twenty years ago, during the Oil Bust Days, Bridge City, the area under the Beaumont Highway, was a collective of displaced people congregating for shelter. The occupants of that area had developed their own panhandling culture. Churches at that time were doing their best to follow the Biblical mission of the Apostles, i.e. feed the hungry, clothe the naked and defend the fatherless. But, there are always the more enterprising of help seekers that were, frankly, taking advantage of the churches’ generosity. Twelve original churches banded together and started a center inside a rented house.
Volunteers worked with other volunteer organizations, government and business to provide the needs of the poor. Seventy five to eighty volunteers daily provide dependable manpower to keep the center in service.
Inez Jones said, We appreciate the support not only of the churches but also of the boyscouts, and different companies around town. For example, if someone needs gasoline to go to a job interview or whatever, we give them a voucher for Danny’s Service Station. Where there is a need for prescription drugs, we have the co-operation of Wal-Mart Pharmacy, we call ahead to find out what the price of the drugs are and our treasurer pays for the drugs. If they need a couple of nights lodging, Crosby Motel accepts our vouchers. On occasions when there is a need that we are not able to provide from the center, baby formula for instance, Bill’s Crosby Finer Foods has helped us provide by accepting our vouchers and at Christmas time they have helped us provide.
The center is funded by sales from the thrift shop, contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations.
Last year, over 3500 people asked for help from the center and some $73,000 in assistance was rendered for rent, food, prescription, doctor’s bills, utility bills, gasoline and clothing. An extra $1,500 went to help small school kids in supplies.
By LEWIS SPEARMAN