Donors making that hairpin turn at GRACE Donation Station have noticed the new banners adorning the chainlink fences. “Help Us Build a New Donation Station”, is a rallying cry for all those who have made gifts through Donation Station in recent years, and/or have served volunteer hours in the building or on the drive-through.[NOTE: The campaign to raise funds for a new Donation Station was slated to launch in mid-March. COVID-19 had other ideas. While the timing is still not right for a capital campaign, the need for a new Donation Station, and the hazards our beloved donors and volunteers face still remain. Our volunteers and staff will be passing out donation envelopes asking you to “Help Us Build a New Donation Station”. We are hoping this grass-roots campaign can take hold and bring us closer to a new Donation Station.]
On any given day, at GRACE Donation Station, hundreds of donors pull off the heavily-traveled street, avoid large trash dumpsters, maneuver a hazardous hairpin turn, and wait in line to give their donations.
On peak days, cars can line up onto Scribner Road, and may extend out to Northwest Highway. To exit Donation Station, donors pass by huge delivery trucks before re-entering the heavily-traveled street.
Since March 2019, an average of 3,650 donors drive through Donation Station each month, equal to 140 cars per day, or one car every 4½ minutes. The volume of donors through Donation Station has increased 67% in just the last few years.
Since reopening, the volume of cars per day has peaked at over 200 with so many people having time to clean garages, attics, storage spaces, and other at-home chores. This volume is anticipated to be the “new normal” for the future.
Space within Donation Station is severely limited for sorting and storage. The narrow areas immediately aside the drive-through quickly stack with bags and bins of donated items, and it looks like your gifts are not appreciated. They are, it’s just the sheer volume of donations and the lack of space often require donations to be stacked before they can be sorted.
The Old Donation Station has Served Well
GRACE Donation Station has served as the drop-off location for donated goods for more than 15 years. The building is aging, and four years ago sustained fire damage to walls, outer panels and storage bay doors perhaps reducing its life expectancy even further.
Donation Station is Critical to Client Services
Donation Station supplies clothing, shoes, coats, bedding, and blankets for the GRACE Clothing Room that serves an average of 3,600 clients each year. Housewares, furniture, and clothing go to the GRACE Transitional Housing program, as well as other clients as the needs arise.
Remaining donations are delivered to three GRACE resale stores, or sold to vendors in bulk. Vendor sales generate $200,000 in annual revenues. In the last five years, GRACE net revenues from resale stores have funded 25% of the total direct costs of GRACE services for clients.
A New Donation Station Offers Many Benefits
A new Donation Station would provide a larger, more accessible location to meet the current and future needs in receiving and processing donations.
We have found a place on Texan Trail that fits our needs. Even with its current configuration, numerous single- and double-door entrances, two loading docks, and forklift access to lower-level storage within the building.
The site experiences good traffic flow, but it is not the constant large volume of traffic at the current site on Scribner Road and Northwest Highway.
A large lot adjacent to the building offers an expanse that can be reconfigured into a broad loop for the drop-off of donated materials. Access and egress for donors would be eased by an entrance that provides for two-way traffic.
Renovations within the building will provide space for sorting and tagging, storage, testing, offices, a break room, rest rooms, and other needs. An attached warehouse facility onsite provides needed storage for resale seasonal inventory, boxed clothing, operational supplies and event materials.[NOTE: If you happen to be traveling on Texan Trail, look for our “Coming Soon” banner at 1060 Texan Trail.]
Please Help Us
If you’ve driven through, or volunteered at the current Donation Station, you are well-aware of the hazards and the causes of our need for more space.
As with all aspects of the GRACE, we will only be able to do this with your help. The pandemic has delayed the start of this campaign to build a New Donation Station, but the need is still with us and growing.
The drive-through envelopes are only a beginning. Your major gifts are an investment in GRACE and in the long-term stability of the community. If you are interested in more information, please email Mark Woolverton, or call 817-305-4654.