New GRACE Donation Station Underway
The sign on Texan Trail promises “Coming Soon! GRACE Donation Station, Spring 2021”. Construction and renovations are underway now to make that promise come true.
The campaign to raise funds for a new Donation Station was slated to launch in mid-March 2020. COVID-19 had other ideas.
Our focus immediately shifted from “bricks and mortar” to providing assistance for thousands of local families. Our donors, too, shifted their generosity to help those struggling during the pandemic.
While the timing for a capital campaign couldn’t be worse, the need for a new Donation Station, and the hazards our donors, volunteers, and staff face still remain. If anything, the COVID Crisis provided still another reason for a more efficient, spacious, and better accessible Donation Station.
Since March 2019, an average of 3,650 donors drive through Donation Station on Scribner Street 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 after a brief COVID shutdown in April 2020, the volume of cars per day has reached 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 at Donation Station is severely limited for sorting and storage. Narrow areas immediately aside the drive-through quickly stack with bags and bins of donated items.
For some donors, it may looks like their 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. It has been the drop-off location for donated goods for more nearly 20 years. The building is aging, and its life expectancy was shortened even further by a fire five years ago.
Donation Station is critical to Client Services, supplying 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.
Gently-used, serviceable donations are delivered to three GRACE resale outlets, two shopping centers and an online store. What remains are sold to vendors in bulk. Vendor sales generate nearly $200,000 in annual revenues.
In the last five years, GRACE net revenues from the resale program have funded 25% of the total direct costs of GRACE services for clients. This, added to the clothing, bedding, housewares, furniture, and other goods given to GRACE clients, Donation Station is truly where GRACE begins.
It is where our generous community comes to share their gifts with those in need.
The new Donation Station, 1060 Texan Trail in Grapevine, offers a larger, more accessible location to meet the current and future needs in receiving and processing donations.
Its floorplan is being renovated to provide numerous single- and double-door entrances, two loading docks, and forklift access to lower-level storage within the building.
A large lot adjacent to the building is being reconfigured into a broad loop for donation drop-off. The entrance provides two-way traffic reducing wait time for donors significantly.
Renovations within the building are creating space for sorting and tagging, storage, testing, offices, a break room, rest rooms, and other needs. An attached warehouse facility onsite will be used to store resale seasonal inventory, boxed clothing, operational supplies, and event materials.
Please Help Us
The pandemic has delayed the start of our campaign to build a New Donation Station, but the need is still with us and growing. As with all aspects of the GRACE, we will only be able to do this with your help.
Hard hat tours are underway. If you can invest in GRACE and in the long-term stability of the community, please call Mark Woolverton at 817-305-4654.