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    (THOMAS WALLNER | THE GRAHAM LEADER) A customer at the Nifty Thrifty thrift store in Graham. Since March 2021, the store has given $36,000 worth of clothing and household items to those in need within the community.

Graham Crisis Center looks to new year to expand services

As the year shifts closer to 2022, the Graham Area Crisis Center is looking at what changes in the new year the organization can make to expand their community services. The Graham Area Crisis Center is a nonprofit umbrella organization which contains the area women’s shelter Harry’s House, the Graham Community Food Pantry and the Nifty Thrifty thrift store.

The organization provides services, such as food, clothes and monetary assistance for those in the community. In the last two years the shelter has added a client select option for members of the food pantry to choose food they want in new freezers, added the Nifty Thrifty thrift store as a fundraiser for the organization, moved to a new women’s shelter and organized their operations on top of a number of improvements to each branch of the umbrella organization.

Graham Area Crisis Center Director Cathy Partridge said each branch of the organization will be looking at ways to expand their reach in the coming year. She wants to attract people to the food pantry who might be unaware of the service being offered in Graham. Partridge said in November the food pantry was serving 197 households, but said she knows more in the community could utilize those services.

“(In the food pantry) we’re getting close back to the pre- COVID numbers. (We want) to really get the word out to people. I know there are more people in Graham that need help with food that don’t know about it, or think that you have to do something magical to qualify for the food pantry. Or (they) just don’t want to be involved with the stigma attached, whatever that may be. (We want them) to know that all they have to do is to come in and we will go over the policies with them. If someone’s already on Social Security or food stamps, they automatically qualify. Others qualify by their income. The income is set by the USDA and that’s based on the number of people in the household. So that’s pretty easy. Or if there’s an emergency food qualification, someone who missed two weeks of work because of COVID, that kind of thing. So we really want to expand the people that we’re giving food to in numbers,” she said.

Those who utilize the food pantry are offered a card to shop at the Nifty Thrifty thrift store for free. Since this was the first year the Nifty Thrifty was in operation, the organization was able to track the impact made from those cards being used by those clients.

“(...) from March to the end of November, we’ve given out over $36,000 worth of clothing and household items. Since they swipe the card, it has a value so it’s a sale (...) and we can look at that number at any time. I don’t have any clue where we might have been before because no value was given to the items, nor was it ever tracked. So to see that double next year would be great. So that would be a goal,” she said. “We just want to reach more and do more.”

For the rest of the story, see the Dec. 22 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589