Shopping Here Helps Others. Period. Oh, okay. It Helps Your Budget, too!

The Canyon Lake community, through its donations, continues to make sure that the CRRC Thrift Store is a great conduit for supporting the manifold mission of CRRC.

Executive Director Darin Zumwalt said the store provides more than 50% of the operating revenues the organization needs.

“If we didn’t have the generous community that we have, we wouldn’t be able to provide the services that we do,” he said.

“That has been the legacy and history of CRRC. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”

Thrift Store Manager Clifton Small said, “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of our community’s donations to us,” and added that, at times, it is impossible to find space for it all and time to sort through it.

He explained, “because of limited space, time, staff and money, we must be very particular on what items we can accept.” While the organization appreciates the thoughts behind donations, he likes for people to remember the logic of selling and buying. “If you can’t sell it at your garage sale, and you don’t want it anymore, we probably can’t sell it either.”

True, there are exceptions to that theorem, just like there are to others. But Small said it is nice when people consider the item before donating.

“Any donation we can’t sell, or is broken, we have to put in our dumpsters. When we have to call for an extra pick-up, that’s $250 worth of groceries we can’t buy for the food pantry,” Small said.

Resource Program Manager Maureen Schein said that amount is more than 1,600 lbs. of food from the San Antonio Food Bank – an amount that can provide a load of groceries for nine families of four.

Often, people will leave donations after-hours, and “100 percent of the time it is donations that we would not accept in person and would turn away. So, this is basically dumping on us and costing us,” Small said.

He also explained that the donation hours (9:00 to 2:00, Mon-Sat) are necessary to help the store maintain some organization. The hour before is reserved for employees to organize and get ready for the day, and the hours after are for employees to put away what has been dropped off.

“We have to have a stopping time so we can get everything put up for the day so we can leave somewhere close to closing time and to avoid overtime,” he said.

“This is the only time we can catch up and process for the day without interruption.” Small added just a few guidelines for making your donations easier for you and the store: pull up and drop off your donations at the barn outside (don’t take them inside) and take all clothes off the hangers. Small said all donations go to the barn first. “This keeps donation traffic out of the store and leaves room for our shoppers.”