January 9, 2020 | Volume 18 | Issue 1
Dear Friends,

For a lot of us, a New Year is a great time to reflect on what we got right and what we can improve on. We do that at The Caring Place, too. We especially think it’s important for us to get constructive feedback from those we serve. In 2019, through a competitive process, The Caring Place was selected to participate in “Measuring What Matters,” a program for Austin area nonprofits to improve our ability to collect data to improve our work and strengthen our mission. Perfect timing for New Year's reflections!

Our team’s first task? To define the purpose of the Food Pantry program. This program’s goal seems obvious for an organization whose mission is to provide basic human needs. Yes, we want to increase access to healthy food, but through our discussions, we realized that our goal is also to provide cost savings by reducing household expenses. Providing a 12-day supply of food once a month is one of the best and most cost effective ways that The Caring Place can assist our neighbors, who are struggling to meet their monthly expenses, in an ongoing way. It makes sense that if families can eliminate one bill, like food expenses, they can use those funds for another critical bill.

Next, our team developed and piloted a Food Pantry Survey in English and Spanish. The official survey will be administered in the first quarter of 2020. We are excited about gathering and analyzing this critical feedback from our neighbors as we provide for the basic human needs of all people in our community in a welcoming, respectful and caring way. And, we look forward to receiving feedback from customers and clients of our other programs, too.

I wanted to share with you what we are doing to improve the Food Pantry because we just ended our most successful Hunger Free Holidays campaign to date! This community worked so hard to help us reach our goal of collecting 300,000 pounds of food for our Food Pantry. YOU did it! Thanks to you we blew through our goal and raised the equivalent of 421,263 lbs. of food! That food will help meet the basic needs of our neighbors in 2020. It’s going to help neighbors meet monthly expenses, and it’s going to ease financial burdens for families in our community. Thank you for sharing in our mission and trusting us to invest in our neighbors in the best way possible.

Happy New Year,

Ginna O'Connor
The Caring Place
Executive Director
In the Food Pantry: Hunger Free Holidays 2019
What's the grand total?
During October, November and December our community came together for Hunger Free Holidays once more. Food insecurity is a problem in our community and each year we ask you to help us solve it. Each year, you are impacting it with your generous donations and food drives! With a goal to collect 300,000 pounds of food by December 31st, you helped us collect 421,263 pounds! This is outstanding! The Caring Place Food Pantry is off to a great start in 2020 and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you for being the amazing community of people that you are! YOU DID IT!
421,263 Pounds!
In the Blog: A Matter of Balance
Remember the age old adage when traveling with children and in their eagerness to reach the destination they repeat every few minutes, “Are we there yet?” This is the same kind of curiosity we have in our Programs & Services Department at The Caring Place.  We consider programming to be a journey, and it is our job to understand the needs of our community on that journey. Are we making an impact on those needs and, “Are we ‘there’ yet?”  The Caring Place has a young program that began spring of 2018, called the Senior Independence Program...

In the Media:
Grant Awarded by St. David's Foundation
The Caring Place is a $200,000 grant recipient from St. David’s Foundation. Annually, St. David’s generously gives to organizations serving the community under 3 strategic priorities for Healthiest Care, Healthiest Places and Healthiest People. This is the third consecutive year St. David’s Foundation has selected The Caring Place as a beneficiary of its grant program...

Shopping at The Caring Place: Second Helping
Our stores love trying new things to interest you! A few months ago, Second Helping began having Silent Auction items available once or twice a month. This month the store is showcasing a treasure chest full of crafting materials. You can make bids at 3700 Williams from January 6th through 11th from 10am-4pm.

This is a sampling of what's to come at Second Helping! January 27th through February 1st, Second Helping is hosting Crafter's Week! All week long you will find buttons, felts, brads, stickers and other creative materials for the discerning crafter, scrapbooker or card maker! Prices will be reduced as the week goes on, but so will the selection! So get there quick!

To learn about the latest special events and see current merchandise photos, be sure you are following us on Facebook and Instagram !
Hope to see you at Crafter's Week! And, as you dive into 2020, don't forget that when you shop at Second Helping and The Shops at The Caring Place, you are supporting The Caring Place Mission to provide for the basic human needs of all people in our community in a welcoming, respectful and caring way! We call this "Shopping for Good" and we thank you for being part of it all year long!
Where You Shop Matters...
When our shops don't have what you need, try our ebay store , or make your purchases using Amazon Smile , just select The Caring Place!
Want more info on AmazonSmile ? Watch our video below, sharing how you can start Shopping for Good with Amazon!
P.S. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook to learn about surprise store sales!

Board Meeting
Monday, January 27, 2020
3:30 p.m.
Programs & Services
2001 Railroad Avenue

Membership Council Meeting
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
3:30 p.m.
Programs & Services
2001 Railroad Avenue
(Refreshments at 3:00 p.m.)
The Caring Place Mission:
To provide for the basic human needs of all people in our community in a welcoming, respectful and caring way.
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Purchases in our thrift stores, 
Second Helping and The Shops at The Caring Place, help The Caring Place realize its mission to assist our neighbors in need.
Thank you for your support!