January 4, 2021
Happy New Year!
Donating Items in the New Year
Our community LOVES to donate items in at the beginning of a new year. Our stores love being part of that New Year's tradition. This year, due to the many changes we've made to prioritize our mission during the pandemic, our hours to take donations in the 2000 Railroad Avenue drive through are limited to two Mondays a month at this time. You may bring items to our drive through from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the following upcoming dates:

January 11th and 25th
February 8th and 22nd

Have quality furniture you need picked up? We can do that on Wednesdays and Fridays; please call 512-943-0711 to schedule.
Have more questions about donating new and gently used items or about pick up protocols? Visit our website at caringplacetx.org/donatemystuff.
Shopping for Good on Hold in the Stores!
In an effort to slow the post holiday spread of COVID-19 and ensure our food and financial programs meant for a community in need continue with efficiency, The Caring Place has temporarily closed our two thrift stores. The Shops at The Caring Place and Second Helping are closed through January 9th. They will reopen on January 11th and 12th, respectively.

Store hours beginning January 11th:

  • The Shops at The Caring Place at 2000 Railroad will be open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Second Helping at 3700 Williams will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Appointments are recommended as there is limited walk-in space availability. Make appointments at caringplacetx.org/shop.

Still looking to support The Caring Place by shopping during the store closure? You can shop ebay, Randalls, AmazonSmile.
What you Need to Know About Our Services to Those in Need...
Our format and hours have been modified due to COVID-19 and will stay updated at caringplacetx.org/covid19. We will scale up as resources and safety allow. Here are the details the community needs to know before arriving at The Caring Place for services or food:
Programs & Services via Telephone:

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • ServicesFinancial Assistance includes help with rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, emergency dental and prescriptions. Assistance is available with a verifiable proof of crisis. All financial assistance will be handled remotely. Non-financial assistance (i.e. clothing, appliances, housewares, etc.) is not available at this time. Please call 512-943-0709 and leave a message regarding your need and someone will contact you within 48 business hours with the next steps. Please do not arrive at The Caring Place office unless instructed by staff. Programs & Services staff will direct you via phone if you need to print documents to return to our office at 2001 Railroad Avenue.
Food Programs:  

Fresh Food for Families and the Drive Through Food Pantry are open to all neighbors in need or impacted by COVID-19. The Caring Place practices social distancing, and you will not need to exit your vehicle during food distribution. You do not need to bring any documentation to receive food. You will only answer a few simple questions from your car. Have questions about Food Programs? Please call our main line at 512-943-0700.
Drive Through Food Pantry
On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. join us in the 2000 Railroad drive through to receive shelf stable food items and occasional fresh items.
Fresh Food for Families
On the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of the month The Caring Place offers "Fresh Food for Families" in the 2000 Railroad drive through. The fast-paced event runs 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. The next events are January 4th and 18th.

Food Programs in the Bartlett Area:

  • January 13th (2nd Wednesday of the month) 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 645 West Clark St. in Bartlett.
Breaking News & Meaningful Stories
An Imperfect Thank You in an Imperfect Year
By Jill Nalley, Communications Manager
I think we can all agree, 2020 has been an imperfect year.

When a new year begins, we see it as brimming with hope and possibilities. 2020 started like that for me. How could it not? 2020 was a nice round, even number. It looked good on paper, it rolled off the tongue with ease, and I was confident that I would date documents correctly in January of 2020. In fact, I think I did. (Goal accomplished!) I had other goals too, as I am sure we all did at the start of the year. Professionally and personally there is always a list of things we hope to accomplish. 

2020 was also a year, in name, that felt like it came out of a spectacular sci-fi novel where cars are hovering and people are living on Mars. Chances are we all read a book growing up where 2020 was the far off time period selected for the book’s setting. So as 2020 began, and we weren’t commuting across the planet at light speed to pick up groceries, I thought the year would be uneventful, and I could check off some of those boxes on my so-called achievement list.

Instead, what 2020 slowly revealed was a worldwide pandemic. A pandemic that unraveled the fabric of our communities. This alone was sci-fi level reading material for that sci-fi novel I thought I would not experience in 2020.

If you’ve ever read my blogs at The Caring Place before, you probably know I am a glass half full kind of person. Actually, scratch that, I am a glass full kind of person. As my science loving teen tells me, “There’s air in that glass, Mom!” (I even got her a shirt that says that!) And there is air in that glass. And there is love and kindness all around us, too. Pandemic or not, in this moment, I feel full.

I should back up a little. I’ll back up into that imperfect year of 2020. The thing about imperfections is, they get our attention. Sometimes an imperfection is kind of perfect. Like a 7 year old’s toothless grin is perfect even though they have no front teeth. And other times imperfections bring us to a grinding halt, like the missing linchpin. The imperfection of 2020 was kind of like that second one. It was probably a culmination of things that brought on all the imperfection that 2020 was. Between a pandemic and an election year and all the complicated things that go along with that, we have seen social struggles, empty grocery shelves, injustices, unemployment, homelessness, fear, depression and death. Even on its best days, there was a grey cast over us, reminding us what was happening across the globe.

All this is a lot. It’s a crisis I have not seen before in my lifetime, and it will be the one I know my kids will talk about as adults, as it has impacted our children in some of the most unusual ways. This crisis that I shall simply call 2020 overwhelms the mind and truly overwhelms my heart. But, what did it do, as imperfections do? It got our attention. And I want to tell you more bluntly, it got YOUR attention. You gave. You gave with so much abandon because you knew your neighbors needed you. You knew not everyone had food on the table and a place to rest at night. You knew bill deadlines were looming and entire industries were hit hard. You knew people that had never asked for help before were suddenly struggling. And you knew one of the biggest gifts we can give right now is to be a friend in this unknown plight. You are the reason my heart is full and why my glass is getting refilled. The fabric that was unraveling early in 2020 is surely slowing. There’s light ahead which is pushing us to stitch our services, finances, volunteers and hope back together again. The fabric that holds this community together with basic needs assistance will continue to do so, and it will be because you cared.

One of my jobs at The Caring Place is to help write thoughtful thank you messages in a small amount of letter space. Sometimes they start to sound the same, but every single word is sincerely meant. 2020 is the year that I am struggling to find the words for a thank you letter for your amazing donations. I can’t tell you how thankful your community is for your gifts in a half page or less. I can’t. I am offering you instead, this longer, but quite imperfect and probably inadequate, thank you. This year I am a witness to your generosity and a conduit for the gratitude and relief our neighbors in need feel. It’s a position I don’t take lightly. From my imperfect heart to yours, thank you!
Learn the Latest...
Need a Quick Guide to our Hours & Services?
Click on the image below to download a pdf flyer you can print & share! Thank you for being an ambassador for The Caring Place! Note: Both stores are closed until January 9th and will resume scheduled hours on January 11th. Please stay tuned through Social Media and the Media section of our website for any further modifications to our schedule during 2021.
Thank you for your support!