In the spring of 1991 a small group of women came together to form Ladies of Charity Lake Travis for the purpose of providing financial support to Lake Travis Crisis Ministry. In July 1991, these Ladies opened the Thrift Shop in a tiny store-front. In 1992, the net profit from the Thrift Shop totaled $8506 and allowed them to meet the obligation to the Crisis Ministry. Within a few years, we acquired more space and have continued to increase our annual return to the community.
Our Thrift Shop began with 36 committed volunteers and we take great pride in the courage and sacrifices of the ladies who worked so hard to give us the opportunities we have now. There are over 100 volunteers, both men and women, ranging in age from 12-90 and representing a variety of different faith communities. These dedicated and volunteers give over 36,000 hours every year. In 2016 Ladies of Charity Lake Travis celebrated twenty-five years of service to the community. We honored this occasion with a beautiful memorial plaque, lovingly created by several of our volunteers, show casing mementos collected over the years and donated by the members and volunteers. The handmade plaque was designed from 25 years of tokens from the past and is displayed proudly in the shop.
Last year we returned $265,000 to the community through contributions to Lake Travis Crisis Ministry and twenty-five additional charities, along with $586,000 of in-kind donations. The Ladies make every effort to be good stewards of all that is given to us by our generous donors. Donations that cannot be sold are redistributed to other organizations that share our commitment to improve the lives of our neighbors struggling to overcome limiting circumstances. Through our Thrift Shop, we enable our donors and volunteers to join us in a beautiful community of sharing that will affect change and affirm lives.
At Emmaus Catholic Church, this year’s activities began with a special Mass on January 9th to celebrate the 400 Jubilee year. The Mass was followed with a solemn reception of 11 new members.
We have demonstrated for over twenty-five years that we are changing lives for the better with the funds raised by our Thrift Shop. Today we have specific plans and goals to usher in a new era for the Lake Travis Thrift Shop. We have begun our campaign “Building. Community. Service.” The vision for our new shop will be a 12,000-square foot building, that will include enhanced retail floor space and a sorting area, a large second story storage area, and a suite to serve as a new home for Lake Travis Crisis Ministry.
We have the ability to change the lives of thousands for generations to come.