FOCUS Thrift Shop and OfficeFOCUS is our main center of outreach ministry in Harris County. St. Nicholas is extremely involved in the organization, with St. Nicholas folks volunteering in the Emergency Services office, serving on the FOCUS board, working in the Thrift Shop, and organizing the Food Bank. On the last Sunday of every month, our loose offering goes to FOCUS as well. But what are the fruits of all the labors of FOCUS? The thrift shop is FOCUS’ main source of regular income. And all that money raised goes out to help people who are hungry or in any kind of need. Here is a report from Beth Searcy, who is in charge of the Thrift Shop and a member of Hamilton Baptist Church. She sends out monthly reports reminding all the FOCUS volunteers how much good happens through our work.

God has blessed the Thrift Shop this year with donations and new workers and therefore FOCUS was able to help more people in this economic downturn.

In November the Thrift shop was closed one week and we made $6239.75 with  $1408.50 in the donation can.

In December we are closed the last 2 weeks of the month and the Thrift shop made $5883.31 and $1048.75 in the donation can.

The Thrift shop total for 2010 was $61,043.73 and the donation can total was $11,599.34 for a grand total of $72,643.07. God is good all the time!

I do not have the number of people we helped in December but as of November FOCUS had spent  $39,589.09 on utilities assistance  for our clients.

In the last two months Focus has given stuffed animals to nursing homes, book bags and suitcases to an abused women”s shelter and baby bed bumpers to the animal shelter.  In early 2010 Callaway Gardens gave FOCUS about 75 boxes of Christmas ornaments they were unable to sell.  We sold  most of these ornaments in the Thrift shop and we shared some with Park Elementary School for their students to purchase at their Santa Shop.

A counselor from Park  Elementary asked for help for a family of 3 children and the Thrift shop was able to give each child 5 outfits, a coat, tennis shoes, socks and underwear.  We helped a homeless couple living in a tent with coats, shoes and blankets.  Today we helped a family of 6 children that were living with their 21 year old sister due to the death of the mother.  We were able to  give this family coats, shoes, tops, pants and sweaters.

Classes FOCUS mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and with the many donations provided by the people of Harris county we are able to help families when there is a need.

Thank all of you for making this year a great success and for giving your time and talents to making the Thrift Shop the best place to shop.

There is always more room for volunteers! If you would like to help out with FOCUS in any way, please contact me or Sue Halmrast or Julie Nordin.