The event was attended by the Bellmead Chamber of Commerce and supporters.
The newly renovated store sells clothing, household goods, Baylor spirit items and seasonal decor.
Gently used and new items are donated to be resold with profits going to support the mission of Caritas.
Caritas of Waco is a non-profit charity organization founded in 1967 by the Austin Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church but has been an independent ecumenical agency since 1979.
Caritas offers food, clothing, household items and travel to anyone, regardless of race, age, sex, ethnicity or location.
Caritas is supported through various faith, civic and service organizations, charitable foundations, area businesses and individuals.
Community volunteers are vital to the making Cartias a fully functioning organization that reaches the community in several levels.
“The volunteers help us save money and put money back into helping others,” said Don Taylor, retail operations manager at the Caritas store in Bellmead.
“We’re becoming more of a variety of store, and we are gearing ourselves into more concise categories of ceramics, furniture, antique, clothing, artwork and décor,” he said. “We’re trying to be more of cross store that a little bit of everything—electronics, TVs, boom boxes, VCRs. H-E-B donates some of this stuff to us.”
The store strives to provide quality merchandise at a good price, added Taylor.
“We have good deals, good prices and all of our items are checked and cleaned before we put them out for sale.”
Recent changes to the store include a new point-of-sale system and new signs throughout to clearly mark merchandise for shoppers.
“We repainted the store and added 40 new display tables. We revamped the stock rooms and the bathrooms with new vanities, toilets and floors,” said Taylor.
The ramp for deliveries was rebuilt, and the all the light fixtures redone.
The store is part of the Caritas system by supporting the main warehouse with clothing.
“We sometimes help people with their electricity bill and their rent and provide vouchers for clothing. Everything is funneled back into the programs,” he said.
“Anything we do in the thrift stores directly goes back into everything caritas does in the community. We’re tyring to help the community in any way we can.”
The food pantry at 15th Street and Mary Avenue in Waco is a major part of of the services that Caritas provices.
“We have a vegetable program. They actually have a day where people can come through and they just give it away to them. They don’t have to go through the system. They offer this when they have the stockpiles,” said Taylor.
They main system is based on the non-perishable foods.
Caritas is also planning a Christmas in July at the Franklin Avenue and Bellmead locations and the warehouse in Robinson.
“We have a lot of Christmas stuff. We’re going to put out Christmas stuff and have Santa Claus and sno cones July 19 at Bellmead, July 18 at 3116 Franklin Ave. and July 20 at the warehouse in Robinson 620 N. Robinson Drive.”
Items for sale will include decorations, trees and lights.
“We’re going to decorate it up. We’re going to have tables of just Christmas stuff and Christmas music playing,” said Taylor. “We have pre-lit trees, and we even a huge eight-foot wreath. We go to a lot of the estate sales. We have a lot of the older stuff like Snoopy lights. Some of them are antiques.”
The store is also planning to hold a sale each month.
All three Caritas locations accept donations, but the preferred drop off point is the warehouse in Robinson.
“It’s just a huge opportunity to help everybody,” said Taylor.