Ladies of Charity-Lake Travis helps local nonprofit organizations

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When a customer buys clothing or a trinket at this thrift shop, money from that purchase will be donates to a charity, said Carol Nex, president of Ladies of Charity-Lake Travis Thrift Shop.

The staffers of the Ladies of Charity-Lake Travis Thrift Shop are volunteers.

The staffers of the Ladies of Charity-Lake Travis Thrift Shop are volunteers. (via Photo by Angee wilbur photography/community impact newspaper)

Shortly after its founding in 1981, Ladies of Charity-Lake Travis opened a thrift shop to fund Lake Travis Crisis Ministries, Nex said. The shop has since grown into a thriving nonprofit in Lakeway, she said.

“The year we opened, we were able to fund [Lake Travis Crisis Ministries] and had a couple thousand dollars left over, so it’s grown from there to about 25-30 different agencies that we help here in the Lake Travis community,” Nex said.

Local residents donate goods to the thrift shop, which in turn sorts, prices and sells the items. The Ladies of Charity leases the property for the thrift shop, and the store rent takes a toll on its resources, Nex said. For that reason, the Ladies of Charity have launched the Capital Campaign as a fundraiser for the construction of the group’s own building.

“The [current store]space is really inadequate for what we need to do,” Nex said.

Cowboy boots comprise some of the store’s inventory.

Cowboy boots comprise some of the store’s inventory. (via Photo by Angee wilbur photography/community impact newspaper)

Ladies of Charity’s mission is to “serve the needs of the poor with humility, charity and simplicity.” Ladies of Charity is a part of the International Association of Charities, but none of the branches receive any funding.

That is where the thrift shop comes in, Nex said.

Over 100 volunteers staff the shop, Assistant Manager Christina Tobin said. Shop prices are set at 30-40 percent lower than eBay prices, she said.

“We offer people a fair deal, and we really try to do that because our items are donated,” Tobin said.

Annual charitable donations from the Ladies of Charity shop amount to approximately $250,000, a number the nonprofit seeks to increase to close to $420,000 after the construction of its new building, she said. The charity gives more than $500,000 of in-kind donations annually to other nonprofit organizations as well.

“Apparently, we are the largest provider of charitable donations in the Lake Travis ISD area, and nobody knows it,” Nex said. “It’s important to us that we start getting [our news]out there to the public that we do have this Capital Campaign underway.”

Housewares and jewelry, including college-themed items, are featured at the shop.

Housewares and jewelry, including college-themed items, are featured at the shop. (via Photo by Angee wilbur photography/community impact newspaper)

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