Since we first transitioned into our current credit-earning model in the fall of 2014, we have done our best to make the unique opportunities we provide available to every person who desires to participate. Not surprisingly, the number of people who have embraced the chance to experience authentic community, while acquiring the resources their family needs through volunteering and earning store credit, has continued to grow.
The number of households earning store credit has grown from an average of about 150 in 2015 to 360 in June of this year. You can see from the chart below what this increase has meant in actual dollars earned and spent by participants on groceries, clothing, furniture, and household items.
These dollars have a very real cost in inventory and labor, and our resources are limited to the dollars our stores generate and the donations we receive. Currently, about 85% of our entire budget is covered through the revenue our stores generate, while the remaining 15% is met through financial donations.
Because our resources have not been able to keep pace with the growth, we are now forced to limit the number of families we can work with. We are no longer accepting new participants into our program, and will allow the attrition we normally see reduce participation to about 225 families. While this is still a significant number of households to work with in the manner we do, we recognize it does not meet the interest from those struggling to meet their basic needs who do not want to participate in a handout system.
If you want to be a part of truly affecting change in the lives of those we work with and our community as a whole there are three easy ways you can partner:
- SHOP – Buying groceries for your family at Salt & Light or shopping in our thrift both help to fund our programming, including the store credit our participants earn through their volunteer labor.
- DONATE – Donating financially and donating your stuff for us to sell in our thrift store are both ways to help us cover the costs associated with our unique programming.
- VOLUNTEER – Regularly volunteering your time helps us to operate our stores, and you the opportunity to live out your faith in an environment that cultivates meaningful relationships as we all seek to grow more and more into who it is God has created all of us to be.