Mountain Family Center (MFC) has been serving Grand County, Colorado since 1979. And going into their 40th year of service, are proud to be so much more than a food pantry. Their mission has evolved over the years as has the cornerstone of their vision to build strength and develop self-reliance for individuals and families through responsive and collaborative services.
According to Helen Sedlar, Executive Director of Mountain Family Center, “We have been able to grow over the years due to the amazing community support”. One of MFC’s goals is to streamline resources and make a bigger impact through collaboration and consolidation.
The last five years alone MFC has grown significantly, from only having 3 employees and a $250,000 budget in 2012, to now having 26 employees and an expected budget of roughly $1 million in 2019. MFC has combined efforts with Grand County Council on Aging, and the Grand Angels out of Grand Lake to maximize resources and services.
Alongside MFC, their thrift store has also evolved. Five years ago, when MFC was still located in Hot Sulphur Springs, their thrift store was a small 10’ x 12’ room in their basement, that only managed to bring in about $800 in gross proceeds each year for the organization. In January of 2018, MFC purchased their new location in Granby and colocated their thrift store there, Main Street Thrift (MST). With a new more easily accessed location, the thrift store has been able to generate a lot more revenue for MFC. “Compared to the initial $800 of revenue, it is astonishing that in 2018 it generated $70,000 for MFC, roughly 8% of the annual budget”, said Sedlar. MFC is optimistic about the future of Main Street Thrift Store (MST) and hopes that within the next 3 years, MST will be generating $150,000 in profit each year. When Lori Lunde, assistant manager of Main Street Thrift, was asked what she would attribute MST’s growing success to, she said, “We supply a need in our community”, adding, “the fantastic staff, upbeat ambiance, variety and quality of our merchandise all play a key role in the success of the store”.
Sedlar said, “All this growth is just a testament of how amazing our community truly is”. She added, “ Volunteers, board and team members contribute their hearts and souls to make an incredible difference”. With all the growth and success, don’t be fooled, MFC must work even harder to raise funds for expanded services and programs. Right now, MFC is working on generating money through a capital campaign to renovate their current building. MFC has raised roughly 60% of the funds needed and is still seeking cash donations to help them reach their goal of $400,000.
This renovation will help move Grand County Council on Aging, now Grand Seniors, onto campus, and move MST to the front of the building, adding 300 square feet of space to the thrift store.
MFC appreciates all donations, but are only able to accept food and thrift store donations during their specific donation hours and only on specific items. This is due to limited staff and space. Sedlar stated, “If clothing items get wet or canned goods freeze, we have to throw them away. In addition, any item that isn’t on our accepted donations list must also be discarded or passed on to another thrift store. This can cost MFC quite a bit of time and money”. MFC asks that donations only be made or dropped off during their regular business hours.
Mountain Family Center Donation Hours: 9 am- 3 pm (Mon-Thur), 9 am-Noon (Fri)
Donations Accepted include:
– Seasonal clothing and shoes (clean, in good condition, from non-smoking home)
– Jewelry and accessories
– Decorative household items
– Small, working kitchen appliances
– Towels and bedding (clean, no stains or holes)
– DVD movies
– Books (no magazines, textbooks or encyclopedias)
Items We Cannot Accept:
– Furniture (unless specifically approved, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
– VHS movies
– Toys and baby gear
– Healthcare items (wheelchairs, etc.)
– Large appliances
– Items not in season (clothing, shoes, holiday items, etc.)
The Main Street Thrift Store is one of Mountain Family Center’s main sources of supplemental income, as they don’t host any fundraisers that would take away from other not-for-profit fundraising opportunities. All profits from Main Street Thrift go directly into programs and services provided by MFC. Children’s Food Totes, Nutritional Wellness, Utility Assistance, Health Advocacy, Cancer-Related Financial Services, and Hunger Relief are just a few examples of the numerous programs MFC has to offer. In 2018 MFC recorded 7,494 visits to their food pantry and had over 550 kids enrolled in their Totes for Hope program.
Sedlar said, “Mountain Family Center has grown to meet the community’s needs in its 40 years of service to our county, and would like to thank the entire community for its continued support”.
Mountain Family Center has plenty of volunteer opportunities available. Stop by 480 E Agate in Granby. If you have any questions regarding donations or thrift store items accepted, give MFC a call: (970) 557-3241, or visit the website: MountainFamilyCenter.org.