Allen Community Outreach (ACO) began in 1985, and today is the sole local provider of free human services for the cities of Allen, Fairview, and Lucas in Collin County, Texas. Initially the agency was called Allen Information and Referral, but very quickly the scope of services grew so the name was changed to Allen Community Outreach (ACO) to reflect the community support. Over the past 26 years, the ACO has grown from strictly information and referral services to a wide array of human service provisions. ACO’s facility – the first of its kind in Collin County – provides a seamless system of services and programs. The ACO is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The majority of funding for the agency comes from local, individual donations and fundraising activities.
The Allen Resale Shop first opened in 1998. Founded upon ACO’s mission of providing basic necessities, the principles have not changed: providing free, quality clothing to clients who reside in Allen, Fairview and Lucas while simultaneously selling affordable clothing, furniture, and housewares to the public. Clients are able to shop for their needs side-by-side retail customers. This method allows all people to retain their dignity. The Resale Shop is a source of funding and offers ongoing support for other ACO programs.
In 2010, the Treasure Chest opened as an idea to try and sell items that were not the quality we required in our Resale Shop and out of season merchandise. Since its opening in the Spring of 2010, the Treasure Chest has become a destination shop for saavy shoppers, wholesale customers and those individuals that love the “thrill of the hunt.” All items are sold for $.25 and all proceeds go to benefit the programs of ACO. This store ensures that the ACO Resale Shops make a conscious effort to not fill the landfill with sellable items and continue our mission as “Green Stores.”
The Farmersville Resale Shop opened in September 2011 and offers the same quality merchandise for sale in that community. With the guidance of the Board of Directors and community leaders, the Farmersville Resale Shop hopes to impact the families of Northeast Collin County in the same way as the Allen Resale Shop. In 2012, ACO began offering FREE GED classes in the Farmersville Community and clothing vouchers to Farmersville families in need. The Farmersville Resale Shop also partners with the local food pantry and the Angel Tree program.