Check out The Golden Transcript article from December 1985! Thank you Barb Warden from Golden Today for digging up the article "Guild wants to expand service here"
The December 31, 1985 Golden Transcript report described the goals and accomplishments of the Christian Action Guild. At that time, they were operating a thrift store out of a storefront on Washington Avenue.
CAG had worked with VFW Post 4171 and several local churches to provide Christmas baskets to several local families–turkey with all the trimmings. They had also hosted a Santa Shop, where families could shop for free toys to use as Christmas presents.
Guild president JoAnn Thistlewood was concerned about helping those families for the rest of the year. “In families with five, seven and even nine kids, that turkey isn’t going to last very long.” For the coming year, the CAG board had set an ambitious goal: they committed to providing food and clothing to 15 families for the next six months.
While the thrift shop had been operating for nearly 20 years by that time–providing low-cost clothing to local families–the goal of providing food was new. To that end, the CAG had appealed to the community for contributions of food and cash. Mrs. Thistlewood was amazed at the response. They had collected many cases of food and over $2500, which they were using to buy still more food.
They had a storage problem. The thrift shop was very small, the plumbing was bad, and the roof leaked. Accordingly, the board members were storing the food in their houses.
“Right now, I’ve got food stocked in the entryway,” she said. “Everyone trips over potatoes, flour and sacks when they come into my house. Other CAG members have food stocked in their basements.”
The article said that hungry families could go to the county’s social services organization, but there was typically a six week wait time for a hearing. The Christian Action Guild was trying to fill the immediate need while those families waited. The community was encouraged to donate food and funds.
In 1985, the organization was stretching themselves to provide food for 15 families. Now they serve 150 families every month–a 43% increase since 2021. In 2022, they distributed 148,000 pounds of food and donated 4,500 pounds to other organizations. Most of the food is donated and the rest is purchased using donated funds and proceeds from the thrift shop.
The thrift shop is still doing a brisk business, providing a great place for Golden families to buy gently used clothing and housewares at thrift shop prices.
They keep staffing costs low thanks to the 70 active volunteers who support the programs and operations.