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Nacogdoches retail shop aids foster families


A charity that provides new clothing and school supplies to children in the foster care system opened a storefront location Friday, Sept. 19, in downtown Nacogdoches.

Impact Nac began four years ago in Julia Jones’ garage. She soon acquired a storage unit to outfit about 200 children a month. She says the Impact Nac store will take all donations. Items that can be used by the children will be held back.

“We are selling the donated items that we cannot use for children. Then, we use the proceeds from those sales to buy shoes, clothing, underwear, backpacks, and school supplies -- whatever the children need whenever they come into foster care,” Jones said.

Jones was a CASA volunteer when she saw the needs firsthand. As her efforts grew, other Nacogdoches residents and businesses came forward to help her. She now has a 2,000 square-foot building and a delivery truck. She says foster families tend to stockpile clothing and supplies, but they still don’t have everything on hand.

“When a foster parent gets an infant they don’t have diapers, strollers, baby beds, car seats, playpens, clothes that fit because they outgrow them so fast. We provide as much of that as we can when the children come into care,” Jones said.

Jones is the president of the East Texas Foster Family Association, which serves the counties of Sabine, St. Augustine, Shelby and Nacogdoches. The Impact Nac store grand opening is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Regular store hours will be Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jones says she’s particularly in need of diaper donations.

It’s located at 801 East Main Street in Nacogdoches.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.