Autism affects one in 88 children, and these are statistics one local couple know all too well.
Aly Harmon and her husband own Lil' Treasures Thrift Shoppe at 4021 S. Washington. The shop opened in October of last year and though it has been six months, there is still plenty of organizing and sorting to be done. Items from clothing and furniture to appliances and antiques are available at the shop for low prices. But perhaps the best part of shopping at Lil' Treasures is knowing the money you spend goes toward helping someone.
"We have 7-year-old twins who are both diagnosed with Autism," Harmon stated. "They are both very different on the spectrum and being the parent of a child with autism, you quickly learn where your resources are. And five years ago, we had none. And, so, we decided, 'Ok, what can we do to help other families who are in our situation?'"
What they are doing to help is donating the proceeds from their business to a fund that will provide a scholarship to an Autism-affected family.
"We want to be able to help them. We want families to be able to come in and say,"Where do we go to find a doctor? Where do we go to find a support group?' It's those things that we want to be able to offer in addition to offering a thrift store for families who can come in and get name brand clothes at thrift store prices."
Since April is Autism Awareness Month, the shop offers a different sale every day. A parking lot sale will take place this weekend with more deals for customers take advantage of. But donations are not raised by the shop strictly in April- Harmon puts proceeds into the scholarship fund all year long.
"Yes, there are autism organizations like Autism Speaks and what not that are great charities," she said. "But their money doesn't stay here. So, if you donate to a charity like that, there's no guarantee it's going to help a family in Amarillo, where we guarantee it will help a family in Amarillo."
Harmon encourages anyone to head to her shop and browse through the shelves and boxes. The shop accepts many donations- Harmon asks that clothes be relatively stain-free and that appliances function. Items in the shop that do not sell will still be put to good use.
"We do have a charity that we send stuff to that we can't sell, or maybe it's not quite the right season," Harmon pointed out. "We have a charity that we send stuff to, so everything does get used."
Whether you need something in particular or you just want to browse, Lil' Treasures Thrift Shoppe has plenty to choose from. And you can rest assured when you shop there that every penny truly counts.