From left, Community Budget Center workers Ron Logan, Shirley Zulian, Karen Brown and Tina Williams gather around a selection of stuffed animals for sale. Besides providing inexpensive secondhand materials for sale, the Budget Center assists the people of Craig and Moffat County who are struggling financially, through various methods.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

From left, Community Budget Center workers Ron Logan, Shirley Zulian, Karen Brown and Tina Williams gather around a selection of stuffed animals for sale. Besides providing inexpensive secondhand materials for sale, the Budget Center assists the people of Craig and Moffat County who are struggling financially, through various methods.

Community Budget Center gives a hand up in times of financial strife

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— For more information on the Community Budget Center, 555 Yampa Ave., call 970-824-7898 or visit communitybudgetcenter.com.

Having a source for secondhand clothing or other items is a boon for anyone with an eye for bargains. However, some people can’t afford not to be frugal, and for those experiencing financial difficulties there’s a place in downtown Craig that might be able to assist you in that problematic time.

The Community Budget Center, formed in 1980, functions as a nonprofit business, offering a store’s worth of donated merchandise for the casual shopper as well as a little something extra for those who could use some aid of the monetary kind.

Sales in the store are used to help provide food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medication, utilities and other necessities to folks experiencing hard times.

Manager Karen Brown said the assistance can come in the form of any number of things people might need in everyday life.

“We could buy somebody a bus pass to get to employment or fill their (gas) tank if they’re going to a medical appointment out of town, things like that,” she said.

Those who apply for assistance from the Budget Center do not receive money directly, but their needs are handled, such as an electric bill that gets paid so they are able to focus their attention on other things.

The organization works in conjunction with multiple groups in the area to help people help themselves, with more than 1,000 clients in 2013. The ultimate goal is to aid in creating independence by making some parts of life easier.

“We want to help people get out of a tight situation and get back on their feet,” Brown said.

In the past decade, the Budget Center has put forth $600,000 to people in need. It receives funding through grant money from Moffat County United Way, Energy Outreach Colorado, United Way’s Human Resources Council, El Pomar Foundation, and most recently, Yampa Valley Electric Association.

“We couldn’t do what we do without them,” Brown said.

A staff of six maintains daily operations at the Budget Center, including Ron Logan, Tina Williams and Shirley Zulian, all of whom said they enjoy putting time in for nonprofit work.

Logan was a volunteer for the business for several years before becoming a regular staff member last year.

“Being able to help people is always nice, and it’s just a nice place to work because of the kind of people who work here and everything we do,” he said.

As for the store part of the Budget Center, Brown said she is glad to have a network of other thrift stores in Craig to refer customers looking for something specific. Additionally, the inventory of the shop is always worth a look if you’re seeking fashions, toys, books or even something you didn’t expect to find.

“There’s a lot of treasure here,” she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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