At the April 19 grand opening of the first Out of the Closet Thrift Store in Texas, elected city, county, and state officials joined excited Dallas residents in welcoming the new store in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) hosted a grand opening event on Saturday, April 19 at the Foundation’s newest Out of the Closet Thrift Store located at 3920 Cedar Springs Rd in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood. This is the first Out of the Closet Thrift Store in Texas, where residents can not only find a wealth of unique treasures, but also support global AIDS care through the store’s cycling of 96 cents of every dollar earned into supporting AHF clinics serving nearly 300,000 people around the world. The opening was well-received by the community: the shop had a record-breaking opening day in sales, and many of the people who shopped at the store in the morning returned that evening with donations. Sixty-four people received free HIV tests at the grand opening on Saturday, and of the two people who tested positive one was already linked into care by the following Monday.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by elected officials including Dallas City Councilmember for District 14 Philip Kingston and Dallas City Councilmember for District 2 Adam Medrano, along with District Director Rod Givens representing Texas State Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson’s office. Representatives for Dallas public health include AHF Texas Regional Director Bret Camp and Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson. All but Medrano spoke at the event.
The grand opening also marked the kick off AHF’s Dallas Test-to-Win Vespa Giveaway, where Texas residents can enter to win a brand new Vespa scooter by simply taking a free rapid HIV test in the store’s new testing facility. Entries will be accepted from April 19 to May 19, and a winner will be selected on May 22. Full contest rules are available on www.outofthecloset.org.
“It’s very symbolic and exciting to open the first Out of the Closet Thrift Store in Texas right here in Oak Lawn because this area was the epicenter of Dallas’ HIV infections in the 1980s. Our new store will contribute to ending the HIV epidemic by building community, increasing access to HIV testing, linking people who are positive into healthcare, and reducing the stigma associated with HIV. And since ninety-six cents of every dollar raised goes toward supporting our HIV/AIDS clinics and service in Texas and around the world that provide specialized care regardless of ability to pay, Out of the Closet will empower every member of the community to be part of the fight to overcome HIV/AIDS,” said Bret Camp, Texas Regional Director for AHF.
The new Out of the Closet Thrift Store will also be home to Dallas’ first AHF Pharmacy, a full-service pharmacy housed inside the store where 96 cents of every dollar also goes toward global HIV/AIDS care. The pharmacy is expected open later this year. Learn more about Out of the Closet Thrift Stores at www.outofthecloset.org, and about AHF Pharmacy locations at www.AHFpharmacy.org.