Have you ever been to The Purple Cow? The Purple Cow in Baton Rouge, Louisiana will give birth to a second location in August, 2014. The Purple Cow is a non-profit thrift store whose proceeds support the Baton Rouge Christian Outreach Center. It isn’t an ordinary thrift store. True to it’s name, it is unique, providing beautiful clothes, housewares, books, and even furniture in an organized, upscale environment.
The original Purple Cow is located on Jones Creek near Shenandoah, Lake at White Oak and White Oak Landing. With new leadership, Director Brian Sleeth and his team, have a reinvigorated vision for the Christian Outreach Center.
NEW Ministry: Christian Outreach Transportation Employment Ministry
They have initiated new partnerships, new programs for the homeless, and most recently have launched the Christian Outreach Transportation Employment Service. COTES mission is to find employment opportunities for the homeless and to provide transportation to and from these jobs. Probably the single biggest need for the homeless or those citizens getting back on their feet is to have a job. This ministry’s mission is to help with this biggest need.
NEW Purple Cow Location
In order to help fund this ministry, the Purple Cow and Christian Outreach Center are opening a new Purple Cow that will be located in the Claitor Shopping Center on the corner of Perkins Rd. and Acadian Thruway.
Doing Business God’s Way
The business story here is this:
Brian Sleeth joined the Christian Outreach Center in August of 2013. Everything was status quo. The original Purple Cow was doing well and supporting the standard services provided by the Christian Outreach Center. Brian spent a short time in observation mode. He talked to the 5 churches that make up the COC, he began talking with other downtown ministries to understand the needs, he spent time daily in The Purple Cow, all to learn about the current ministry and resources.
Then he began to create a vision. A future of growth and additional services to support the Baton Rouge homeless. As he began to share his vision others began to rally around it. Other ministries wanted to partner with them. The five churches jumped in to help. And the current store had a stronger mission to support and it began to flourish.
VISION: To help the homeless get back on their feet and become independent, to share the gospel and Jesus love, and to provide long lasting life skills that will keep these clients independent and thriving.
BUILD A STRONG TEAM: To grow the ministry services Brian knew that he needed a strong team. He began to network and has been able to raise up a key leader for the Purple Cow stores, bring on a counselor for the Christian Outreach Center, and recruited a leader for the new employment ministry. When the board of the COC asks how he is doing so much, he smiles and says it is his great team that is making all of this happen.
SYSTEMS AND AUTOMATION: The organization has developed budgets and plans, automated systems, added online presence, and continues to look for ways to build a strong foundation to support the growing ministries.
MARKETING: And now they are ready to get the word out. In the next few months they will begin a grass roots marketing campaign that will include:
· A Grand Opening of the Second Purple Cow Store
· The Launch of the Christian Outreach Transportation Employment Services
· A 10 Year Anniversary celebration of the Purple Cow
· Spreading the word about the ministry work and services being made available for the Baton Rouge homeless population.
Help us spread the word. You can help the Christian Outreach Center by:
· Donating clothes and housewares to either store. Jones Creek or Perkins Rd.
· Shopping at the Jones Creek location now.
· Please come out to the new location beginning August 1 to support the new store.
· Look for more information on our Grand Opening Event so you can come and participate and share with friends and family.
· Visit our website at www. Christianoutreachcenterbr.com for other volunteer opportunities.
The Purple Cow and the Christian Outreach Center may be a non-profit, but they are doing business the right way—-putting God first, seeking God’s vision, building a strong foundation, and spreading the Word.