ERATH – Now you have all of those pretty Mardi Gras beads sitting in a bag in your closet and you are not sure what to do with them. There is a non-profit organization that is willing to take them off your hands.
The Bares Center in Erath has begun accepting donated Mardi Gras beads. The Center sorts them out and puts them in packs of 24 small beads or 12 large beads.
After they are sorted, arranged in color or size, the Bares Center puts them up for sale.
The Bares Center is in its first year of selling Mardi Gras beads. The Center began accepting Mardi Gras beads over the summer and this was their first Mardi Gras.
They did not have enough beads to keep up with the demand for Mardi Gras, said Scottie Daigle, who is the administrator for the Bares Center.
“It has worked out well,” said Daigle. “We can sort them out by color or size. Then we sell them cheaper than you can purchase them in a store.”
The Bares Center has a price list to purchase the beads. The cost of 12 dozen small beads is $8 and $10 for 12 dozen large beads.
Twice as many beads (12 packs) cost $16 and 36 dozen cost $24.
Daigle said the money made from selling the beads goes back into the general fund to help pay workers and purchases supplies.
The Center also sells rags for $12 for a 15-pound box.
The Bares Center is having to find creative ways to make money because its state funding has been slowly cut by the state.
It 2009, the state cut 3.5 percent from its budget and just recently slashed another 5 percent. Next fiscal year, another 2 or 3 percent is expected to be sliced.
“We make do,” Daigle said. “Like everyone else, we watch our spending.”
Another way for the Bares Center to survive is through donations.
The Erath Knights of Columbus donated $302 to the Bares Center. The Knights of Columbus raised the money from its candy sale.
If anyone wants to donate beads to the Bares Center, they can drop them off at 809 South Severin Street located behind the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Erath.