No charge here, shop gives gifts free
ASHBY, Minn. (NBC) -- Many of us know that every once in awhile you can find a steal or two at a thrift store. There's a shop out of Ashby, Minnesota that operates in much the same way. They take donations, and they have something for everyone. The only difference is, nothing at their shop has a price tag on it. Valley news teams Eric Crest talked to the volunteers to find out how they make the place run and why.
This shop in Ashby Minnesota is one of a kind. Not one of their volunteers can think of a store like it. It didn't just pop up one day. After years of garage sale-ing with her kids Phyllis Torgrimson realized that there was likely a need for some of this stuff, right in her hometown. "On my way home I thought there has got to be people in our neighborhood, I know there has to be people that need stuff. Up until a little over a year ago I'd take everything home I'd go through it I'd sort it put it in boxes."
She started getting all of this stuff, clothes, toys, shoes, and coats into the hands of folks who could use it. There was a lot of back and forth and a lot of time behind the wheel. That is until Donna Lindemyer suggested she move her stuff in, "about 15 months since we've been in this building because this is my building. I donated the spot for it."
Today Caring Neighbors Free Mission Shop, is doing better than they ever expected, but Phyllis says the growth of the shop isn't the main goal, "the point isn't to be getting credit for what we're doing the point is to be helping people."
It's run completely by volunteers, and everything you see is donated. Donna is constantly surprised by strangers giving, and said, "They drop things off on my front door. I don't know where it came from. This morning there were brand new toys on my step."
Phyllis grew up here and after her mother passed away she relied on her dad raising her and her younger sister. They didn't have a lot, but they had enough to get by even with her father's refusals for any type of assistance. "You know I grew up in this town and at that time no one had anything. So it wasn't a big deal, and no one fussed about it because that's the way it was." Says Phyllis.
But today in Ashby, a group of women, and the help of a community are helping folks from near and far have a brighter holiday. Donna loves to help in whatever capacity they can and just hopes folks ask without feeling awkward, "I just hope people don't feel embarrassed to come in and stuff for free. That's what worries me that people are too proud to get help when they need it."
If you would like to see what the store is all about or donate, they're open Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 am to 2:30 PM in Ashby off of Melby. They say monetary donations are unexpected but would be more than helpful. Their address, Po box 477 Ashbey, MN 56309