Basic Needs, Inc. helps hundreds of families each year by providing free or significantly reduced goods for those in need. The dedication of the staff is truly remarkable, as they all work tirelessly to make sure this service stays afloat. I am proud to be a member of this board and participate in such a worthy organization.
Stone Soup is nearing 16 years of serving those in need. The economic downturn brings more families through our doors. Many families lacking the resources to obtain basic needs or adequate clothing and are referred to Stone Soup by local community and Social Service agencies, and churches.
Households with limited or fixed incomes shop at Stone Soup, and benefit from the fine quality of donated gently used items. Every month over 1,700 shoppers come to find basic needs at affordable prices. One of the special we offer is “all the clothes you can fit in a grocery bag for $8.00” some days for much less. Those referred to us who are unable to afford the store's low prices are given what they need, at no coast.
During 2011 goods valued at $147,294 were given to 960 individuals: 63 seniors, 438 children, and 459 adults, (of these 74 were homeless). As of November 14th donated processed inventory (currently over $128,078 - 55%) was given to 1005 individuals: 65 seniors, 457 children, 483 adults, community churches, agencies, plus there were 17,987 walk-in customer sales.
On special days as customers entered the store there are bins and shelves filled with a variety of free usable items. Children love this, usually finding toys they can take home.
Stone Soup maintains the delivery of supplemental assistance including: free bread contributed by Panera Bread on Tuesday and Saturday, and donated produce during summer months.
The store provides brush-up training for the Washington County Senior Work Program, and for Minnesota WorkForce participants. Youth and Adults perform court ordered community service in our store… often returning as volunteers because they liked what they did so much.
In addition from 2004 thru 2011 we recycled 17,732 bags of clothing & 13,643 pounds of leather and shoes. During 2011 the help of 90 Community Service persons and 42 volunteers provided 7,488 hours, to make the store ready for service, and to process donated quality products for return to the community.
We always need volunteers to help keep the store organized. Choices include assisting with: receiving donated items on our dock, donation pick-ups, sorting, sizing and hanging clothes, testing donated electrical items, cleaning glassware, setting-up eye catching displays, or helping with customer service
Stone Soup is often asked how we pay expenses. Our biggest fixed costs are rent and wages. Stone Soup has added 1,666 sq. ft. of sorting space required to accommodate the growth and processing of donations. Store sales help meet a portion of this.
The balance of our costs requires us to raise funds by applying for foundations grants, or by holding events like our ANNUAL SOUP-ER BOWL. NEXT YEAR (2013) IT WILL BE HELD SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH, FROM 9:00 AM TO 6:30 PM AT: PARK GROVE BOWL, 1020 HASTINGS AVE, ST. PAUL PARK, MN. Information and entry forms WILL BE ON OUR WEB SITE.
Keep the people we serve in mind as you sort through your closets getting ready for seasons. We always need attire, furniture, and household goods. You may bring donated items to Stone Soup, Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm, or Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Free furniture pickup is available every other week by appointment. If you have questions, or wish a free furniture pick-up call 651-458-9786.
Stone Soup meets the Charities Review Council standards, and has their seal of approval. Background information about Stone Soup can be found on their web site: www.smartgivers.org You may also find more information about us on our web site at stonesoupthriftshop.org