Dave Snuggs, Founder of My Neighbor in Need, says, "I was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi's soul kitchen which is a restaurant where they basically serve a meal and they put the value of the meal on the wall and ask people to pay what they can and if you can afford more, pay more!"
Snuggs never thought the organization would be this far this fast. He says, "the original idea was to help 200 people in a year, now 14 months in and we've helped 1,110. We're in 30 cities and 2 states with no financial gain and no paid staff".
With all their success my Neighbor in Need was in need a new home. Snuggs explains, "we needed a space to store everything we get donated". Roger's Jewelers provided the space in their basement and the first ever Give What You Can Community Thrift Store was born! Snuggs says, "everyone in the community should have that right to be able to come and fulfill a need that they have whether they qualify for My Neighbor in Need's free service or not".
Here's how it works- Snuggs explains, "everything has a "give what you can" minimum price, but the price is so low compared to other places that we ask you if you can to give a little bit more".
If you can't pay the minimum price, you may qualify for My Neighbor in Need. You can fill out the My Neighbor in Need application and if they can verify your need you can get help for free! If not, pay the minimum price and your need is still fulfilled.
The minimum price is determined based on retail value and a realistic idea of what people can afford. Snuggs says, "we have washing machines at $30, refrigerators at $50. Furniture at $40".
The idea is that My Neighbor in Need can help more people faster though the thrift store. Snuggs says, "the money that we get from the sales go to the trust account to fulfill needs in our community".
The store focuses on three basic, but expensive, needs of appliances, furniture, and housewares. Snuggs says, "we're filling a gap between unexpected things you didn't see coming and retail".
While this is based on an honor system, there are parameters to ensure people don't take advantage. Snuggs says, "we have the right to let you buy one washing machine, not three!"
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday 10a.m. - 6p.m., however they close for an hour at one. Even if no one is in the thrift store downstairs, just grab the ticket for the item you want and the cashiers upstairs in the Antique store will take care of you.
Snuggs says, "the power and the joy of helping a total stranger is wonderful!"