One of the most uplifting and inspiring things in life is the spirit of community. The feeling you get when you’re surrounded by people who support and look after you is indescribable. And while the headlines on every newspaper may leave you feeling like we live in a cruel and heartless world, there are still people who embody the ideals of civic duty.
Selfless Blessings, a small stand-alone shop in Hollister, Missouri offers its customers canned goods, clothing, and other basic everyday supplies. What makes this store unique is that everything in the store is free.
“Selfless Blessings is a lot like a thrift store but we are a free store for families who are in need,” said store owner Andrea Berdine in a TODAY interview. “They come in, they shop. We have a donation jar. If they can donate, then they do. If they can’t, then they leave with a hug.”
Berdine’s store got its start in 2012, when she witnessed a homeless man being ridiculed for asking for a coat at a retail store. Berdine later searched for the man, and gave him one of her husband’s jackets. Embarrassed that people in her community would treat a person in need so poorly, Berdine was inspired to create a Facebook page where people could connect and contribute to each other. People began posting items that they wanted to donate, while others spoke up about items they needed, like a single father who was able to get shoes for his children.
The concept quickly grew from humble beginnings into a standalone store that now stocks hundreds of items that are donated by the community on a daily basis. According to Berdine, between 100-150 people visit the store each day.
For the people who have been helped by Selfless Blessings, the store’s offerings have truly been a blessing. “When it’s freezing cold outside and you don’t have enough blankets, and they give you blankets, then you’re blessed,” said Larry Fraser, a homeless man who was interviewed for the original TODAY piece about the store. “You’re keeping warm. It’s keeping you from dying.”
Andrea Berdine truly represents what civic duty is all about. Helping her fellow man, and inspiring others to do the same. If you would like to show your support to Selfless Blessings and their cause, donation information can be found on their website, http://www.selflessblessings.com
Original story via TODAY