During 2013 we provided $121,134 or 49% of the store’s inventory at no cost. This served 451 children, 514 adults and seniors, community churches, agencies, and other customers to become a bigger part of Stone Soup's service operation in today's tough economy. Of those served, some individuals were homeless. On special days as customers entered the store there are bins and shelves filled with a variety of free usable items. Children loved this, usually finding toys they could take home. We offer 10 items of clothes you pick, in a grocery bag for $8.00, some days for much less. Published coupons can lower the price to $3.00! 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 came to find basic needs at affordable prices. In addition throughout the store there were free dishes, bedding, and other items weighing 11,185 lbs. plus 176 pieces of furniture, provided to them at no charge. Stone Soup maintained the delivery of supplemental assistance including: free bread contributed by Panera Bread on Tuesday and Saturday, and donated produce during summer months. Our expenses for 2013 were $243,719. Stone Soup is often asked how we pay expenses. Our biggest fixed costs are rent and wages. Store sales help meet a large portion of this. We received no reimbursement or help from State, Federal or local government, or organization.
Our goals are to continue to: expand the goals of our mission; boost our customer base and enhance business activities; provide an educational environment for individuals placed with us for training; expand distribution of free merchandise to disadvantaged families and individuals; broaden distribution of products to community churches & organizations at no cost; increase sales of furniture & products to meet our business expenses; recruit more volunteers for sorting, repairing, stocking items for resale and other activity; offer products of high quality gently used goods at reasonable/affordable prices; promote and encourage the ongoing community donations of materials and goods; continue serving community programs that help reduce the hardship of our customers; make available a positive learning environment for community service individuals; increase recycling of goods to conserve our environment and add to program income; generate more income by selling more recyclables to generate income; develop additional services and programs for families who are in crisis.
Community or Constituency Served
Blue-collar workers, single parent households, immigrants, increasing numbers of migrant workers, Latinos, Asians, Somali, African Americans and more, frequent our store, all trying to make ends meet. Blue-collar workers, single parent households, immigrants, increasing numbers of migrant workers, Latinos, Asians, Somali, African Americans and more, frequent our store, all trying to make ends meet.
Geographic Area Served
Stone Soup serves: a diversified community including all races, gender, religions, age groups, and nationalities; disadvantaged families and individuals; a large population of people who had nowhere else to turn for goods they desperately need; Blue-collar workers, single parent households, immigrants, increasing numbers of migrant workers, Latinos, Asians, Somali, African Americans and more, all trying to make ends meet; Local State Workforce Center to offer a place where seniors and individuals with various limitations, who have been out of the marketplace, feel useful, gain skills that can be placed on a resume, and eventually secure employment; individuals, both adults and youth, as they perform required community service in the store; youth to fulfill service obligations i.e. Confirmation Classes, National Honor Society, ROTC, Scouting Organizations etc., helping them build values through education and volunteerism; Youth referred through the Washington County Youth Service Bureau (YSB).
Impact and Programs