HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – A Haysville thrift store may have small plastic bags hanging from its fence, but what’s inside the bags isn’t trash.
April Donaldson, owner of Nifty Thrifty Store in Haysville, had to close the doors to her business because of restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, but Donaldson had more than thrift items in her store, she had a food pantry.
She said the difficult part about closing wasn’t about her business, but about the idea of not being able to give the food to those who need it.
“It’s not a lot that I have, it’s just a small pantry,” said Donaldson. “I want to help so many people, I just wasn’t sure about how to do it.”
That’s when it dawned on her that her store could still be used, despite it being closed.
“I just started putting everything I had in bags and the next thought was, well I can’t have them come into my store, so I’ll just put it on my fence outside,” said Donaldson.
Originally Donaldson planned to make the food only available to those who reside in Haysville, but she realized there are more people who are in need that she may be able to help.
“Everybody needs help right now,” said Donaldson as she wiped the tears streaming down her face. “As I’m putting bags outside, I thought, you know I have a big container of toys outside and kids need things for Easter too and kids are home. I just started grabbing the bags and filling the bags up with toys too.”
Her acts of kindness didn’t stop there, she wrote a message in chalk to everyone who came to grab a bag, which read: “We will get through this together.” She said she decided to leave the chalk outside for visitors to use, and they did. Donaldson said she pulled into her store parking lot and saw it filled with chalk messages: hearts, “thank you’s” and “we love you.”
Donaldson has more food to give out and plans to continue hanging bags on the picket fence outside of her business. She will accept donated non-perishable food items, but she encourages others to get creative and just set bags of food out for others.
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