What started out as just a food pantry soon grew into what Good Neighbor Thrift Store is today.
The pantry was opened by United Methodist Church of Navarre a decade ago and was run out of one of its buildings. As it grew, it moved into what is now the maintenance building for the church and soon was moved to a place in town near the Holley Navarre Fire Department.
The food pantry moved into its current location at 9205 Navarre Parkway and the thrift store is part of that as well and helps bring in money to supply funds for the pantry and to help meet other needs of the community.
“They just wanted to clear about $400 a month after paying for rent and bills to help out people with their rent or a bill or with food,” Good Neighbor manager Cheryl Fromularo said. “It’s become so much bigger and we’ve been able to help more people.”
Initially the store had enough space to hold all the items that are sold in the store.
“At first we had a lot of space. Now we have hardly any space,” Fromularo said.
Good Neighbor has become what it is today because of community support, including the 60-plus volunteers who give a little of their time each week to work at the store or in the food pantry.
Volunteers used to only come from United Methodist Church. They now come from all over. Fromularo adds that the store provides a great avenue for Bright Futures Scholarship candidates to pick up community service hours.
“The community has really stepped up,” Fromularo said. “We have unbelievable support and we couldn’t do this without them. Because of our volunteers and because of the donations we receive, we are always poised to help someone else. We’re able to play a bigger role in helping others in need.”
The store is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
On the 15th of every month, Good Neighbor hosts a sidewalk sale where everything is 50 percent off.
Random sales also take place each month, whether it’s 30 percent off furniture or 25 percent off clothing. Anyone interested in finding out more can check out the Good Neighbor Facebook page.
Customers will find almost anything they are looking for when they stop into the store. Silverware, dishes, glasses, sheets, blankets and even lamps are available as are kitchen appliances, book cases, tables and television stands.
But Fromularo wants Good Neighbor to become more than just a thrift store.
Plans are in motion to build a second building next to the current one at some point in the next couple of years.
The store will be used to hold the overflow of donations and serve as a place where people can find valuable resources to help them get on their feet.
“The thrift store will always be the thrift store, but we want to bring more services to the community,” Fromularo said. “As we move ahead, we are looking for ways to do more and give people a jumping off point. We want to give people a place to go for something like computer training and play more of a role in empowering people to get ahead. Anything we can do to help people get out of a situation and on to something better is what we are all about.”
Good Neighbor Thrift Store
9025 Navarre Parkway
Mon-Fri: 9-4; Sat. 10-2