This post is in collaboration with Free Store Penn Hills and the At Home Store. I received compensation in exchange for this post, but all opinions are my own.

I remember when I was a kid, I asked myself all the time, “Why do we have to pay for the things we need?”  I thought that if we need food, shelter and clothing to live a decent life, we shouldn’t have to pay for those things.  Doesn’t everyone need them?   So, why wouldn’t we just make sure basic necessities are available to all?  In my opinion, making sure that everyone has what they need to live is a basic right every human being deserves.

Nonetheless, this is not the reality we live. But many of us are still fighting the good fight to provide people with the resources they need and deserve.  Currently, past and present Penn Hills residents are trying to do just that and working to eradicate suburban poverty by opening Free Store Penn Hills–a consignment store without price tags for neighbors in need.

Moms can find everything from clothes to home decor at the Free Store.

Moms can find everything from clothes to home decor at the Free Store.

My blogger buddy Heather, over at DiaryofaFirstTimeMom.com, is heading the initiative to open a Free Store that will distribute clothes, toiletries, books, book bags, clothing, diapers, home décor, luggage/purses, school supplies, school uniforms, toiletries, toys and games for Pittsburgh families in need.  The Free Store, located in the Lincoln Park Community Center, will host a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, November 19th at 10 a.m.

Shoppers from across Allegheny County and elsewhere are welcome. On Saturdays, the store will host the Confident Kids Craft Club and interactive and educational workshops for families, such as financial literacy programs and breastfeeding information sessions.

The Kid's Corner at the Penn Hills Free Store.

The Kid’s Corner at the Penn Hills Free Store.

Deborah McKenzie, a leader of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, serves on the board and is painting a mural at the Free Store. My family donated wood to help Deborah build a bookshelf.  At Home, a retail destination that allows customers to affordably turn their house into a home, sponsored the beautiful store design, creating a warm, welcoming space for children and families. Luca Paganico Designs serves as the interior design consultant on the project. Together, we’re working to ensure people have what they need to grow and thrive.  

pennhillsfreestore5

The At Home store has everything you need to make your home stylish on a budget.

In addition to being a store with a heart, At Home has a rich, home décor heritage of inspiring families to create a home that reflects their unique personality and style, both inside and out.

So, if your kids need coats, uniforms, socks or shoes, be sure to visit the Free Store in Penn Hills.  They are looking out for us, so look out for them by donating your gently used items.  Here are some ways your family can give back to families in need by supporting the Free Store.

Attend the Penn Hills Free Store Grand Opening

Come out to meet your neighbors on Saturday, November 19th at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Park Community Center. Following the dedication ceremony, drop off donations, shop the store or enjoy refreshments provided by The Cupcake Crew and Frankstown Road Giant Eagle. The Consumer Health Coalition and Healthy Together Mascot Enroll-o-bot will be on site to help families enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. Children’s activities include arts & crafts, a face painter and stories–books provided by Reading is Fundamental (RIF).

Donate to the Free Store

Free Store Penn Hills distributes everything from clothing and books to toys and toiletries. Solicited donations include books, book bags, clothing, diapers, home décor, luggage/purses, school supplies, school uniforms, toiletries, toys and games. Due to safety concerns, we’re unable to accept cribs, car seats, furniture or other items subject to a recall. Personal items, including bedding, pajamas, toiletries and undergarments, must be in new packaging.

Grant a Wish

On Saturdays, the store will host the Confident Kids Craft Club. They need the community’s support to purchase art supplies. Click here to buy something from their Amazon Wish List.  Free Store Penn Hills will also offer interactive and educational workshops for families, such as financial literacy programs and breastfeeding information sessions. Interested facilitators can contact Heather at dearmomdiary@gmail.com.

Buy a Gift Card

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for At Home’s Pittsburgh store will take place Friday, November 19 at 9 a.m. You can add a gift card to your holiday shopping list to donate to Free Store Penn Hills, or pick up one of the 50,000 unique items to make the holidays a bit brighter for a neighbor in need.
You can follow the Free Store Penn Hills and At Home on social media! Show your support for the Free Store Penn Hills by tagging your photos using #LoveYourNeighbor
 
Twitter: @FreeStorePH @AtHomeStores

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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