Food, water, and shelter are life necessities - essential to living. Hamilton County had/has a well-supported network of food pantries and homeless shelters.
What the area did not have in mid-2018 was consistent access to free weather, work, and school appropriate clothing, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies - quality of life necessities. Dignity, self-esteem, and confidence are also quality of life necessities.
We designed Marilyn’s Place Non-Food Pantry to provide the tangible needs in a way that addresses the intangible needs as well, simply by giving clients as close to a "normal" shopping experience as possible: freedom of choice, variety, a limited budget (MPI voucher points), and total responsibility for spending decisions.
Why does Marilyn's Place Not-Food Pantry need financial assistance?
Located 1 mile south of downtown Noblesville, Indiana, Marilyn’s Place Non-Food Pantry is about as grassroots as it gets. Founder Glenn Conn lives less than a block from the town square, close enough to walk or bicycle over for appointments. His cousin and co-founder Marie Marks commutes from an even smaller town in Tipton County.
Starting a non-profit is a big project even with a full Board and fully funded budget. For 3 AARP members with nothing but enthusiasm, dedication, sporadic NFP volunteer and work experience, and NO outside funding it seems like a crazy and most likely impossible endeavor. Crazy? Probably. Impossible? Obviously not. But it was more complicated and took longer than we expected, even before Covid-19 got in the way of volunteer build-out parties, fundraising, networking, and open-to-public hours. Yet despite every obstacle we assisted our first two clients July 31, 2020, establishing our official opening date, and our client list has been growing ever steadily ever since.
Clothing donations started and remain steady. Random Kindness Week filled the store and storage shelves with hygiene products. Cleaning supplies are less popular for Dignity Drives* requiring us to spend operating and/or personal funds to re-stock the most-needed items (laundry detergent, dish soap, and spray cleaner). It's those operating funds that need help with, rent money to be specific. Rent, phone/internet, and insurance together total less than $2000 a month. All things considered that's ridiculously low; but it's still more than we've been able to raise to pay the rent in full every month.
Please visit www.marilynsplaceinc.org for the who's, whys, and hows of MPNNF, including the journey from Dog Spa to Non-Food Pantry at https://www.marilynsplaceinc.org/photos and a Powerpoint explanation of why Hamilton County, Indiana, needs food and non-food pantries. Thank you for reading this story; please donate, share, or share and donate - determination got us this far but we need help to keep going.
- Adell Means
- Scott Wright
- Tricia Waddey Newton
- Eva M Marks
- Alison Becker
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