950 3rd Street, Suite 101 | St. Paul Park, MN 55071
Phone (651) 458-9786
It’s been a while since we updated the community about the challenges and successes of Stone Soup. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Stone Soup has been a large part of Washington County for over 18 years. With the support of many volunteers, grants, and donations from the community, we have been able to serve a large population of people who had nowhere else to turn to, for the goods they desperately needed. We continue providing vouchers for merchandise at no cost, to families, individuals, missions and community groups, who lack funds to purchase household, furniture, clothing and other items we handle.
Stone Soup staff supervise individuals, both adults and youth, as they perform court ordered community service in the store. Many youth are referred through the Washington County Youth Service Bureau. The store manager communicates with the Probation Officers and signs required forms to verify that work has been performed. Mentoring is also a component of this supervision. Participants feel valued as they assist in the store, to the extent that many returning to the store to volunteer, after the time they are required to be there. During 2015: 65 youth and adults performed 1,280 hours of community service (From 1998 through 2015, 2,006 adults and youth performed 47,228 hours of community service.) They often return to volunteer after completing the ordered service.) A growing number of households with limited or fixed incomes shop at Stone Soup. While enjoying the fine quality of products purchased, it helped them stretch their budget. Every month over 1,400 shoppers came to purchase basic needs at affordable prices.
Customer Comments (Just one of the letters we’ve received)
"I wish to express my appreciation to Stone Soup Thrift Shop. I am one of the working poor as I've heard my demographic segment described by the media. I work full time, but I am still low income. My husband of many years only occasionally works a steady job, but he is an excellent father to our two children. When our children were growing up, he stayed home with them and taught them many handy skills, like repairing old things and building new things. My daughter can do carpentry, and my son can weld and fix cars.
I am proud to say we do not accept public assistance, and never have. The home we own is small, and in a neighborhood of questionable value, but we were able to purchase this home, and eventually pay it off. My husband and we were able to raise our children in their own home, let them have a dog, and let them play with that dog in their own backyard. Giving my children a proper home like this was very important to me, but I could do it only by cutting back on expenses.
By shopping at Stone Soup Thrift Shop, we've furnished our home, clothed our family and saved money, saved natural resources, and helped preserved the environment. Over the years we've always been able to make our mortgage payment and keep our house. We were always able to provide our children with some of life's niceties. If it hadn't been for Stone Soup, we don't know how we would have done it. I don't have the records to show the thousands of dollars we've saved over the years by purchasing used goods at Stone Soup, but today when so many families' homes are in foreclosure, they need Stone Soup Thrift Shop more than ever to help them save money.
Stone Soup is the only thrift shop in Cottage Grove/St. Paul Park area. We have shopped at Stone Thrift Shop regularly for years. The shop has always been a pleasant place to come to. The store is clean and orderly. Most times we come to Stone Soup we notice things are clean and sorted, and rearranged differently to fit the assortment of goods at the time. The people who work at Stone Soup are friendly and helpful, to both me, and each other. We can tell they really care about making things better.
Believe me; Stone Soup thrift shop does much to make things better, in its own small part of the world way. Stone Soup allows families to save money. Stone Soup provides a collection and distribution center for reusable goods, preventing wasteful use of resources and energy, and helping to preserve our environment. Let's keep Stone Soup Thrift Shop going.
Thank you, Stone Soup people!"
A Note from Majel Carroll Stone Soup Board President,Emeritus
We want Stone Soup to be here for families and individuals to assure they can stretch their budgets like the family that wrote this letter to us. While Stone Soup’s sales meet a portion of our expenses, we must occasionally raise funds, and also seek grants for the remainder. Our goal for fundraising is to insure Stone Soup remains financially strong, and able to continue serving the need for good quality, gently used clothing, furniture, and household items for community members. Many people think our store space is rent-free. It is not.
Stone Soup’s expenses for 2015 were $251,845. The budget for 2016 is $271,550. Our biggest fixed costs are over $5,150 for rent/utilities and $11,000 for wages. Stone Soup is often asked how we pay expenses. Store sales help meet a large portion of this. Fundraising and donated funds are extremely important as we receive no reimbursement or help from State, Federal, local government or agency.
The board of Basic Needs Inc. invites you to visit Stone Soup, to see the results of your support and to have a fun time shopping. There is something new every day, with great variety. Volunteers are wanted and very welcomed… and they do have a good time. Again, our thanks to everyone for your fine support. We look forward to seeing you visiting Stone Soup.
Board President, Emeritus
Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County
d/b/a Stone Soup Thrift Shop