“Curtis” looking through apparel at Street Store event.

The thought of a free shopping spree can brighten the day for just about anyone.  This is especially true for a Mobile resident, named Curtis.

Just because Curtis lives in the city of Mobile doesn’t mean he has a place to call home.  He’s just one of the 640 men and women who are considered homeless in the Coastal Alabama region.  Because of this, the thought of a free shopping spree is especially important for him.

It’s not every day Curtis gets to browse clothing racks in search of a pair of pants that actually fit or a button-down shirt in a color of his choice.  Simple everyday luxuries many people unknowingly take for granted was a brief reality for Curtis at Saturday’s ‘Street Store’ event at the Salvation Army Area Command.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”The Street Store is a pop-up store that offers free donated clothes and other apparel to the homeless and others in need.”[/quote]

5The Street Store is a pop-up store that offers free donated clothes and other apparel to the homeless and others in need.  The Street Store concept was created in collaboration with a South African shelter in January 2014.  The concept has been adopted by cities all around the world on several continents.  Thanks to members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church out of Mount Vernon, Alabama, the unique concept was set up in the Port City to serve its needy population.

“We are reaching out to assist an image of society that people normally turn their eyes away from” … “I believe this is exactly what Christ meant when he [God] asked us to question, what does love require of us” citing Matthew 25:36-36 said Morgan Byrd, Aldersgate UMC member and event organizer.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”what does love require of us.”[/quote]

13Over the course of the event, several area residents donated bags of clothing for men, women and children.  There were so many clothes donated, all of them weren’t picked up during the event.  The excess clothes were eventually donated to the Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama.

The group of Aldersgate volunteers ranged in age from late teens to mid-20s.  For several hours, the volunteers mustered the heat and humidity to bring smiles to the faces of more than a hundred people who needed clothes.

In the end, it’s those smiles and feeling of gratitude from people in need, more specifically, people like Curtis that makes 12charitable events like the Street Store worth it.







More Photos from Street Store event.