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Business & Merchant

By Matt Shorraw

Organizers of the Free Store 15062 hope to open in Monessen in early Fall of 2022. The Free Store 15062 will be modeled after similar stores in Braddock and Wilkinsburg. 

A Free Store is much like a thrift store, where anyone can donate new or gently used items. Those items then can be “purchased” for free at the Free Store, to bring dignity to people in need. Monetary donations are not expected or required; however, they will be accepted, in order to offset the costs of operating the store. 

Monessen’s Free Store 15062 will operate out of the Schooner Youth Center in Downtown Monessen, a former Catholic School. It will be operated under the auspices of the Schooner Center Board. The Free Store 15062 project will be managed by Monessen native Courtney Moran, and former Monessen Mayor Matt Shorraw. 

Moran had the vision for creating a Free Store in her hometown, while serving as Chair on the City’s new Human Relations Commission. She was inspired by the work of Pennsylvania’s Second Lady Gisele Fetterman with the Braddock Free Store.  Moran and Shorraw both agree that there is a great need in Monessen, and believe that a Free Store will help serve Monessen and the Mid-Mon Valley.

Currently, Monessen’s Free Store is looking for donations to help get the store set up – such as metal clothing racks, shelving units, stands, and display cases; as well as donations to help offset the cost of painting and preparing the room for use. Additionally, the Free Store will accept donations of gently used items such as – clothing, jewelry, small appliances, holiday and home décor, and toys. The Free Store is also hoping to partner with local stores and organizations to obtain excess goods from stores – such as produce and dairy, in order to limit food waste in the area, and get fresh goods to people who need them most. 

The Free Store 15062 has a goal to open in October 2022 and will be open at set times several days a week. More information will be provided once days and times are finalized. To volunteer, donate, or for more information, please follow Freestore15062 on Facebook, or email FreeStore15062@gmail.com.  

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