Exchanging Toys and Candy Money into Meals

I had the privilege of representing Knox Area Rescue Ministries and KARM Stores at the Lenoir City Arts & Crafts Festival on June 7-8. Each interaction was special, and one conversation with a young boy and his aunt was particularly memorable.


Boy: “My grandma takes me to the Powell store a lot. She says it’s the best.”

Me: “Thank you. I am always happy to hear people like our stores.”

Boy: “Where do you get all that stuff you sell?”

Me: “People donate it to us. Sometimes it is things they no longer need, or clothes that no longer fit, but they are still in good shape and someone else might like to have it.”

Boy: “What about the toys? Do people give those to you?”

Me: “Yes, sometimes it is because a child has just outgrown that toy, and to make room for new toys, their parents will help them sort through the old ones and then donate them to our stores.”

Boy: “I’ve got lots of good toys I don’t play with anymore. They aren’t broken or anything. Could I donate them?”

Me: “Absolutely! Maybe the next time you are going shopping with your grandmother, you could bring some of those toys to donate. We will then sell them to get money to buy food for the people who come to the shelter.”

Boy: “They really are good toys. I’m sure you could get lots of money for them.” The boy then reached into his pocket and pulled out some crumpled bills and handful of change, and said, “Here, can you use this money? I’m not going to buy anything else today.”

I showed him where he could put his donation in the Feed the Need box. As he put the money in the box, his aunt (who had been listening to our conversation) leaned over and whispered to me, “He has worked hard to earn that money. Isn’t it sweet that he wants to help others instead of buying candy or other stuff?”

I agreed wholeheartedly!

Linda W
Retail Team
KARM Stores



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