Storehouse Teaches Students Importance of Community-focused Organizations

Posted by on December 9, 2011

Global citizenship students volunteer distributing items to low-income families

A new Elk River-based organization that focuses on providing household items to low-income families opened its doors to Minnesota School of Business students to show them what a community-based organization is all about.

The Storehouse partners with high-end retailers to provide items like sheets, blankets, towels, appliances and home décor at no cost to families who otherwise couldn’t afford them.  The items are typically clearance, returned, slightly damaged or overstock items that major retailers want to unload.  

Global citizenship students spent an afternoon learning about the Storehouse, how it operates and the people it helps from warehouse manager Anne Nelson as part of their service learning project.

“It’s amazing to know there is an organization out there that sees a need for people who not only need food but household items like towels, blankets and so much more,” said student Tania Haaf.

Students also volunteered during distribution day sorting new items and working face-to-face with families who were selecting items for their homes.   Only families who have been referred to the Storehouse by a community member may benefit from its services. 

“The families get interviewed and chosen based on their need,” Haaf said.  “They then have a scheduled time where they come in, get a shopping list of certain items and get to shop throughout the store.”

Haaf said the best part of the service learning project was being able to watch the families faces as they selected really nice, high quality products for their homes. 

The Storehouse opened in 2011 and is a child-organization of Rivercenter, Inc., a Christian-based international network created by Chuck and Kathi Ripka.


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