“We chose the name Samaritan’s Market because it portrays what our hearts want for the store in our hometown,” Diamond and Sherree King state on their new non-profit’s Facebook page. “We wish to serve the community with kindness and compassion.”
As they step through the door of the building that, some 20 years ago, housed their former business, a Christian bookstore, the Kings feel as if they are coming home.
“We are excited about coming back here and starting this new venture,” Sherree King said. “But most of all, we’re excited about what God has in store for us.”
The family has filed for nonprofit status for their thrift store, which opened inside the South Adams Street location that formerly housed Fulton’s Salvation Army Thrift Store. Their goal is to meet the needs of those in Itawamba County and surrounding communities, much like the Salvation Army did when they were housed in the building, but in a more localized manner.
“We will continue to operate in a similar way as they did,” Diamond King said. “We will accept donations, sell them in the store, and the money will go to benefit local needs and local charities.”
Samaritan’s Market accepts donations of gently worn clothing, shoes, household items, CDs, books, and pictures. They do not accept items such as broken furniture, mattresses or box springs, or damaged or stained items.
The family says 100% of the store’s profits will go back into helping people in need in Itawamba County and its surrounding communities.
“We’ll be working with social services getting referrals and looking at ways we can help other local charities meet their needs,” Sherree King said.
Just two weeks into opening the Market, their agenda already includes working with businesses to meet the needs of families affected by recent economic setbacks. They teamed up with Prairie Farms to give away boxes of dairy products to families in need, last Thursday, and they’ll do it again this Thursday.
Employees Joanna Crawley and Sherry Young, who both formerly worked for the Salvation Army, helped organize and work the event along with local businesses and church volunteers. Samaritan’s Market obtained and gave away120 boxes of milk products, including two gallons of milk, four containers of chocolate and strawberry milk, containers of French onion dip, sour cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
Vehicles lined the parking lot of IAHS awaiting the giveaway.
The Kings said they are excited both Crawley and Young decided to stay with them after their previous employer shuttered the local thrift store. The family agrees their recent venture wouldn’t be possible without their help.
“It has been a blessing that they decided to keep it open,” Crawley said. “Especially to see it continue to help people only in a broader perspective.”
“I love it here and I’m proud I can continue to be of help,” Young told The Times.
With the help of dedicated employees, the King family looks forward to their new nonprofit becoming successful. That will require a little help from the communities they cover.
“Donations will be a driving force in making this work,” Diamond King said. “We’ll also be looking to work with local businesses, churches, and other groups when it comes to organizing new events to raise funds.”
McKenzie Stephenson, the Kings’ daughter, is overseeing social media and marketing for the thrift store. She hopes to reach a new demographic when it comes to promoting their business’s mission.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully reaching out to the schools and encouraging the younger generation on ways they can help,” Stephenson said.
The family’s faith and powerful generosity are not just evident in the nonprofit’s name but in how they live their lives.
“We’d like to give anyone a free Bible that comes in the store,” Sherree King said. “All they have to do is ask.”
It’s something dear to their heart, just like the building itself.