Thursday, October 15th 2020, 5:41 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy
MCALESTER, Okla. –
A McAlester business has been caring for families hit hard by the pandemic with a cash free grocery store.
Mike’s Club is a consignment store but has created a special area for anyone who needs baby food, diapers or groceries to stop by and grab what they need for free.
There are some people who see a need and immediately work to fill it. These are people who help when helping wasn’t part of the plan.
“People are donating so fast that we are having to add more shelves,”
Michael Brown is one of those people, a helper.
“I have spent my life in the military. I am retired Air Force. I spent most of my time overseas,” said Brown. “I know what poverty looks like.”
He owns Mike’s Club in McAlester.
“First and foremost we are a consignment store,” Brown said. “We have clothing, furniture, Knick knacks, hardware, pretty much everything you might need.”
There is a little bit of everything. Brown also does little things that make big differences for people struggling financially. He charges $5 and people can fill a grocery bag with clothes. He has a membership club where people can pay $10 a month to borrow yard tools and equipment.
“Instead of renting or buying, they simply come in and check things out. Think of it like a library,” said Brown.
He just started a corner of kindness.
“This is what we call a cashless grocery,” Brown said. “It is very, very small right now, you can see it is only a few racks.”
A place where families in need can come and pick up groceries, without being questioned.
“We have got a little bit of diapers, toilet paper, we are always in need of things like that,” said Brown.
He said when the pandemic started some of his customers took major hits- this is his way of doing what he can to help.
“Dignity is a part of what we are trying to include here you know?,” said Brown, “I don’t ask anyone to prove that they have need. If somebody comes in and says they need groceries, then they need groceries.”
Families can come by anytime the doors are open and drop off donations. Brown said the need for food in his community is there and the people of McAlester are stepping up to make sure others are provided for.
“Not everything has to be about raking in money,” said Brown. “It is really all about meeting people’s needs and doing it in a dignified way.”
You can visit Mike’s Club Facebook page here.