Sweet and Thrifty2 nonprofit’s end-of-the-year fundraising event invited community members to participate in a two-day shopping extravaganza.
In keeping with the event’s theme of going out with the old and in with the new, shoppers joined by paying a $5 admission fee if they were able, and if not, founder Moneki Hall still helped shoppers participate and thrift away, no questions asked.
“You don’t get in this line of work to turn people down if they don’t have enough for an entry fee,” said Hall. “It would go against our mission to educate our youth with the agencies, knowledge and resources turned into skill sets.”
The store at 18667 Dixie Highway has been running services since 2020; Hall has focused on removing obstacles that deter youth from seeking services.
“I get unique cases in dire situations of home and food insecurities in different regions, to needing assistance obtaining paperwork and proper forms for employment or education,” said Hall.
The store acts as repository of further skills to be “formed” and “implemented” for these youths, Hall said.
“I want to eliminate the struggles for these young adults and for them to feel self-sustaining,” she said.
The mother of five, three of whom she has adopted, has been passionate about helping others since she was younger.
“I have had a difficult upbringing and have had to unlearn and relearn many times throughout my adulthood,” said Hall. “I always want the young adults/families I help to know I wasn’t born with a silver spoon.”
With a focus primarily on young adults between the ages of 16 and 21, Hall said, “We wanted a place to help them with job skills and life skills to foster independence and guidance on tasks they may not have learned or known.”
Sweet and Thrifty2 Inc. services include helping individuals obtain a medical card, birth certificate, Social Security, school enrollment, job training, mentoring, and help with homelessness and hunger insecurities.
“Nearly 45 shoppers have already taken multiple bags of clothes and accessories,” said Hall.
The event ran from Dec. 29-30 and called for cleaning up shops to make more room for the overload of donations waiting in the back to make it out on the floor.
“Any Remaining donations will be donated to other people/organizations helping aid migrants with coats and warm clothing,” added Hall.
Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School students contributed their efforts in making care bags: “They pack up necessities, like toothpaste, deodorant, and other toiletries for our homeless teenagers that often come from the foster care system,” said Hall.
Shariel Harris, an employee and Hall’s niece, added,
“We have been preparing donations for weeks, but hopefully, with events like these and word-of-mouth, our mission will speak for itself, and those who need assistance will reach out,” said Harris.
Sweet and Thrift2 shop hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information about volunteering opportunities, contact Hall at 708-991-2151 or [email protected].