Free General Store
Our Free General Store Program (FGS) freely distributes new and like new clothing, toys, children’s books, and games to neighbors in need in Contra Costa County. We partner with local businesses, clothing retailers, and individual donors, picking up their surplus goods and delivering them, free of charge, either through community groups or directly at delightful unique events we stage called “Mobile Boutiques”.
We distribute clothing, toys, books & games in three ways:
To reach those most in need, WPE’s free Mobile Boutique trucks thousands of items of clothing, toys, and books to host sites (e.g., faith groups, schools, and community groups) in impoverished neighborhoods. We create a real store-like shopping experience presenting clothing that has been cleaned, pressed, sized, and separated by gender as appropriate. The clothing is hung on racks or folded neatly on tables like in a regular store. Toys and books have their own areas where they can be explored. The Mobile Boutique is held in a celebratory and uplifting atmosphere with decorations. Music and refreshments are sometimes served, clothes are restocked for every new group of “shoppers” so that no one is left with things that have been picked over. Volunteers act as wardrobe consultants to help people put outfits together for events such as job interviews and parent-teacher conferences. Our mission is to uplift the lives of those in need, and help individuals and families move from the margins of society, to the mainstream. Quality is important to us, and our standard is only to provide clothing and items of a quality that we would have in our own homes, or give to our children.
FGS partners with other service groups and agencies such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for local events like community baby showers and health fairs. See a list of our Community Partners here.