Huron residents open store to help others

PHOTO BY ROXY STIENBLOCK/PLAINSMAN The owners and operators of the new Huron Area Hope & Blessings store, from left, Stephanie Paye and Chelsea Geyer, stand in front of their storefront at 258 Illinois, SW. Shown next are a few of the items at the newly opened Huron Area Hope & Blessings store. The store also has a large quantity of donated clothing and shoes.

HURON — From the simple start in 2017 as a Facebook page with the idea that people could offer or ask for help or items they needed in a localized and safe place, and where they could also remain anonymous, Chelsea Geyer started a mission.

In 2018, Stephanie Paye joined Geyer on her mission to help others in need, and Huron Area Hopes and Blessings was born.

Over the last four years, storing their donations in a small storage unit at first, their business grew dramatically and they have helped more than 250 families in many different ways and are now able to have a building to store everything.

“The beauty of this group is that we don’t just offer temporary help,” said Geyer. “We offer support and guidance in the community so people can not only get on their feet but stay on them and be able to help themselves going forward.”

Geyer explained that many of those who have received help return to be some of their most generous donors. “Our whole goal is being able to use our local resources to help everyone prosper no matter what they may need,” she said.

Geyer and Paye have known one another for a long time and are both Huron natives. “It came very natural for us to do this together and when the opportunity came to open a business, I knew there was nobody better to share it with,” said Geyer.

With both having their niche in the process and the same goals and dreams when it comes to helping people, these two are the pair you want when you need help.

“That’s why our logo is ‘where Huron heroes unite!” Geyer commented. “Local people helping local means your donations go farther in the community, with every cent staying in the Huron area and no corporate overhead to pay.” Geyer explained that opening a thrift store is beneficial as for the needed space of donations received as well as providing for the growing needs to the people who fall through the cracks of the system, have an unfortunate event, or simply don’t qualify for welfare and don’t have the time to wait for welfare help.

“We are both stay-at-home moms who see where the needs are in our community and did everything we could to fill them,” added Geyer.

HAHB is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, and the last Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located at 258 Illinois Ave SW, the site of the former St. Francis Thrift Store.

The store accepts any items that are in good used condition that can be used to help another family. HAHB also offers a pick up service for those unable to bring donated items to the store.

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