For the 175th anniversary of Clarks Ace Hardware, owner Margaret Clark had planned on making 2020 memorable by hosting events and making generous contributions to the community. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic made the celebration even more significant.
Needs in the community surged at the same time as sales soared at the store. So, Clarks Ace didn’t throw a big anniversary party. Instead, the company donated more than $100,000 in cash and products to nonprofit organizations, such as Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Toys for Tots and local groups providing food and protective face masks to local people in need. The store donated $20,000 in personal protective equipment to medical workers. It also offered customers 20 percent discounts on essential products if they wanted to donate supplies to first responders and a local hospital.
During the winter holiday season, Clark planned to donate 10,000 more masks and more food to nonprofits serving people who are homeless or otherwise in need.
“I feel like it’s a duty as a human that, when you’re doing well, you share what you have,” Clark says. “We must give back to humanity. If you take care of your community, it will take care of you, as well.”