Mark’s Ace Hardware, which has three stores in Tucson, Arizona, has donated supplies to help the local homeless population for three years, but the community’s support grew significantly in 2020.
General manager Camille Gibson wanted the stores to help people living on the streets or in homeless camps to stay safe in the winter, so she created four different types of supply bags customers could choose to donate and offered discounts on the products at the stores. In 2019, customers bought nearly 300 bags containing supplies such as winter gloves, blankets, lip balm, socks and first-aid kits to provide to homeless people in the community. The stores donated the bags to nonprofit organizations that distributed them to people in need. In 2020, Gibson added hand sanitizer and masks to all of the donation bags. Shoppers paid for thousands of items, filling 1,388 supply bags.