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Pine River thrift store donates freezer to food shelf

When Dark Cravings of Pine River closed, the Hidden Jewels 4 U Thrift Store of Pine River saw an opportunity for charity. The coffee shop liquidated all of its equipment during the closing, including an industrial freezer. Brenda Peterson, owner ...

Brenda Peterson of Hidden Jewels 4 U thrift store, along with Carol Schmidtbauer prepare for a penny drive to collect 1 million pennies. Photo by Travis Grimler
Brenda Peterson of Hidden Jewels 4 U thrift store, along with Carol Schmidtbauer prepare for a penny drive to collect 1 million pennies. Photo by Travis Grimler

When Dark Cravings of Pine River closed, the Hidden Jewels 4 U Thrift Store of Pine River saw an opportunity for charity.

The coffee shop liquidated all of its equipment during the closing, including an industrial freezer. Brenda Peterson, owner of Hidden Jewels 4 U, a thrift store only doors away, purchased the freezer after about a week of consideration and immediately gave it to the Pine River Area Food Shelf.

"We went over there (to the food shelf) and they have a double freezer over there," said Peterson. "I had asked if they needed another one, and they said, 'Probably.' That is a resource for the community. I thought it was a good thing to do for the food shelf."

This was not the first charitable donation the business made.

From 2005-14, the thrift store was part of the Pine River-Backus Family Center, as a means to provide affordable clothing to people and fund the needs of the family center and food shelf. In 2014, the family center decided to go a different route for funding, and rather than closing, Hidden Jewels relocated and got its own 501c3 designation. Today, the store continues its local donations.

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About the same time the thrift store donated a freezer to the food shelf, Hidden Jewels started a penny drive to raise donation funds for the family center, Pine River-Backus School and other charities.

"Our board members came up with that idea in the last board meeting. We decided to get the community involved. Money from that would also go to benefit the community, the family center. We help them with Christmas For Kids and help families in need," Peterson said. "The money goes out to different organizations after it comes in here. When the food shelf needed the freezer, we purchased it for them. When Christmas for Kids comes around we purchase gifts to give to them. Families that do not work and need things, we will purchase things to give to them also."

The penny drive has set a big goal of 1 million pennies, or $10,000. To raise that, Hidden Jewels will have a donation container for visitors to donate to, and students at Pine River-Backus School will have a chance to help soon as well, when the charity visits classes there.

Jodi Perry of the food shelf said she was grateful to Hidden Jewels 4 U for the generous donation and she expressed her thanks for continued contributions.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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