Impact Thrift Stores Honors Cecil and Grace Bean’s Soup Kitchen
December 18, 2015
Anyone who enters Cecil and Grace Bean’s Soup Kitchen is immediately met with a radiant wave of joy followed by a loving embrace from Grace Bean. Such was the case when Impact Thrift’s Community Outreach Team visited the soup kitchen, as Grace’s volunteers dubbed “angels” prepared meals for those in need in the Norristown Community.
Founded in 1982, the soup kitchen is a non-profit that has provided necessary outreach to the community by serving warm meals and donating essential items, such as: coats, socks, toilet paper, diapers, and grocery store gift cards. There is no paid staff. The soup kitchen is volunteer-powered by retired people from all walks of life, as well as teachers, business professionals and elementary school students.
Everyday Grace and her staff dish out food…and love. The soup kitchen is open to the homeless, disabled elderly, the neglected, the poor and anyone who is in need of a meal. Impact was inspired by the soup kitchen’s commitment to providing warm meals to more than 600 homeless and hungry individuals and families on a weekly basis.
During their visit to the soup kitchen, Impact Thrift was surprised to learn that one of Cecil and Grace’s greatest burdens is the financial strain of the rent expense. This became a call to action to Impact Thrift and the non-profit thrift store immediately came to the aid of the soup kitchen by awarding Cecil and Grace Bean with a community grant in the amount of $3600.00. This community grant will pay the soup kitchen’s rent for three consecutive months. The grant funding is intended to alleviate a financial burden, and to also honor Cecil and Grace Bean for their commitment to serving the homeless and hungry in the Norristown community for over 20 years. According to Grace and Cecil Bean, “The money needed to run the soup kitchen is obtained through contributions from charitable organizations, such as Impact Thrift Stores. The economy has hit us all, even the soup kitchen. Our prayer is that those we serve will be blessed.”
“This soup kitchen is a beacon of hope for the Norristown community,” commented Tamika Miller, Impact Thrift’s Director of Community Outreach. “We hope that our grant to the soup kitchen will inspire other businesses, organizations, and corporations to also get involved to increase the amount of support. The work of Cecil and Grace Bean is everything that Impact Thrift stands for as a non-profit organization—serving, caring, and reaching out to those in need.”
Hopefully, Impact Thrift’s community grant will be an encouragement to others to help the soup kitchen in any way, large or small. People can lend their support by simply donating food or grocery store gift cards—or they can be inspired to do as Impact Thrift has done, and give a substantial charitable contribution to sustainably support the soup kitchen’s mission.
Pictured from left: Don Ball, Impact Thrift Board Member, Grace Bean, Co-chair and organizer, Joanne Tornambe, Ann Ullman and Kristi O’Donnell assistants at Cecil and Grace Bean’s Soup Kitchen, and Tamika Miller, Impact Thrift Director of Community Outreach