River Valley Sun
Mexico Free Store Open For Business
Rumford, Maine-Overnight Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Mexico Free Store was broken into for the second time in recent weeks. The thieves made off with a whole $10 for their efforts while doing a lot more dollars in damage to the building necessitating the store close its doors for two days while repairs were made.
The free store was started by the Dot Sanchez 35 years ago. It is currently operator by Dot’s daughter, Margaret McNeal. It has been and will continue to be the family’s labor of love to and shared by the community. The appreciation of the hard work of Sanchez and now McNeal was once again demonstrated on Friday with the outpouring of community support as the doors were opened once again. McNeal was moved by the many visitors pouring in with donations of items large and small, $5 here, a handful of change there, people coming in to give what they had to help with something they appreciate and find vital to the community.
McNeal explained that the Free Store operates completely on donations; all the goods are donated and operating costs such as the utilities are covered by donations as well. “Customers” are free to take what they need and pay what they can depositing donations in a box with no questions asked. The donations are what the thieves were after.
The Free Store also continues Dot Sanchez other legacy, Santa’s Helpers, making certain all children of the area have a Christmas. In the past the store has been hit hard at Christmas time by thieves. Then too the community arose to the occasion to replace the stolen goods and cash and in anger that someone would steal from the children.
It was a relief for the community that donates the goods as well as those who come to the Free Store to have needs met to see the doors once again open on Friday. The Store will be open regular hours next week, donations cheerful and gratefully accepted.