Muskegon family creates ‘little free pantry’ to help others

Posted at 9:07 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 21:08:40-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Wolovlek family has a love for helping others, and knows it starts young.

Three-year-old Lydia loves helping her mom, Sara, restock their Little Free Pantry out in front of their home at 1325 7th St. in Muskegon.

It's their way of giving back.

“You come, and you can donate items if you want to, or take items if you need something,” Sara Wolovlek said.

It's a pretty simple idea. You need an item, you take an item. You can donate what you don't need. Wolovek says her favorite part is when she sees people donating items they don't need, and taking items they do.

It's a small way to pay it forward.

“We wanted to teach our kids to give back. No matter where you’re at on the financial bracket, you can give back,” Wolovlek said.

They're learning by example. Since last Saturday, the pantry has been out front. Wolovlek says now, the donations have outgrown her "little" free pantry. She keeps the rest of the items stocked in her house to replenish the pantry when need be.

Wolovlek says her pantry is available for anyone, adding that those who qualify for assistance often need a little more help to get by or may not want others to know they need help. That's where the little free pantry comes in.

"This way you can just go and take what you need and not be bothered by anybody,” Wolovlek said.

The Wolovleks ask that you only take what you need and leave the rest. Since its start, she says most of the canned goods and toiletries they put out have been replaced with donated ones from others.

They ask that everyone remember to close the door to the pantry all the way. They are only accepting food and toiletries that are unopened.