About Us

About Us 2018-09-21T02:21:42+00:00

Mission:

The mission of Common Ground Free Store is to share God’s loving gifts with all by providing basic needs in a caring, compassionate environment of unconditional acceptance and dignity.

Vision

To freely serve all God’s children until no one is in need.

Values

  • Dignity – Fostering respect for each person.

  • Compassion – Understanding life’s challenges and willingly sharing guidance, safety, hope and support.

  • Service – Placing others before self, providing good stewardship in the management of resources, and ensuring integrity, quality, and excellence in all we do.

  • Acceptance – Offering a haven of support for all who face a time of need in their life’s journey.

  • Relationships – Cultivating and creating partnerships with the community and nurturing the Common Ground family.

What is a Free Store?

Common Ground Free Store (CGFS), located at 193 East Central Avenue in Delaware, Ohio, is a place where everything is free – clothing, shoes, linens, household items, books, toys, a cup of coffee, a meal, hospitality, and a smile. There are no income requirements, no questions, and no scrutiny – only the support of people who care. The Common Ground Free Store opens its doors four times each week to offer hospitality and free items in a caring community.  Common Ground Free Store Ministries is a partnership between Delaware County churches, businesses, civic organizations and caring citizens.

Why is a Free Store Important?

Delaware County is usually regarded as a wealthy county, but there are many families and individuals who live in poverty. At least 4.5% of the population, or 8,300 individuals, are below the poverty level. Many of these people are working hard, but there’s not enough income to make ends meet. At Common Ground Free Store, providing essentials like clothing and shoes, diapers and toiletries, and a nice hot meal, helps take some of the burden off so that they can use their income to pay their utility bills, rent, buy food, or gas.

Common Ground Free Store offers a place of community for the elderly, the lonely, and the weary, a place of respite for those without homes, and a warm and welcoming place for anyone regardless of their circumstances.

Our History

Common Ground Free Store Ministries was founded by a group of people from William Street United Methodist Church in Delaware, Ohio who regularly served at The United Methodist Free Store in Columbus, Ohio and Good Works, in Athens County, Ohio and felt God leading them to provide for people in need in their own community. Through their faithful prayers and obedience to God’s calling, Common Ground Free Store opened its doors in September 2006. Since then, the ministry has continued to grow, now serving over 5,500 needy families.

The store operates with five part time staff and a volunteer base of over 1,200. Each time the store is open, 15-20 volunteers provide food and assist families as they shop. An average of 50-75 families or an average of 100 individuals are welcomed and served each day the store is open. Over 30 churches, businesses and organizations in the community partner with the Common Ground Free Store. All funding comes from individual donations, grants, and fundraisers.

Board of Directors

  • Sandy Huber – Board President
  • Pete Wilkinson – Vice President
  • Jeff Robinson – Secretary
  • Dave Holliday – Treasurer
  • Joy Waldron
  • Dave Wilson
  • Bonnie Ristau
  • Jeanne Poorman
  • Heather Lauderback
  • Janell Kuck
  • Michael Corbett
  • Linda Chaney

Staff

  • Sharon Griner, Executive Director
  • Jill Ignaszewski, Volunteer Manager
  • Beth Weisbrod, Store Manager
  • Kara Jones, Store Manager and Community Minister
  • Karen Lobdell, Store Manager
  • Darlene Inscho, Store Assistant
  • Tamara Tangen, Finance Manager
  • Jennie Reed, Administration Manager
  • Jenna Miller, Outreach Manager