Joshua’s Storehouse Donates $2.2 Million To The Community In 2014
Jay Martin wended his way among boxes of new shoes, racks of children's coats, and thousands of pounds of food in boxes, refrigerators and freezers at Joshua's Storehouse.
Some of the show-and-tell gets awkward.
"This is the messiest part, because we're building a kitchen," said Martin, the agency's chief operating officer.
The nonprofit agency at 334 S. Wolcott St., is expanding to meet the growing need for basic necessities in a community that has been basking in a boom, Martin said.
In 2014, Joshua's Storehouse had 1,132 new clients, which raised their client base to 7,111 households, he said.
Clients register, come in, take a number, and wait in the lobby. When it's their turn, they talk to someone behind the counter and place their orders. The food is enough to feed a family of five, Martin said.
Joshua's Storehouse has been, and intends to remain, as independent as possible, he said. "This is a faith-based organization, and we deal primarily with Natrona County."
It does not accept state or federal funding, nor does it receive funding from United way, Martin said.
Joshua's Storehouse relies on grants, corporate donations, and donations from businesses such as local convenience stores that give their about-to-expire food items such as milk and sandwiches. Perishable items like these are gone in a day, he said.
It also receives about 7,000 pounds of game meat a year, Martin said. "That goes out fast. People like game meat."
People donate, and Joshua's Storehouse has distributed, shoes to almost every school district in the state, plus 160,000 cases of Legos to schools statewide, he said.
People also donate equipment. Martin pointed to a $100,000 refrigerator and a matching freezer.
Joshua's Storehouse turns those donations around to return them to the community.
In 2014, the agency gave out 661,788 pounds of food -- not counting Christmas donations -- worth $582,373, he said.
Joshua's Storehouse also put up $10,000 for a 100-1 match from the nonprofit K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., yielded $1,647,000 for children's food and clothing, he said.
The food and K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers totaled $2,229,000 in 2014, Martin said. All of that is done with an operating overhead of about one half of one percent, he added.