Many people were standing outside a building on Main Street, anticipating what they would find when the doors opened for a day of free things to be given away.
On Saturday, June 4, Becky Hutchison welcomed locals into the Main Street building where the Antique Shop used to be, to a room full of thousands of items, all for free.
Hutchison birthed the idea a couple years ago. Her goal was to “offer a room packed with free things to people in Craig.”
She began preparing for this year’s collection event eight months ago. Every household item imaginable was present: furniture, décor, toys, holiday decorations and clothes for every size, including several pairs of new shoes.
She also personally bought food and items for people to have a grocery bag of new things to take with them. “We couldn’t believe all the things she is told us to take,” one lady exclaimed. “I’m overwhelmed with her generosity.”
Hutchison and her volunteers helped many who walk in to pick out items, carry them to the front as they continued shopping and even helped put items in their vehicles. “We want everyone to leave happy,” Hutchison repeatedly said with a smile.
One attendee had just moved into a new apartment, having come out of a difficult situation. She thanked Hutchison endlessly for the kitchen items and clothes she was able to leave with.
“You all have no idea what this means to me,” she said. “I left my home with nothing, and then someone tells me to come in here and take whatever I need…I’m speechless and so grateful.”
Another couple came in looking for items for their unborn child and was assisted by workers.
“Becky seems to have gotten ‘addicted’ to giving things away,” one lady said with a giggle.
Hutchison shared that she didn’t want any credit because it took a lot of people helping her to make it happen. “I couldn’t do it without all of them,” she said.
“Thank you to Jason Underwood for the use of the building, the Fairgrounds and Wilderness Adventure for the use of the tables and all of the donations from citizens,” she said. “Also, much appreciation to the VFW for their generous donations and the businesses and many other friends who tirelessly pitched in.”
“I had relatives, Beth and Betty, to come in from out of town and help me get things in here and out of the boxes until 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning,” Hutchison added. “My daughters, Jodi Caldwell and Jessica Bradford, helped me in so many ways. Jim and Kathy Wingfield spent a lot of time helping, gave a huge donation and went the extra mile for this to happen.”
Hutchison also was able to work with the Court System this year with people who had community service hours.
Later in the day, a group of bikers from Canada, New York and North Carolina stopped on Main Street to eat and visit the event. Hutchison personally thanked each of them and told them to grab anything they like. “We’ve never seen anything like this in our entire lives,” a few of the bikers said.
Hutchison invited an American Red Cross (ARC) representative from Roanoke to hand out flyers for the “Home Fire Campaign.”
Because The Red Cross currently responds to a home fire every eight minutes, they have partnered with municipalities, fire departments and community groups to help families be better prepared for and take essential steps to prevent home fires. To schedule an appointment, call (540) 987-6355.
Over 160 people came to the free-day event. “I just want everyone to have things they need,” Hutchison shared as she was boxing up the leftovers. “So many people donated, so there was enough for everyone.”
And Becky was right. Not only was there enough for everyone, but she also ended up having over 40 boxes of items left over.
“I am tremendously blessed to be able to do this,” Hutchison said.