Inside the Story: Utah County thrift store offers helping hand to those in need

Inside the Story: Utah County thrift store offers helping hand to those in need (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A Utah County thrift store offers much more than used items.

They are reaching out in a whole new way to help the homeless.

Brian Lee knows exactly what it feels like to fall on hard times.

He is a survivor of Hurricane Irma in Florida who lost everything in the storm. He ended up here in Utah.

"Sometimes you have to accept help. That's the hard part," Lee said.

And the place he has turned to for help is a thrift store in Orem called Compassionate Sheep.

The Compassionate Sheep thrift store offers the typical items for sale.

But there is also a complete food pantry and a place to clean up. They will also put washers and dryers in the basement as well as an area for free clothes for people in need.

"Just always been interested in helping out the poor," said John Duval, who owns the thrift store with his wife, Tanya.

The Duvals opened it up just a few months ago, and say it's all based on the gospel of Christ.

It wasn't easy for the Duvals to get Compassionate Sheep up and running.

"It's a lot of work," John said.

They had no retail experience, no food experience, and no customer service experience.

But, they had a great desire to want to help those in need.

"I was sick of the 'working for a paycheck and providing for the family' and then just wanted to finally do something for people in need," John said.

For Tanya, a tragedy in her life inspired her.

"My heart was kind of birthed out of a hard place," Tanya said. "I had a miscarriage. I lost a little baby boy and it changed my heart."

The Duvals say the money from the sale items is what helps them provide other services. They also work with the food bank to fill their pantry shelves.

Compassionate Sheep is open Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm.

For more, you can visit their Facebook page.