Victoria’s Hope thrift store honors single-parent, low-income families

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CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Cullman County woman is honoring her mother by helping others.

April German is the founder of Victoria’s Hope, a thrift store that helps out low-income families.

German remembers what it was like to watch her single mother struggle to make ends meet, but she was always concerned about others and had a dream of opening up a thrift store that gave clothes out to families like hers.

Now, German and her sisters are living out that dream for their mother, best seen in the store’s motto: “Remembering mothers by helping others.”

“We help single parents, low-income families, get clothing, household necessities, furniture, anything they might need,” German said.

April German and her mother

German said this store was her mother’s dream, but she passed away from pancreatic cancer in May 2018 before it could become a reality.

“Even in her time of struggle, she always wanted to help people so she always wanted to make some mission to help single parents. That was what my sister and I started Victoria’s Hope, as a just a small nonprofit to help single parents,” she said.

It started at April’s home, then they moved to a storage unit. They eventually outgrew that. Even their current 3,000-square-foot thrift store is getting small for them.

“We try our best to get it all out but this it is never empty,” German said.

Donations just continue to flood in and anyone who walks in that needs help and shows their paperwork, can get anything they need for free.

German said she can relate to these families.

“We have a lot of moments where we both cry and hug and some of them reminded me of my mother when she was going through that,” she said.

So German and her sister are continuing to find new ways to give back. On top of Victoria’s Hope, German, who is also a teacher, is also raising money to pay off the lunch debt at the local schools, another thing she can remember dealing with as a child.

“I always had to bring my lunch and I know now a lot of parents can’t afford it, even ones on reduced lunch,” she said. “I see the negative balance all the time.”

With every piece of clothing that is donated and hung on the rack, German feels her mother’s presence.

“I have prayed and prayed about this ever since the beginning that if this is what God wants me to do, that he would continue to show me and bless me and this community has blessed me beyond measures,” she said. “I know she would be proud.”

German said that on average, the store receives two to three donations that are dropped off every day.

For those who just want to shop, they have a “3, 2, 1 deal.” On Thursdays, everything is $3. On Friday, it’s $2 and Saturdays it’s $1.


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