A Spokane woman used the heartbreak from the loss of her son in Iraq into helping veterans in need.
"The color drained out of my world," says Theresa Hart when describing how she felt when her son Nick was killed.
SPC Nicholas Newby died on July 7th, 2011 when a bomb exploded near his Humvee in Iraq. He was 10 months into a 12-month deployment with his Idaho National Guard unit.
"Being Nick's mother defined me. And when I lost him that defined me as well. And this is kid of the result of that. This gives me the chance to honor him,remember him, talk about him, and help veterans, active military, and other Gold Star Families," Hart said.
Her pain drove her to start Newby-ginnings in Post Falls, Idaho. The non-profit provides currently-serving military members and veterans with necessary goods and essential household items free of charge. Tucked inside a building off I-90 within a nondescript office park is a sort of 'make shift' store.
Newby-ginnings is lined with donated items from kitchen ware and clothing to medical supplies and children's toys. A few shelves of food, shoes, and a room stuffed with medical supplies all are there for free. You just have to show proof of military service and take what is needed. It's a place that serves the military and veteran communities with respect and dignity.
Recently, KREM 2 & STCU stopped by Newby-ginnings with a surprise. The non-profit was our first 'Who Do You Love' winner for military/veteran causes. The group won in an on-line voting contest where the public was allowed to choose their favorite military/veteran-related charity. "The community really rallied for Newby-ginnings," said Kristen Piscopo with STCU. The charity was handed a $2,500.00 check from STCU.
“The community loves you and we can see why,” adds Piscopo.
"This is going to go so much further then you realize. It really means a lot to us," says Hart.
The facility relies on donations and the money will pay for essentials like heating, electricity, and other bills.
The non-profit recently expanded and now has a 9,100 square foot combined space of free retail and warehouse areas. Newby-ginnings is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is primarily volunteer-staffed supporting a single paid position.
Families that “shop” there know that service can be costly both financially and emotionally. The volunteers take that into account when helping families, providing them with not only donated items but support borne from mutual understanding of service and sacrifice. If you would like to become involved in supporting Newby-ginnings and learn more about the non-profit, click here.