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2 min read

Partnering for a Purpose: The General Store’s Ongoing Support for UGM

Few stores in our community can light up the eyes like The General Store at Christmastime. It’s a staple for holiday shopping, embodying the working and adventurous culture of Eastern Washington and the homegrown warmth of a longstanding, family-run business. And with no lack of reasons to support this beloved store, we have one more to add to your list: It’s a place that believes in helping those in need.  

General-StoreLeft to right: Tom Barany, Bruce Barany, Miles Barany, Danny Beard

With a record of donations to Union Gospel Mission received as early as 1988, owner Bruce Barany and sons Tom and Miles have made a concerted effort to increase the store’s charitable contributions in recent years. A key way they’ve done that is by inviting customers to round up their total at the register. Each year with this effort, UGM has received the total amount raised in gift cards to their store. Some of the cards are given to residents in our programs, enabling them to shop for items for newfound jobs and housing. Other cards have offered recreational items and supplies to help equip our summer camp for low-income children. 

Miles shared with us about the purpose they find in our partnership. “It allows us to provide help to the people who can make the change—which would be Union Gospel Mission. You guys are the ones who can meet people where they’re at and help people get on their feet, whether it’s housing, or it’s jobs. And being able to help facilitate that—even if it’s just bottled waters or backpacks—makes a huge difference…Other businesses should definitely consider [supporting] UGM because…it hits home.”

 

“It allows us to provide help to the people who can make the change—which would be Union Gospel Mission.”
- Miles Barany

 

“My grandfather [William Barany] started The General Store as a military surplus 77 years ago.” Only five years after their establishment, Union Gospel Mission Association of Spokane was founded. We likely served many of the same folks—both offering services or items that provide for the basic needs of life. With our common historical significance to the center of the city, it is perhaps why we share in the desire to serve our community and offer hope to those who need it. 

Now with three locations—The General Store in Spokane, The General Store Outpost in Spokane Valley, and the Ace Hardware store in Liberty Lake—they’ve extended their fundraising efforts to those areas as well.

“It’s a privilege being able to serve the Spokane community. There’s a lot of integrity and a lot of honest, good people. Spokane’s a big, little city. And that’s what I like about it…I’m looking forward to all of the unique ways we can spread awareness and help the community. You know, just meeting them where they’re at.”

The generosity many especially feel during the holidays is displayed year-round through The General Store. We are grateful for how Bruce, Tom, Miles, and their teams have linked arms with UGM, enhancing our efforts to meet basic human needs and offer second chances.

 

 

Find this story and all articles from the Winter 2023 Mission News below.

View the print version of the Winter 2023 Mission News.

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