COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Thrift store owners in Colonial Heights say they were struggling to keep their operation going when they received an unexpected and appreciated surprise from their landlord.
Pastor Gary McReynolds says ReGenesis Thrift is there to serve the Colonial Heights Community.
"We're helping men and women who come out of incarceration, or maybe they've gotten a DUI or they've got drug addiction problems," said Pastor McReynolds.
Kellie Souther, who graduated from the nine month program and is now an employee, says it’s the difference between life and death.
But helping people can comes with a price.
At the start of the 2020, money was getting tight and not just to pay the 17 people on the payroll.
“You got a payroll and you're feeding and housing 40 people, it's pretty tough,” said Travey McReynolds, who oversees the thrift stores.
Earlier this year, those on the payroll took a one day furlough to help save money and as April rolled around, they received a surprise call from their landlord.
McReynolds says she was not prepared for what happened next.
“The landlord said ‘I believe in you guys and your mission and I know things are tough right now and I talked to my brother and we decided that for the month of April, you do not have to pay the rent.”
Pastor McReynolds says that is $4,000 for the 10,000 square foot facility.
"I mean $4,000 is a lot of rent to not have to pay,” McReynolds added.
"Nobody that can tell me that this isn't not a blessing of God, because this place does so many good things for so many people,” said Southers.
"I thought it was a blessing from God,” said Jonathan Scott, who is also a graduate and employee.
"You don't have a lot of people in the world that would do something good like that without them even having to ask. That was just something they chose to do in their heart and I just think that's amazing. You can't beat that, we need more people like that,” said customer Brittany Wright.
It was an act of kindness with far reaching ramifications according to Pastor McReynolds.
"He's going to have less, so that someone else can have more,” he added.
The McReynolds say foot traffic at both the Chester and Colonial Heights thrift stores are down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. They are grateful though the public continues to donate items and blessed by a landlord whose act of kindness won't be forgotten.