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21-year-old opens "free" store in Abbeville

Sabien Speciality Services is lending a helping hand by allowing members of the community to shop for clothing, hygiene products and food for free.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 8:18 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 12:01 PM

ABBEVILLE, LA (KADN)- A 21-year-old from Abbeville is giving back to the community by allowing them to come into his store and shop for free.

Sabien Brown is the founder of Sabien Specialty Services. Under the nonprofit, he opened something that is unheard of, a place to shop for free.

In the store, you can find items like plants, canned goods, and clothing. Brown said the idea of opening a store sparked during the pandemic.

“In COVID you can see a lot of people losing their jobs and losing their only real source of income, and a lot of people were really concerned about how they were going to get their hands on what they needed. So, I thought let's put some kind of safeguard in place, and for the next time something like that happens,” he said.

The most high-demand items in the store are hygiene products and baby formula. The 21-year-old said it is his goal to supply items that people can’t normally get through donations or government assistance.

“It’s for people that either have trouble affording a lot of household goods and some people that can't afford it, but even more than that is just, there's no real program to get, like, just hygiene products or toiletries or just household goods like there is with food,” he said.

The “free” store opened in June and serves about 15-20 people every Tuesday and Friday. Brown said that those who come don’t believe that they can take things at no cost.

“A lot of times they ask me so how much these costs are like, they asked me if it's really free. When it's mostly free,” he said.

All of the items are made available through donations. There are also volunteers that come and help him operate the store.

“They've been supportive like a lot of people come and donate a lot of people like ask questions and people come in to help volunteer like, because sometimes the lots of stock stuff and fold on clothes and stuff but people have been really helpful,” he said.

The free store is open located at 803 N. Lamar St. in Abbeville on Tuesday from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm and on Friday from 11:00 am-1:00 pm.

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