To the Editor:

My husband and I own a convenience store, The Storekeepers, in Hebron. A few weeks ago the owner of Pratt & Sons Inc. who lives in Hebron contacted me and asked if I would help him. Without knowing what he had in mind I said sure what can I do? He arranged to meet me out in my parking lot and handed me an envelope saying he wanted to help locally in Hebron with those in need by way of economic stimulus during the pandemic.

His thought was to offer those buying groceries at The Storekeepers their purchases for free. “Just don’t include beer, tobacco, gas or lottery purchases please.” I opened the envelope and fell through the floor! It was a check for thousands of dollars written out to the store.

I said “John, this is too much. Are you sure?” He smiled as he affirmed yes then said “I want you to take 10% off the top for your business and be sure to sell at full retail.” I humbly said thank you and stood there trying to process what was transpiring. Then a thought occurred to me that it could also give others an emotional lift by giving them a night out so-to-speak. Money is tight for most so ordering out isn’t an option.

So, I mentioned “You know, some people will appreciate a take-out order to break up the routine at home”. John paused, smiled and headed on his way leaving me to wipe away my tears of gratitude. A few minutes passed when I quickly called him up and asked if I could mention where the money came from. He answered, “Yes, but please use my company name.”

Next thing I did was to share what had just happened with my husband. We were excited and chatted about how many people this would help and just how to reach out to those who could use the economic stimulus never mind the emotional lift, and on top of that how it would bring in business for us at The Storekeepers during this difficult time. WOW.

We began by compiling a list of those in need first and reached out to those who might know of people in need hoping not to miss anyone. Then I made Gift Certificates compliments of Pratt & Sons, Inc and we began handing and mailing them out. (Even the head post master in Paris helped out by donating postage upon hearing about our endeavor).

Pratt & Son’s donation has done just what John had intended. As people have been redeeming the gift certificates we have heard many grateful stories of how the groceries were just what was needed at the time or of how their kids were so happy to finally have pizza again. Business has picked up, we have extended hours almost back to normal operation and we have rehired employees.

From all of us whose lives you have touched, we thank you Pratt & Sons!

The Storekeepers
Beth & Lon Francis

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