Her whole life has trained her to be a conduit and she’s learned the implications of the straw. In 2007 a family friend had a dream and said, “God wants you to build a website called 2dollar4change. Cindi Shelton told God if He’d tell her what the money was for she’d build the website. Thirteen years later she is launched the website. S.T.R.A.W.S. Point of Contact and Thriftique is now a reality. Twenty one years of faith, work and divine intervention have gone in to the creation of STRAWS. Along with the vision and message, God has seen fit to provide Cindi with the volunteers and donations needed for the branches to reach out with her unique tree of giving.
STRAWS, short for Seeking Truth, Righteousness and Wisdom, Spirituality is a Christ based organization on a mission to be a vessel of His love by assisting families in need, regardless of their circumstances. STRAWS gives struggling individuals and families a HAND UP, NOT HAND OUT by helping them become independent from government assistance. The “Planting Families” project assists with education, job placement, shelter and stabilization in all forms. Participants are required to remain drug free and pledge to give back to the community by volunteering and helping others.
The newly opened S.T.R.A.W.S thrift store at 5621 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport is filled with donated items for those in need of clothing, housewares, toys, etc. The prices are all the same.” Whatever you see fit to give.” “Whatever you can give.” Other branches include a “Big like Dwight” mentoring program, Rolling trade school, essential oil classes and bible studies/ministry. An overwhelming number of people in our region struggle to make it day to day, week to week, so the branches need to reach far and wide. We hear it “takes a village” and knowing this herself, Cindi has reached out to other non-profits such as The United Way, Shades of Grace and Engage Tri-Cities. She’s been invited to speak and share her mission with some local congregations and hopes to add to her network and strength by inspiring others with her vision. STRAWS is actively accepting donations of merchandise for the thrift store and in need of volunteers of all types. Tradesmen, mechanics and contractors are high on the wish list, as well as mentors and retail shop help. Her 2dollars4change initiative enables citizens of all incomes to contribute to the mission because a village includes all of us. Donate $2, $20 or $200 at 2dollars4change.org and share the word. That’s what it’s all about, anyway. Sharing and The Word.