Owners of free store say faith is their motivation to help others

Everything is free at FROG Ministries store in Edgewater

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

EDGEWATER, Fla. - Step into the Forever Relying on God, or FROG, Ministries thrift store in Edgewater and you're likely to find just about any item of clothing you need. The one thing you won't find is a price tag. 

Chip and Dawn Clark opened the free store and resource center in 2006 after first giving food and clothing away out of the trunk of their car. 

Chip Clark said he was looking for direction after an employee embezzled money from his law firm. The loss put him out of business and changed the direction of the couple's lives. 

"I spent 22 years as a lawyer and invested a lot of my life into it. Now we had no direction to go and I felt like God had a hand in that closing," Chip Clark said. "So this is what we decided to do and it's been really fulfilling."

The couple first started giving away items under the South Causeway Bridge in New Smyrna Beach, where a small group of homeless people would gather. 

"We just set a little sign out that said 'free clothes' and tables laid out with clothes and food. It went as fast as we could put it out," Chip Clark said. 

They moved into a small storefront within months and quickly outgrew that, as well.

"It literally exploded," Dawn Clark said. "There was no way we were going to stay in that building." 

Today, they operate out of a 2,500 square foot retail space in Edgewater, where FROG Ministries offers thousands of items of clothing, small household items, the use of computers and guidance for obtaining government services.  

The Clarks say running a nonprofit has its challenges but their faith keeps them focused.

"When we started serving it certainly changed our lifestyle, our value system. Everything really fell into line," Chip Clark said. "When we wake up every day, we say, 'We're here, we're ready to go. Tell us what to do.'"

The Clarks were nominated for the News 6 Getting Results Award by their client, Joan Laine, who lives nearby and visits the store regularly.

"I just think it's so fabulous and so wonderful that they do all they do for people and they do it for nothing," Laine said.  

FROG Ministries relies on the community for all the items it gives away as well as the operating costs. If you have items you would like to donate or would like more information, visit frogministries.net.

If you'd like to nominate someone for a Getting Results Award, click here.

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