In today's environment, it's pretty easy to give up and lose hope at times. Whether you've been laid-off due to COVID-19, maybe you are having a tough go of things due to a parent or family member is sick, or now that the kids are home your shoe-string budget is now in doubt. One Southern Minnesota business owner is wanting to put some hope back into his community with a 'Hope Closet'. Albert Lea's Gilbert Johnson, the owner of The Chapel Comics & Collectibles Shoppe in downtown Albert Lea, unveiled his 'Hope Closet' on Friday and people are noticing.

In a post to The Chapel's Facebook page:

"In these times of confusion and anxiety sometimes we need a small amount of hope. So i have set up a hope cabinet in the front of my shop at 119 S. Broadway. Inside I have stocked it with food in hopes that people who need things may use it to help them feed their families and loved ones. In the hope cabinet people can take what they need and donate what they can. Let this be a beacon to people to say that there are those out there who care about other's well being and want all to feel they matter. I will do my best to keep this stocked especially during this when people are more and more out of work including myself. Thanks for any help in this endeavor."


The post has garnered over 30 responses from community members, and over 100 shares to show how much of a need this idea was.

Gilbert isn't afraid of sowing seeds of hope in Albert Lea. Gilbert was behind Chapel-Con in Albert Lea, and isn't afraid of being the change one wants to see in this world.

If you know of a business/person going out of their way during the COVID-19 pandemic reach out to me so we can share that person's story, and give hope to those who are needing it.

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