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FOREST CITY – Donations of food, money, clothing and toys always increase this time of the year as folks get into the Christmas spirit. But what about the other 11 months?

One local woman has decided to do something about that by opening a location where people can drop off or pick up items whenever they have a need.

Allison Tindall opened Ebb & Flow in a storage room on the lower level of Nu2U Consignments, 117 N. Clark St., in Forest City.

Tindall said she has had the idea in mind for years. “I prayed about it and God kind of worked it out,” she said. “I've been doing this my whole life. I've always been giving to family and friends, now it's just more widespread.”

Tindall said one of those things God worked out was the location.

“I came in to Nu2U a lot as a customer and I started helping on Wednesdays while my daughter was in AWANA. I started a relationship with (new owner) Naomi. I talked to her about this idea,” Tindall said. “Naomi said she had extra storage space, so, go ahead and do it. This is her contribution.”

There have always been places for people to pick up clothing items but many of these places were based on monetary need. Ebb & Flow is different.

“You don't need to be down and out. If you need it, I'll give it,” Tindall said. “It's more like a community exchange, not a charity. I don't want people to feel embarrassed to come or be afraid to ask.

“Ebb & Flow is a phrase I've used for years, like the tide going in and out,” she said. “Sometimes you're doing good and sometimes you need stuff. You don't need to qualify. If you need something you can get it.”

Tindall also uses the Bible verse, Matthew 6:28 – “And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin,” when it comes to the mission of the exchange.

So far Tindall has collected an assortment of undergarments, men's and women's clothing items as well as sweatshirts, hats, mittens and jackets. There are even toiletry and hygiene products as well as some bedding and dishes.

Tindall added donations of these items would be greatly appreciated. “And anything household that people want to donate,” Tindall said.

“It started out as a clothing thing then I decided, ‘why not take anything?’” she said. “I hope to have a little of everything. It depends on what people give me.”

The only thing not accepted at this time is furniture because of lack of space.

People may come to see what is available but ideally, due to space restrictions, Tindall would like people to call and tell her what they need.

For instance, “Someone can call from Prairie Ridge. I'll ask what sizes they need and I will pick it out and deliver it to them.

“But it depends on supply and demand. So far I've only had a few demands,” Tindall said. “But we're just starting out. I haven't got the word out there yet. I just had flyers made up to pass out.”

Call or text Allison Tindall at 641-590-7856 if you have a donation or a need and help her spread the message of Ebb & Flow.

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