20140824_152458860_iOSTen years ago, Giving Hope Thrift Store owner Marc Marois was on top of the world. A successful Realtor living in a big, beautiful five-bedroom home on three acres of land, he was doing so well he had a boat, motor home and three cars. By all appearances, it would seem he was set for life.

In 2008, that all changed. The real estate market crashed and Marc’s life came apart at the seams. It didn’t take long for the bank to repossess everything he had. Forced to move back to Cincinnati with his father, Marc was surrounded by a loving family, got a job, but hated the weather and longed to return to Florida.

A changed man and two years removed from his financial collapse, Marc returned to Florida with a plan to make a difference in the life of those in need.

In March 2013, Marc opened Giving Hope Thrift Store in Englewood. The 10,000 square foot store is located next to Big Lots in the Lemon Bay Shopping Center. A second location in the Venice Plaza on U.S. Highway 41 Bypass in Venice, opened in December 2014. These stores are 501(c)(3) non-profits dedicated to the sole purpose of helping the areas most needy.

Marc spends long hours working in both locations as well as meeting with local church and agency representatives, and picking up donations. Marc says, “I know what it’s like to have nothing. I know what it’s like to lose everything.” That’s what drives him to put his personal needs aside to help others.

Do you know someone in need? Perhaps you have the resources to help by volunteering your time in one of the stores, or even providing much needed financial support. Despite what Marc does for the needy, he knows it’s not enough. There is so much need in our area that Marc needs your help.

You can donate goods or shop at one of the stores, which features plenty of items at bargain prices for shoppers.

Need to contact Marc? Call him today at 941-460-8110.