About Us

Who we are

Originally, the Care Store operated twice a year (from fall 2014 – spring 2017) as a “pop up store” in conjunction with the CCN mobile food pantry. A more permanent method to meeting practical, essential needs in our community was started in October 2017. Currently, The Care Store is now a registered 501 (c)(3). Our guests are served by a primarily volunteer team.

What we do

The Care Store provides personal and household care items not eligible for retail purchase with a Bridge Card to individuals in need who have earned Care Bucks from local human services agencies. The number of Care Bucks each individual receives is determined by need and the number of members of their household. Special care is given to Veterans and their families to best serve the needs of those who served our country.

Help support our work

about us

Our Mission

Providing essential personal and household items to people in need with care and kindness.

Our Vision

Reducing the impact of poverty by helping people and helping homes.


God is sheer mercy and grace.
(Psalm 103:8 MSG)


Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back-given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.
(Luke 37-38 MSG)


Love God. Love others. (Matthew 22) and God is LOVE. (1 John 4:8)

Life is too short to run out of toilet paper. There are enough problems in this world that should receive more attention than figuring out how to get basic essentials. Too many people struggle paycheck to paycheck and don’t have enough left over to buy things like shampoo, laundry detergent, trash bags and of course, toilet paper.

The Care Store has what is needed to help people and their homes. We work with other agencies so that we offer more than just a “hand out.” We offer a “hand up” so that families can use their precious time and energies for important things like work, school and taking care of one another.

See how we are seeking to show God’s grace and love to anyone in need across Isabella County.

who we are

About Our Executive Director


Executive Director

Julia has been helping with The Care Store since nearly the beginning and has grown from a Shopping Assistant to a Team Leader and then into the role of Director of Guest Services. Most recently she was promoted to Executive Director. She is passionate about serving guests and finding volunteers who share that passion.

Julia moved from Southern California in 2016 to Mt. Pleasant and loves living here! She has been married to her husband, Joel, for 18 years and they have two sons.

Our Board of Directors

Jeremy Stembridge, Psy. Spec.

Board Chair

School Psychologist

Sue Pung



Emma A. Powell, PhD, CNP

Board Vice Chair

Associate Professor
Central Michigan University


Mary Barz

Board Member

Nick Wood

Board Member

Friend of the Court

Court Referee

Bethany LeViere

Board Member

Operations Manager
RFM Group

Jeremy Sheets

Board Member


Matt Romashko

Board Member


Matthew A. Romashko, PLLC

Kohl Bechtel


Senior Treasury Analyst

Additional Agencies in the

Strickler NonProfit Center

The William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center is home for Isabella County nonprofit agencies serving the needs of our less fortunate citizens. It provides high quality, low-cost space that affords tenants the ability to share common spaces and services while gaining the benefits of close collaboration.

Strickler Center

Our mission is to foster strong collaboration of key existing agencies by developing a shared physical space and cooperative interactions to ameliorate the most pressing needs of the large proportion of citizens in Isabella County living in poverty or near poverty. To learn more click here.

Clothing INC

Clothing INC served 6,836 individuals last year, distributing more than 63,000 articles of new or gently used clothing to meet the needs of those experiencing low income, fire loss, homelessness, foster care, employment interviews and disabilities. The number of people served represents 9.7% of the total population of Isabella County. To learn more click here.

CCN Food Pantry

Community Compassion Network (CCN) is a 501c3 non-profit Christian organization made up of volunteers from a wide variety of churches, businesses, organizations, and student groups. All are welcome. Our goal is to fight hunger by providing supplemental food to Isabella County families in need with dignity and equity. To learn more click here.

AARP SCSEP Mt. Pleasant Office

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the nation’s oldest program to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work. To learn more click here.



What Our Guests Are Saying

“To all of the staff here at The Care Store, you sure are a blessing. Thank you!”

“I just want to thank you guys so much for helping me and my daughter!!! You guys are absolutely wonderful!”

“Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. Every little thing helps. The smiling and helpfulness from the helper makes it so much easier and makes you feel more welcomed.”

“Thank you for not making us feel like paupers.”

“To everyone here at The Care Store.. I’m very thankful for all you do. It’s amazing & very helpful for those in need, Thank you!”

“I moved into my apartment 2 months ago. Not once have I had to buy anything for our place. Thanks to The Care Store, they are a huge blessing!”


Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us directly.

Do I need an appointment to use The Care Store or can I just walk in?

You can do either. Appointments can be made just one week in advance, however. Appointments are very helpful on the busiest days. Appointments can be made either in the Center or by calling 989-444-5203. We also take walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis during our hours of operation.

What are the busiest days at The Care Store? How long will I have to wait?

Currently Wednesdays and Thursdays are the busiest days due to the Food Pantry being open on those days. Wait times on Wednesdays and Thursdays can be as long as 1-2 hours for walk-ins. If you need to “do a walk-in” you may want to consider trying a Monday or a Friday during our hours of operation.

How much money do I need to bring to The Care Store?
The Care Store does not accept “real” money. To shop in The Care Store, you will need to have Care Bucks assigned to you by someone that you work with through one of our participating agencies.
How do I get Care Bucks?

You can get Care Bucks by talking to and working with your case worker/a staff member that you work with at one of our participating agencies:

  • 8Cap
  • CMH (Community Mental Health)
  • CMU Street Medicine
  • Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan
  • Commission on Aging – Isabella County
  • Deacons at Community Church (limited # of referrals)
  • DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant
  • Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!
  • Hopewell Ranch
  • ICRH (Homeless Shelter)
  • Immanuel Village
  • Infant Pantry at First Presbyterian Church
  • Isabella Citizens for Health
  • Life Choices
  • Listening Ear (current clients only)
  • R.I.S.E. Recovery, Independence, Strength, and Empowerment
  • Salvation Army
  • Soup Kitchen (Isabella Community) 1 referral per guest
  • WIC – Health Department
  • No Referral

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How many Care Bucks will I need to have?

The “prices” on the personal hygiene and household cleaning products are about the same as you would find at Walmart. So, if you have $10 in Care Bucks then you will be able to get $10 worth of items, the same as you would get at the store. Many of our items are donated so we set our prices at an average price for those products in the store.

Do I need to live in Isabella County to use The Care Store?

Yes, The Care Store serves residents of Isabella County only. Proof of residence by showing your ID will be required. Exceptions are made for people who live in the following zip codes ONLY:

  • 48617 Clare
  • 48618 Coleman
  • 48632 Lake
  • 48896 Winn
  • 49305 Barryton
  • 49340 Remus
I am an agency worker. How can I help my client use The Care Store?

Workers from participating agencies can do three things to help their clients to use The Care Store:

  • Assign Care Bucks using the on-line Care Buck Referral form – assigning Care Bucks according to their level of need. See the top of the on-line form for more details.
  • Shop with your client in The Care Store – let us know when you check in with the receptionist that you are from an agency.
  • Shop on behalf of your client and you deliver the items to them. Let us know when you check in with the receptionist that you are from an agency.
What if I have trouble getting to The Care Store?

If you are a Meals on Wheels recipient with the Isabella County Commission on Aging, let your caseworker know what you need from the Care Store. Your items can be delivered to you along with a scheduled meal delivery.

How can I get involved?

The Care Store is staffed by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the Volunteer Application here.

How can I donate?
  • If you would like to donate items needed for Care Store guests, click here for our list of Top Ten most needed items
  • If you would like to make a financial donation, click here

Get In Touch

The WIlliam and Janet Strickler
NonProfit Center

1114 W. High St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858


To make an appointment:
(989) 444-5203

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