Minot variety store offers giveaways to help community

Variety store offers giveaways to help community

Jill Schramm/MDN Dale Ganske, owner of Central Avenue Variety, holds a pair of women’s shoes Monday, pulled from dozens of new shoes that he has been giving away this month.

When Dale Ganske of Central Avenue Variety in Minot came across boxes upon boxes of shoes in sorting through his warehouse, an idea struck him. He considered the extra needs in a community navigating a pandemic, and with Christmas just around the corner, it seemed to be a good time to spread some holiday cheer.

Ganske began giving away the shoes outside his store at 13 E. Central Ave. and continues to do so while supplies last. Ganske said giving can be rather contagious, which is why picture frames from his warehouse have been added to the giveaway items.

“I’ve been blessed to have enough resources to have extra stuff that’s sitting around. So pay forward, clean out, do something with it,” he said.

Ganske said his generosity is for no reason other than the possibility the items might be helpful to someone in times that can be difficult on people’s finances and mental health.

“We probably need to help out a little bit right now,” said Ganske, who hopes to inspire more businesses and individuals to do the same.

With the co-sponsorship of the Fourth Avenue Dairy Queen, he also began giving away $5 Dairy Queen gift certificates. He recently began providing Spicy Pie certificates, too, although from a more limited supply.

Central Avenue Variety continues to add new items to be given away in front of the store, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Items will depend on what Ganske finds in his warehouse and whether other businesses might want to partner. People can follow Central Avenue Variety on Facebook to stay informed.

The original giveaway came about after Ganske discovered about 120 pairs of mostly women’s shoes in his warehouse. He had purchased a large number of shoes at a store closeout in Bismarck a few years ago but never had room in his shop to sell them. Quality shoes – retail priced in some cases at more than $100 a pair – are all new. Many are leather shoes.

He gave away all but about 10 pairs of shoes before finding four or five dozen more in his warehouse that he now is giving away. He also gave away a 10-gallon Redwing crock.

Although Ganske has operated Central Avenue Variety for 22 years, he said many people aren’t familiar with his shop, so in coming to check out the free items, they enjoy looking around the store, which carries antiques, rugs, furniture, military surplus and collectibles of all types.

Ganske said the timing in cleaning out his warehouse appropriately led to the giveaway just before Christmas, although the holidays weren’t his motivation.

“I think giving is good all the time,” he said.


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