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The PROP Shop

Helping Local Families in Need Since 2007

Between the years 2000 and 2004, the food shelf in Eden Prairie saw a five-fold increase in visitors. Volunteers did their best to provide things families needed, but their space was too limited to stock very much clothing, furniture, and other household goods.

The volunteers weren’t daunted. They saw an opportunity to do even greater good for their community, so in 2007 they opened the doors to a new organization. Just as the food shelf would feed those in need, the PROP Shop would give them things. When a child hasn’t got a coat to turn away winter’s bite, and her parents haven’t got clothing to wear to work, and they are all without a table to set for dinner, the PROP Shop provides.

To date The PROP Shop has given nearly $3 million worth of basic necessities to more than 3,000 families.

“We owe everything we do to the kindness of the Eden Prairie community,” said Cindy Eddy, founder of the PROP Shop. “Local businesses and schools organize drives for the soft goods we need most, such as gloves, socks and towels. Girl Scouts and Eagle Scouts come regularly to help us with our store’s landscaping. We have had over 3,000 volunteers since we broke ground, many of whom we once helped to get back on their feet. The donations we receive from people around town, whether they’re couches, chairs, gently used clothing, or even vital funding, all directly benefit people in need.

“For the most part people bring us beautiful things. Purses, books, toys, furniture – it is amazing how generous the locals have been toward us. Essentials like blankets and kids’ clothes are always set aside for the families in need who visit us. Other items go to our resale store, where anyone can shop for affordable shoes, clothing, housewares, pots and pans, and whatever else they might need.

“We don’t receive government grants. Apart from donations, our resale store is our only source of income. Whenever our store makes a profit, we put it toward our building’s upkeep or buying more essential goods. Last year alone we purchased 10 thousand pairs of socks and underpants each.

“We help up to 750 families every year and 350 families each month. Between 30 and 40 of those families are always new to us, but just as many stop visiting when they no longer need our assistance. On average a family will visit the PROP Shop a total of only four times.

“We mostly help the working poor during their hour of need. Sometimes it’s a family whose house recently burned down. Sometimes it’s a stay-at-home mom whose husband passed away, and now has to make ends meet until she can find a job. We’ve helped more children spend their first night sleeping on a mattress than I could count. We often deliver mattresses to kids who are waiting on the curb because they’re so giddy to finally have a real bed.

“We once helped a woman with four little boys. The father left them, and unable to pay the mortgage she lost her house. We furnished their new apartment with beds, chairs and a table. Her boys had started a lemonade stand that summer to raise money to go to a water park, but they decided to donate that money to us instead. They were so young, and they still wanted to give back. Our volunteers quickly raised the money to send those boys to the water park.

“Many of our visitors have such heart-wrenching stories that the other volunteers know not to share them with me anymore. I just vow to help everyone like they’re having their worst day. They very often are.

“But I do consider myself the luckiest girl alive. I know what I’m meant to do with the rest of my life.”

You can help support the PROP Shop by making a donation at 15195 Martin Drive in Eden Prairie. You may also learn more about them and donate online at