Stores of Hope is a three-year story about a former drug dealer, Gerry Palmer, and his journey to “serve in a good way” his beloved hometown and community of Sandtown in Baltimore, Maryland. Together with friends and volunteers, they opened Gerry’s Goods, the first resident-owned retail store in Sandtown in over 20 years. But unlike all the other stores in the community, Gerry’s Goods doesn’t have the thick barrier of Plexiglas that separates the customer from the store’s goods.
“It’s not so much the freedom [for the children] to reach and grab a candy bar as it is the dignity that’s being afforded, once they cross the threshold of the store.” – Antoine Bennett, Sandtown resident
At first, some called Gerry crazy for not installing Plexiglas in his store, but now, after two years, the store has served the community without a single incident, giving the residents of Sandtown a renewed sense of pride and hope.