Ardmore business owner creates ‘Kind Cabinet’ filled with charitable donations for individuals downtown

Sierra Rains /
Downtown Ardmore now features Kind Cabinet, where area residents are encouraged to take what they need and leave what they don’t.

‘Leave what you can, take what you need’— that’s the motto for a new structure being referred to as the ‘Kind Cabinet’ in downtown Ardmore.

Placed on the corner of W Broadway St. and N Washington St. three weeks ago by local downtown business owner Julie Longest, the Kind Cabinet holds everything from toothpaste to packaged peanut butter crackers.

Individuals who have fallen on hard times will often stop by downtown businesses in need of a bottle of water, Longest said. And after receiving a donation of several excess filing cabinets, it sparked an idea.

“I just thought ‘You know, if people have things that they aren’t using or would like to purchase something, there’s people out there who just need a bottle of water or just need a toothbrush or toothpaste.” Longest then fashioned the Kind Cabinet out of one of the old filing cabinets.

Longest said she has been collecting donations to keep the items in the cabinet rotated, but so far there hasn’t been much of a need to. The amount of items will go down one day and the next day it is full again, she said.

“It’s been a really neat, positive experience because people really do just take what they need,” Longest said. “I don’t know who all does things to it and I don’t know who all is taking things, but that doesn’t matter. It’s just people who are helping each other and being kind.”

Personal hygiene items and packaged crackers appear to be disappearing the fastest, Longest said. However, people can put just about anything they want in the cabinet, from canned foods to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Despite fears of there being excess trash from the cabinet, Longest said the area has remained clean and as long as the project continues to go well she said she plans to continue to maintain it.

“I think in our world today little acts of kindness can sometimes go a long way,” Longest said. “I appreciate all the people that are participating in it. Sometimes people get down on their luck and just need help for a few days or a couple of weeks— you just never know who it’s helping.”