Norfolk woman creates free supply table for people to 'take what they need' during pandemic

Posted at 2:45 PM, May 14, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. — At the corner of Colley and Graydon Avenue, a Norfolk woman is doing her part to help her neighbors get through the pandemic.

Shannon Forbes set up a table in a grassy median stocked with food, water and paper products. Hanging off the table is a neon green poster board that says, “Free Supplies.”

Mary Goldburg, just one of many people to drive, walk and stop by the free supply table, says it makes her feel good to be a Norfolk citizen.

“I saw someone a couple of days ago going through the items one by one and looking at each item and then decided what to choose, so yeah, it’s helping somebody who needed it,” says Goldburg.

Forbes says she wanted to help her neighbors, so she did what she could.

“I figured, 'You know what? It doesn’t take much to just set a small little table up put some food out; see how it goes and make sure that everyone can be taken care of that wants to be,'" says Forbes.

Forbes has kept her small supply table in Norfolk stocked with food, water and paper products day and night since Saturday.

“This is for anyone and everyone, regardless of your background," explains Forbes.

Her neighbors took notice, pitching in to help those in a pinch or whoever could use a small pick-me-up

“One morning I came out here and there was money left on the table and I decided, 'You know what? I’m going to put a jar out.' By the end of the day, I came back overnight and there was even more money,” says Forbes.

A note on the jar said, “Take what you need. Leave what you don’t. P.S. You’re loved.”

Forbes says thanks to attention from social media, she received donations to keep the table stocked and was able to leave the money for people to take.

Some people may be wondering if Ghent, a neighborhood known for having so much, is the right place to leave supplies, and she says it’s the perfect place to inspire others to take action.

Related: Hampton Roads Facebook group helps shoppers find essential items during pandemic

“Maybe this little table puts it on somebody’s mind subconsciously that there are people out there that need help and we need to do something about it,” says Forbes.

Because even after the pandemic passes, we’re still all in this together.

“It doesn’t take much at all to do something good for someone; it doesn’t have to be everyone, but for at least one person,” says Forbes.

Anyone can leave things on the table for others to take. The most in-demand items are non-perishable foods, paper goods and water.

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