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Local thrift shop owner who gives back to community surprised with award!

Posted at 9:04 PM, Sep 17, 2020

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Melton Sampson is helping families in need. He has been running a thrift store off Poindexter Street in the South Norfolk section of Chesapeake for a couple years.

Since COVID-19, he has seen an increase in people coming through - folks like Nina Christensen and her family.

"Well, I got furloughed, my boyfriend was furloughed for a little while; he just returned to work. I haven't yet, so it's still been kind of up and down," Christensen explained.

To helps folks in these challenging times, Sampson frequently charges only 25 cents for any item in his store. Christensen is taking advantage of that.

"I think any little bit helps anybody because right now with a lot of people, too, money is kind of tight for a lot of people because of the pandemic and different things like that, so it's important to me that we save money in everything," he said.

Sampson also gets donated food from grocery stores and food banks and will provide that on certain days outside his thrift shop. In addition to the free giveaway food tables set up out in front of the store, he will sometimes pack up food and take it out into the community for the folks who aren't able to make it to his shop.

It was his niece, Shamisha Sampson, who nominated him. This is a small portion of the email she sent News 3: "His motto is, 'I just want to be a blessing to my people, as God was a blessing to us.'"

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News 3 surprised him a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. Sampson was very grateful - completely shocked, frequently bursting out in laughter while thanking News 3.

"It's a blessing; it's a surprise - I'm shocked... it's a big shock!"

If you ask him why he does this - many times working seven days a week - his response?

"I love to see somebody happy. That's the best thing. If I can put a smile on somebody's face, it's worth the hard work."

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at takingaction@wtkr.com.

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