York City pop-up ensures community doesn't 'go without'

For Samantha Fullam, getting involved in her community was a way to find relief from a bad situation — a chance to be happier.

Fullam, who was a victim of sexual assault at age 15, said that for a long time she knew she wasn't dealing with it in the best way.

"I didn't want to be mad at the world anymore," she said, so she turned to her York City community for the opportunity to engage and make a difference.

Samantha Fullam, second from right, and three friends volunteer at the East Wind Project booth at an annual carnival. Fullam is hosting a pop-up shop at CrossFit York with free clothing and other needed items on Nov. 18-19.

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Fullam has been active in her community ever since, one of those projects being a pop-up shop she is holding at CrossFit York on Nov. 18-19, consisting entirely of free items of used clothing, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and anything else people might need to prepare themselves for the coming winter.

The idea grew out of Fullam's trip to Florida in early October to help with Hurricane Irma relief.

People were giving her a lot of used clothing, but the Red Cross and other organizations were not taking such items at the time, she said.

So Fullam decided to take the clothing back to York City for people who might need it and add to the collection with donations.

Fullam originally planned on clothing donations, but after contacting area homeless shelters and others she knew to be in need, she found that it wasn't just clothing that was in demand.

It's very easy to get used clothing, but not as easy to get cleaning products and personal hygiene products, she said. 

Fullam, now living in Hallam — and also recently elected to borough council — set up a collection where she works, at Fox Pools near the York Galleria mall.

Fox Pools is the only drop-off site, but other businesses and organizations reached out to help with donations and marketing, including Genova's Pizza in West Manchester Township, Crunch Fitness, LifePath Christian Ministries, the York County Food Bank, Yonick Writing Co. and YRK Magazine.

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She's received donations for the past month and a half, and, including the clothing she brought from Florida, Fullam has a basement full of 500 bags.

That's not counting individuals she knows who have been collecting items from their co-workers, friends and family. She's been using social media to help grow interest in the event, and she said the response has definitely been bigger than she thought.

Fullam wants to stress that the pop-up shop is open to everyone.

"I don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t come, " she said. "No one has to prove anything."

Fullam explained that with winter on its way, "I just wanted to use the resources I have to make sure people in our community aren't going 'without.'"

If You Go:

What: Pop-up shop of free necessity items, including clothing, outerwear, shoes, hygienic products and cleaning supplies for men, women and children

Where: CrossFit York, 147 W. Philadelphia St., York

When: Nov. 18-19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donate: Bring clothing and products to Fox Pools, 1883 Whiteford Rd., York; items collected inside