Our Non-Profit Thrift Shop

Littlboy 2Carol Baras was having a busy day. When she saw the little grocery store, she figured she could dash in, get her shopping done and be on her way.

But she did not figure on the 4-year old boy who was sitting on the curb, “crying his heart out.”

She asked him why he was crying.

“‘My daddy won’t let me go into the store… because I’m a bad boy.’”

This was a challenge that the woman who made her living in self-improvement seminars could not pass up.

“Well, you know, you’re really lucky to be out here, sitting in the sunshine and seeing the cars go by”, she told the boy.

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He stopped crying and began picking out cars. A green one. A truck. A few moments later, he was smiling and she was heading into the store.

That encounter in 1978 gave her an idea that has become a driving force in her life.

Baras, with the help of some friends, started a story telephone service for children. By calling 291-KIDS, youngsters can hear a 90-second story each day from “The Story Lady” who discusses everything from the miracle of where bread and butter come from to the power of a smile.

The Story Lady has the same 90 stories she started with-all written by a Phoenix man she met through Hypnos Morpheus, a self-hypnosis, self-improvement program founded by Baras and her husband Bill.

Over the years, the story service continued on a kind of automatic-pilot. Then in 1993, she and Dr. Bill decided they really needed to “do something with the project.”

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She also thought it would be nice to go national with it. Bill and Carol thought about how they could fund the expansion and continuation of the project.

And that is how the Baras Foundation Thrift Stores got their start. The image of the little crying boy is carried on the name tags of the store staff to this day.

(copied and adapted from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Friday October 22, 1993. People Who Care-story by Sani Dolbee, Religion & Ethics Editor; photo by Roni Galgano)


From M.P. in 92103


Dear Mrs. Baras,

I would like to thank you and the Baras Foundation for helping me a long time ago.

In 2005, My Dad passed away and because he had been affiliated with the Catholic Church we’d agreed that when he passed, I would donate the contents of his apartment to (a local Catholic charity). I’d previously donated to them and they like for you to list all the items donated.

I was under severe stress dealing with the details of the funeral, paperwork and emptying the apartment and could not comfortably make a list of every item in that one bedroom apartment. I had a deadline, as the apartment manager wanted to be able to rent to the next tenant. As I was getting close to the deadline, I called you and you told me the truck would be there inĀ 30-minutes. It was a great relief and I was happy that all Dad’s belongings would find a second home.

Three years later, when I moved out of my apartment, I donated most of my furnishings to Baras. The Baras Thrift Store has been a great benefit to the Hillcrest Community. Many people are very happy to shop there, and can purchase clothes and other things at an affordable price.

I wanted to thank you for making so many people very happy and for being there for me in my time of need.

Very truly yours,