Shop Talk: Your Happy Place is Happy to Help

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By Lee Ann Leonard

With all the major events it hosts and the millions of visitors it attracts, most locals know Pier Park as Panama City Beach’s unofficial downtown. What they may not know is how much their “happy place” serves the community.

Pier Park Msabc Pier Park Welcome SignIn March and April, Pier Park collaborated with six stores—Forever 21, JCPenney, Dillard’s, Pink Narcissus, Paradise Found and Latitude 29—on a clothing and accessories donation drive for Save the Closet. The local charity provides a free mobile closet for communities affected by natural disasters and individuals in life transition. The organization also promotes upcycling and supports local artists.

After assessing Save the Closet’s needs, the Pier Park team collected and donated several large bags of new clothing and accessories. New items with tags sell better in the charity’s store, helping the organization pay for travel expenses to disaster-impacted areas. The staff also donated personal possessions and shopped for team members in need at Save the Closet’s boutique. To learn how you can help, visit SaveTheCloset.com.

Pier Park Ron Jon Beach Cleanup 2024Also in April, the mall staff promoted, contributed to and participated in Ron Jon Surf Shop’s annual beach cleanup at the Russell-Fields Pier. The center helped Ron Jon enjoy the biggest turnout to date: 150 volunteers! The record turnout resulted in a $1,500 donation to the United Way of Northwest Florida and a cleaner beach for residents and tourists.

Every year, the mall hosts several drives like the “Back-To-School Supply Drive” and the “Halloween Costume Drive” to help needy families. Another annual undertaking is the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk. While organizers canceled this year’s event, the mall team still plans to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society in October.

Follow us on Facebook (/ShopPierPark) and Instagram (@PierPark) to learn about our latest community outreach projects.