Who We Are
We support individuals, families & over 50 nonprofit programs in the Capital Region of New York.
Grassroot Givers creates opportunities for individuals and families who are experiencing poverty in the Albany, New York, area by providing access to books, clothing, and home essentials.
What We Believe
Every human being has value & worth.
Everyone deserves to have their basic needs met in a manner that treats people with dignity and respect. The way we give makes a difference; that's why we only collect and share like-new books, clothing, and home essentials to empower people who are experiencing poverty.
Connecting communities creates better outcomes for everyone.
We believe there is strength in making the connection between the specific needs in the community with those who have resources to share. When communities work together, decreasing poverty becomes a reality.
Reuse & redistribution helps to save our planet.
We believe in giving a second life to clothing, housewares, and books to help reduce the amount of waste in our landfills.
A Message From Our Co-Directors
Grassroot Givers has come a long way since we helped our very first family who lost everything in a house fire in 2009. The community not only answered the call, the outpouring of support was enormous. This sparked the idea to open a small store where people could choose the basic necessities they needed, all of which would be completely free. In 2011, Grassroot Givers added the Book Project, recognizing the need for books in the home to support literacy for all.
From these beginnings, our tiny venture has grown into a lifeline for thousands of our neighbors. Our philosophy remains the same: we provide people with the resources they need to start a new chapter in their lives—giving them the tools to stabilize their lives, to bolster literacy, to promote economic equity, and to support the dignity that every person deserves.
We are fortunate to witness the impact our work has on a very personal level: the joy of a child who holds a new book in her hands, perhaps the first she has been able to call her own; the smile of a mother setting the table for a family meal she has just prepared; the comfort a teenager feels, sleeping in their own bed with fresh linens after transitioning from a shelter; and the confidence of a man who is now wearing the professional clothing he needs for his job interview.
As our programs continue to grow, it allows us to give even more to all who need this simple helping hand. We are so thankful to our community for their dedicated support and spirit of sharing. We humbly ask you to join us as we plan for the future.
Mary Partridge-Brown & Roberta Sandler
Grassroot Givers’ Book Project is a literacy initiative founded by Mary Partridge-Brown in 2011. Growing up three doors down from a library taught Mary at an early age that books hold the secret to so much- they can truly transform lives. Mary is a teacher by trade, and she has worked in education all of her professional career. She served as Director of Bethlehem Children's School, a small private school in Slingerlands. She also authored and published a non-fiction book, In Vitro Fertilization Clinics.
She is extremely passionate about literacy and sharing books with those in need. The Book Project seeks to put books into the hands of those who need them but do not have access to them. Books are collected from individuals and through book drives, and they are then carefully categorized and rated according to reading level. Inspiring individuals and families to establish their own home libraries is the main mission of the Book Project by sharing 55,000 books per year.
When she's not working at Grassroot Givers, Mary enjoys reading (!), playing with perennials in her garden and spending time at home with her husband, three daughters and her golden retriever, Archie.
Roberta was raised in a rural community in Upstate, N.Y., where it was a way of life to be conscious of the environment and share resources. Neighbors routinely shared farm equipment, garden produce, and hand-me downs. It was a very simple concept: if a family needed support, the community would rally and help out.
The idea to start Grassroot Givers Community Store evolved from this simple concept. From the beginning, the mission was simply about connecting communities, giving with dignity, and offering opportunities. The goal is to provide basic essentials. You can't cook a healthy family dinner without pots, pans, and dishes. You can't get a good night’s sleep when you are cold. Clean clothing and personal care items are vital to overall health and self-esteem.
Roberta draws on her twenty-two years of experience as a registered nurse where she saw the importance of treating people with dignity when they were in vulnerable situations involving illness or injury.
Roberta enjoys cooking, kayaking, hiking, and traveling with her husband to Austin and Denver to spend time with their three grown children.