MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – When Randall Ulrikson opened The Common Spot in The Market Common, he said he wanted to provide local customers with a place to enjoy affordable snacks and beverages, and to be a hang-out for those who live and work in the mixed-use development. At first, he only offered a couple of varieties of coffee.
Soon, though, he realized it’s coffee that brings business in. So, nearly three years (and several used-up Keurig machines) later, the shop is a busy place many mornings with a slew of regulars who come by for a cup of coffee, cocoa, tea, or just some good conversation about what’s going on.
“We have merchandise for the every day person,” said Ulrikson.
Now those every day people are working together to help in the community. Last month, Team Common Spot held a bake sale to raise more than $1,000 to Children’s Miracle Network. Earlier this year, the shop helped collect food to donate to Backpack Buddies.
This month, after being approached by a local pastor, Ulrikson and his customers set about collecting toys to give to local under-privileged families this Christmas season.
“I asked for 35-50 names,” said Ulrikson. “He brought us 120, and I was a little bit flabbergasted, because that is a big undertaking, and within one week we had all of the names taken and we have all but just a few of the gifts back now.”
The response is not surprising to loyal customer and part organizer Pat Milligan.
“We have a small community,” she said. “As a small community, if we don’t get there and help them, who is? We’ve got to do it.”
“It’s a privilege to give,” said Ulrikson. “It’s a privilege to help out others, to be a part of your community, in which there are good things going on.”
The Common Spot also collects Box Tops for Education and continues its efforts to support Children’s Miracle Network. The organizers plan to distribute the Christmas toys to the families this weekend.