Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For free, Zephyrhills couple plans to help send troops packages from loved ones

Goin’ Postal owners Marcus and M.J. Price, here with their children, Ellie and Bodhi, plan to open the Postage for Patriots thrift store in Zephyrhills by the beginning of August.

Special to the Times

Goin’ Postal owners Marcus and M.J. Price, here with their children, Ellie and Bodhi, plan to open the Postage for Patriots thrift store in Zephyrhills by the beginning of August.

ZEPHYRHILLS — It's no secret Ken Keith is a patriotic fellow.

Even though he's long retired from his Marine duties, Keith said he can still remember the warm feelings that came with a care package from home.

"It means everything to know that people are thinking about you," said Keith, 59, of Zephyrhills. "It just brightens your entire day and even weeks after."

That's why Keith donated to a Zephyrhills couple who are trying to help folks ship goodies to the troops. Marcus and M.J. Price, the owners of Goin' Postal, plan to open a Postage for Patriots Thrift Store and Donation Center next month in Zephyrhills.

It's a spinoff charity from their for-profit, Zephyrhills-based Goin' Postal shipping company they started a few years ago. For years, staffers at Goin' Postal saw the same faces coming in to ship off cookies, toothpaste and other items to their loved ones serving in the military.

"We really wanted to send their packages for free, but we weren't able to do that," said M.J. Price.

So the Prices decided to open a charity thrift store. They plan to sell donated items and put the proceeds (minus the rent) into a special bank account.

Whenever staffers at Goin' Postal spot a package addressed to a military post office box, they will use the thrift store profits to pay the postage tab.

That should take a little financial pressure off the parents, grandparents and spouses of people serving in the military. The Prices are not prepared to donate postage fees to groups and businesses that collectively send big boxes to troops because "We want to make sure we take care of the families first," Price said.

At some point in the future, they hope to help pay for large groups to ship items to troops.

The Prices own American Family Plaza at 5018 Gall Blvd., where the Postage for Patriots thrift store will open as early as the beginning of August. The rent for the storefront will be 15 percent of the thrift store sales per month, with a cap at $750 each month. The normal rent is $1,000 per month.

Donations are trickling in as word spreads about this grassroots project. There are donation boxes at a handful of places in town. But M.J. Price is looking for more spots to place a box. The more items they collect, the sooner they can open the doors of the Postage for Patriots thrift shop. They are in the process of applying for tax-exempt status to operate as a charitable organization, Price said.

There's a big box at Heads Up Salon in Zephyrhills that's set up to collect outgrown clothes, used toasters and such.

"Everybody's curious about the box," said Ken Keith's wife, Margie, who owns Heads Up and was one of the first to donate to the cause.

"We're always so anxious to help (the troops)," she said. "As an American, we're backing the troops all the way. That's our job."

Someone donated a couch last week. Another person gave a side-by-side refrigerator to the Prices.

Local Realtor Bill Nye donated two truckloads of furniture, books and household items.

The Prices are a "community-oriented couple" who are always giving back to the community of Zephyrhills, Margie Keith said.

"We salute (the soldiers)," said Price, "and we appreciate the sacrifice that the servicemen and women and their families are making on a daily basis."

Ebony Windom can be reached at


Want to help?

To make a donation to the Postage for Patriots Thrift Store and Donation Center, visit, e-mail or call Marcus or M.J. Price at (813) 782-1500 ext. 104.

For free, Zephyrhills couple plans to help send troops packages from loved ones 07/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]
  2. Vision Zero plan to make Hillsborough roads safer to be unveiled


    TAMPA — Vision Zero, the coalition trying to make Hillsborough County safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, is set to unveil its action plan on Tuesday morning.

    Members of the Vision Zero workshop cross Hillsborough Avenue and Kelly Road during a on-street audit of Town 'N Country roads in January. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  3. Pasco EDC names business incubator head in Dade City, will open second site


    Pasco County economic development officials are busy reigniting their business start-up resources following the departure earlier this year of Krista Covey, who ran the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTStart business incubator in Dade City.

    Andrew Romaner was promoted this summer to serve as program director of the Dade City SMARTStart Entrepreneur Center, a start-up incubator service of the Pasco Economic Development Council. He succeeds Krista Covey, who relocated to Texas for another startup position. [Courtesy of Pasco EDC]
  4. Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, center, attends a hearing on Monday Circuit Court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater. The hearing was requested by attorneys representing John Houde, left, who filed a motion to invalidate the sale of a $458,000 Redington Beach condo, a deal orchestrated by Skelton, who stands accused of deliberately misleading bidders in a the June 8 foreclosure auction. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  5. Sarasota GOP names Dick Cheney 'Statesman of the Year'


    Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be honored as "Statesman of Year" by the Sarasota GOP, a title that twice went to Donald Trump.

    Dick and Liz Cheney