What did we find in 131 Seconds inside Biddeford’s Ocean State Job Lot? You’ve got to check this out!

Have you ever seen the game show, “Supermarket Sweep”?  Ever been inside an Ocean State Job Lot store? Or are you familiar with their numerous charitable donations and opportunities? Whether you answered yes or no to any of these questions, read on to hear how they all connected last weekend.

Grand Openings are delightful opportunities to shine within your community and last Saturday, March 24 was no exception. Mascots, firetrucks, lots of VIPs and Q97.9 were all in attendance when I arrived into a packed parking lot and crowded store. Holy nerves, Batman! Earlier that week, I had reached out to the Center for Grieving Children and brought them into the fold as to what was going on and how they may be the recipient of hundreds of dollars to buy supplies thanks to the philanthropic fun of Ocean State Job Lot. In case you haven’t seen our journey on Facebook; here is the recap:

  • Ocean State Job Lot opened it’s 131st store (woah- that’s a lot of stores!).
  • For its Grand Opening, they hosted a “Supermarket Sweep” Style Game.
  • Each contestant had 131 seconds to find as many items on the master list.
  • Grand Prize: $500 for non-profit of their choice; 2nd and 3rd place: $250 for non-profit of their choice.

You know how hard it is to tell a charity that you MIGHT win them some money? That means, you MIGHT NOT win. Yikes! It definitely tapped into my competitive spirit. I absolutely had to win.

Upon arrival and having a chance to see the list, I learned that the other contestants had time to peruse the aisles and get a sense of where things were. I high tailed it into gear. I had 5 minutes to preview the store and group like items in my mind – they have EVERYTHING in there and brand spankin’ new!  Amazing! And I had my work cut out.

Race Time!

Time to channel the inner spirits of parents everywhere who are on borrowed time in a large store with a to do list a mile long. You know those trying times; your face is hot and time is ticking down like a game clock before each little love muffin blows like Vesuvius. Yeah….I’ve got some experience with this feeling on any given Tuesday.

131 seconds later; my basket was overflowing with items such as pirate booty, batteries, lawn hoses, paper towels and more. And to spare you the suspense…Portland Kids Calendar won! And set a new course record…’cause the secret that you all know as parents and caregivers is that time is precious and not to be squandered.

Portland Kids Calendar won $500 from Ocean State Job Lot to go to the Center for Grieving Children! Wahoo! As fun as it was to be dashing for discounts; the honor came in being part of something far greater provided by these two businesses. Why did we choose the Center for Grieving Children?


The Center for Grieving Children

The Center for Grieving Children, based in Portland, Maine, serves more than 4,000 grieving children, teens, families, and young adults annually through peer support, outreach, and education.

Offering their services for free, for as long as people need them, the Center’s mission is to provide loving support that encourages the safe expression of grief and loss and fosters each individual’s resilience and emotional well-being. The Center reaches individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, and relies on financial contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, United Way, and special events.

The Center for Grieving Children
555 Forest Avenue
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 775-5216



Who is Ocean State Job Lot?

You may know them as opportunistic merchants offering brand name items at closeout prices, so did I. Over the last few weeks I’ve learned of their Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation. This was created to reinforce Job Lot’s strong commitment to the communities where our stores are located. They assist programs for food security, literacy, veterans and healthcare (cancer research and autism focused). Why do they do this? Well in their words, “Because we want to, we can and we’re good at it. Our company believes success comes in many forms, and we feel truly successful when we contribute to the communities where we live and work.” You can read more about their charitable organizations here.

Maine has 7 stores and below are the locations of the Greater Portland’s stores:

510 Alfred Street, Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: (207) 401-2262
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm
Sat 8am to 9pm
Sun 9am to 8pm
251 US Route 1, Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: (207) 781-0014
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm
Sat 8am to 9pm
Sun 9am to 8pm

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