MARYSVILLE — Like many area business owners, Mark Badgley feels like he’s at the end of his rope.
Badgley has already overcome significant obstacles in his life, but the owner of Snoopits on State Avenue feels especially tested now.
Badgley started Snoopits, a thrift store that started a campaign to supply diapers to the Marysville and Arlington food banks, because he wanted to give back to the community.
In 1999, years of drug addiction led Badgley to a prison sentence of more than seven years, and he has been drug-free in the decade since then.
“I sat in a cell and went over my thoughts, wondering how I got there and how could I make amends,” Badgley said. “I finally came to the conclusion that I had been a selfish addict and a taker, not a giver.”
Badgley opened his store last year with a business partner and a loan from his grandfather with the goal of eventually turning it into a nonprofit organization to benefit the community. His life revolves around running the store, making whatever donations he can to charity, often out of his own pocket, and caring for his 89-year-old grandfather, with whom he lives in Smokey Point. Within the past month, his business partner has been forced to step down due to congestive heart failure and other medical problems, and the truck Badgley uses to gather his donations has broken down.
“We have no money to buy the diapers we need,” Badgley said. “My business has been built on nothing but word of mouth, because we have no money to advertise. We’re more than two months behind on the rent for the store. I’m not worried about my store closing, but I am worried about all the people who count on us for diapers. In the past few months, so many people have come to us for diapers and we have none to give them now. It just kills me inside to have to turn them away. I have so many people who believe in me and I don’t want to let them down.”
Badgley has solicited aid from friends and family to help him keep Snoopits and his “Dollars for Diapers” program going, and has even written to Ellen DeGeneres to let her know about his efforts, since she contributes to various charitable causes through her television show. In the meantime, he’s asking anyone who can to donate diapers and shop at his store, located at 1235 State Ave. in Marysville.
“I found out what life meant to me and wanted to pay goodness forward,” Badgley said. “I have learned compassion and what it feels to give of my heart and soul.”
Badgley invited those with questions to call him at Snoopits at 360-572-0732.