Store owner Murray Bailey: ‘You’ve got to give back’

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015


EDGARD — For Edgard’s Murray Bailey, giving back to his community doesn’t come down to making a choice: it’s a downright obligation.

“This is the community I grew up in, and I love it,” Bailey said. “You’ve got to give back to the people who helped you when you were coming up and made you who you are today.”

Bailey, who owns and runs G&D Grocery Store in Edgard, has devised a way to simultaneously give back to his community while saying “thank you” to his customers — all while putting smiles on the faces of area youths.

During any visit to his store during the month of December, parents could fill out an entry form for children ages 2-17 for a chance to win a specialty “Christmas gift”: a bicycle or a pair of headphones, with boys and girls to emerge as the winners.

The drawing was set for Dec. 28 at G&D, and the winner’s were announced: the bicycles went to Keimyren Weber and Mariah Borne, with the headphones going to Jarell Brown, Lmijah Lumar and Kajhan Smith.

2014 was the third consecutive year Bailey had held the giveaway.

“I try to do something every time the opportunity presents itself,” Bailey said. “These customers support me, and this is just a way to show love to my community.”

Bailey’s parents established G&D 33 years ago, and he helped them with the store here and there until he was needed to run things for good.

“My mom got sick, and they needed somebody to step up, so I did,” he said, noting he and his sister take care of the day-to-day operations.

Murray shops for the gifts himself and enjoys that process thoroughly. “I just try to think of things that most kids would like and could use,” Bailey said. “Something that any of them would be happy to receive, that’s basically what I look for.”

He said when the five children received their gifts, the looks on their faces proved to be the greatest reward for him.

“They were very happy, almost overwhelmed,” he said. “It’s always a great thing to be able to put a smile on a child’s face, especially when it comes time for Christmas. It’s all about making them happy. They felt good, and that made me feel good.

“It warms my heart to be a blessing for children in our community, in any way I can. I’m already looking forward to next (Christmas season).”

Bailey said it all comes back to paying it forward.

“I like to give back, because there were people who gave back to me when I was small,” Bailey said. “That doesn’t just mean gifts or anything like that. It could even be a kind word or a smile.”