Quality items needed by local stores

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2001

The Salvation Army depends on proceeds from its thrift store to provide a big portion of each year’s budget.

The thrift store, selling clothing for men, women and children – including formal evening wear and bridesmaid dresses – also is a source for providing clothing for clients who are in need, said Capt. Geraldine Martin.

“If people come to us and ask for clothing, we’ll give them a voucher they can use at the store,” she said.

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The Army’s store also sells used furniture, but only items that are in good, usable condition, she said.

In fact, receiving items that are not salable or usable can sometimes be a big headache and expense for the organization.

“We don’t repair, and we don’t do laundry,” Martin said. “And things that people drop off that aren’t usable we have to pay to have picked up and taken away.”

Sometimes big items such as old and broken washing machines are left on the doorstep.

“We just can’t pay to have them repaired, and most of them can’t be repaired anyway,” she said.

What the shop could use, however, is many more donations of good quality. “Usually we have a downturn in the summer but get a big upturn in donations the fall,” Martin said.

“But lately we haven’t gotten as many higher quality donations, and we would like to appeal to people who maybe haven’t thought of us.”

The same goes for furniture, Martin said. “Furniture is a higher dollar item, and we can always use good quality furniture.”

The store also sells books, including sets of encyclopedias and nursing school text books. “The books do not move fast, but we do have some.”

The Salvation Army can pick up large items available for donation, but Martin said she hopes people will understand that sometimes the agency has to turn down the donation.

“We can’t take just anything. And we can’t take something we know we can’t sell or someone can’t use.”

The Army has served approximately 12,000 people of all ages in Adams County and Concordia Parish this year, providing both spiritual and physical needs.

It is one of about two dozen local United Way agencies. &160;