Salvation Army issues call for help, donations
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 30, 2013 1:46 PM
Lt. Julie Igleheart shows one of the racks that's usually filled, but now is sparse at the Salvation Army's Family Store. The group is asking for more donations to fill up the empty racks and shelves at the store.
A lot of the racks and shelves at the Salvation Army's Family Store are bare, meaning less help is available for the needy.
"We're trying to ramp up our donations," said Lt. Julie Igleheart with the Salvation Army. "Right now, donations to the Family Store are pretty low. We go through this every year about this time, but it seems like donations are lower this year than they have ever been in years past."
Mrs. Igleheart said normally the racks are crammed full of donations and there are more in the back to put out.
"A lot of people I guess are either holding onto their stuff or passing it down to other people, which is great. But we still service just as many people as we did last year and need donations."
She said the Salvation Army is encouraging people who are having yard sales to call if they have stuff left over instead of packing it back up.
"We'll come out and pick it up," Mrs. Igleheart said.
The Family Store will take items such as bedding, beds, furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac, working appliances, linens, dishes, pots and pans, pictures, shoes and men's, women's and children's clothing.
"But we don't want any broken down furniture that someone's just trying to get rid of," Mrs. Igleheart said. "We're talking about nice furniture that somebody can come in to purchase maybe for their first apartment or home, something like that."
Commander Lt. Kenny Igleheart said the Salvation Army is not a dumping station.
"Donations need to be stuff that the people who donate would be willing to buy themselves," he said. "The bad part is that if you bring us something and we have to throw it away, unfortunately, the county charges us. In turn, that takes money away from being able to help people.
"If it's in usable condition, lightly used, we'll take it. Don't bring me your trash because ultimately you're hurting the people we're trying to help."
This time of year, the Salvation Army is also looking for donations of prom gowns.
"We've gotten in two or three prom dresses, and they're really pretty," Mrs. Igleheart said. "A lot of people don't think about coming to the Family Store to buy something like that."
Not only does buying from the Salvation Army Family Store help people on a limited income, but it also builds up their self-esteem, Mrs. Igleheart said.
"I was at the Family Store one day last week with a young family," she said. "The mother was trying to find clothing for her little boy. She tried a pair of tennis shoes on her son and he didn't want to take them off. They weren't brand new, but to him they were new.
"She also wanted something for herself. She came in with a frown on her face, but left with a smile because she had three or four outfits for her little boy and a couple outfits for herself and spent maybe $15."
And although donations have slowed way down, the number of people needing help coming through the Salvation Army's doors hasn't; in fact it's increased, Mrs. Igleheart said.
Proceeds from the Family Store help these people with rent, utilities, heart medications, emergency transportation and food. And they help the Salvation Army run a 24-hour men's shelter.
"It's important that people understand that all of the profits from the Family Store stay here to help fellow Wayne County people with their needs," Igleheart said. "Our drive is to help more people. The more we can raise from the Family Store, the more we can do."
"The sad part about it is that if not for the Family Store, a lot of people here might not get serviced," Mrs. Igleheart said.
Donations are taken Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Family Store in the rear of the building.
Individuals, businesses and civic groups can donate to the Salvation Army. Anyone wanting to hold a clothing drive for the group should call the Salvation Army at 919-735-4811.