Salvation Army stores pause retail operations to focus on most need

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Store locations will remain open to accept donations that help meet immediate need and ensure ongoing programming.

The Salvation Army is committed to doing its part to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, and protect the health and safety of its customers, staff and volunteers. Nationwide, Salvation Army Family Stores will temporarily close for shopping. 

“Like all Americans, our situation is evolving by the minute but our priority is steadfast: to support those who will struggle financially during this health emergency,” said Major Henry Graciani, Commander of the Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command in The Salvation Army Western Territory. “One in six people in America live in poverty and their long-term stability will be affected as many see their hours reduced or eliminated at work. Senior citizens and school age kids who rely on us for food and fellowship need us more than ever too. We decided to pause retail operations for the time being and redirect resources to the most vulnerable.”  

All of the Western Territory’s 18 ARCs are, in effect, closed campuses to protect the men and women who live there, Graciani said in the March 20 teleconference of command leaders, noting creative ways centers are having fun with beneficiaries during this time.

Graciani said ARC trucks and men can be made available to assist, as they have in the California South Division, where a team of 20 beneficiaries were sent to a camp to assist with projects that cannot be accomplished when camp is in session. Workers from the Stockton and Oakland Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) have been deployed for social services efforts.  

“ARC has been a big help,” said Del Oro Divisional Commander Major Ivan Wild.

Although retail operations are suspended, including routine home pick-ups, dedicated staff will remain onsite to accept donations of gently used household goods, appliances, furniture, clothing and accessories. These goods will help ensure The Salvation Army can continue drug and alcohol rehabilitation programming. 

Stores will also be accepting bulk donations of much needed supplies in response to increased requests related to COVID-19, including food, diapers, formula and sanitation items. These supplies will be distributed to people seeking assistance at Salvation Army service units.  

Where possible, donations will be accepted on a drive-thru basis at Salvation Army stores and receipts will be available for donors. If a donor prefers, they can maintain social distancing by allowing our attendants to remove items from the trunk of their cars.

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