SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Salvation Army has been deeply impacted by the coronavirus. From expanding their shelters, to serving more food, and even shutting down their thrift stores.
The Salvation Army has been there since day one. Offering shelter, food and support in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Folks are in all kinds of needs and we said at the very beginning, we just knew that the Salvation Army was going to be needed and so we were going to do everything that we could,” Salvation Army Corps Officer Maj. Paul Egan said.
The biggest hurdle was that their thrift stores had to close for two months; that’s a third of the Salvation Army’s income.
“We’re able to turn these things that get dropped off at our stores into nights of lodging, food to eat, a safe place for people to because people donate and because people shop,” Maj. Egan said.
The store reopened on a limited basis last week. They serve customers just three days a week and have signs before you enter the store outlining customer expectations. They ask you wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and even have a limit on how many customers can shop at one.
They also have social distancing markers and double the staff for sanitation.
They have continued to get donations through the pandemic but say as they play catch up more are appreciated to keep their store stocked.
“Catching up for the stores’ sales now, we’ve got a lot of people that have been sitting at home who have just been sorting through stuff kind of spring cleaning for two months in a row and I’m hoping they have a lot of bags of goodies that they can bring down here and give to the Salvation Army that we can give them away or sell them in order to raise funds for what we do,” Maj. Egan said.
Leaders say they got a lot of help from community partners like the United Way and more but having their store back open is a huge help. Especially as our neighbors needs increase from the long-term impacts of the coronavirus. They are taking donations now and are ready to see you soon with their new stock.
“We’re welcoming back folks with open distance arms and looking forward to people coming in, seeing the store, coming in and donating, coming in and enjoying things as we open back up safely,” Maj. Egan said.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store will be open just three days a week to start. On Thursday and Friday, they will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, they will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.