Salvation Army's clothes donations increase amid COVID-19

1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 4:17:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
By: Kathryn Merck, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Clothing donations to the Salvation Army are increasing during the pandemic.

During the past few months, many have taken the time to organize their clothes and prepare them for donation.

“We contribute that increase to a number of things,” Lori Benson, the Director of Community Relations and Volunteers at the Columbia Salvation Army said.

“We are one of the few places in Columbia that are accepting donations of clothes, furniture, and items of that type. Quarantine was also during spring cleaning time where people had time to gather items they wanted to donate.”

Benson says the thrift stores are following CDC guidelines throughout the clothes donation process. 

“When someone comes through to donate, we handle that in a couple of different ways,” said Benson. “Individuals can leave their donations outside for a contactless exchange, or we can help them unload things from their car from a safe distance.”

Benson says the clothes sit for three days following donation. After the three days are up, items can be sold to customers. 

“We think this three-day measure from headquarters will be safe,” said Benson. 

Benson has a few words of advice for those trying to donate during COVID-19.

“We recommend making sure everything is contained, either in bags or boxes,” said Benson. “I also always recommend getting there earlier in the day, as donations can get backed up.”

The Salvation Army will reopen two thrift stores, they are located at 23 East Walnut and 1304 Parkade Blvd. in Columbia. The stores are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Benson says it is important for the community to donate. 

“When individuals donate to your local Salvation Army, funds raised off those donations stay and work locally,” said Benson. “They stay right here in Boone County and they go to fund our shelter, our Pathway of Hope Program, and all the programs we have here at the Salvation Army."

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