WELCOMING A NEW LOCATION TO THE THRIFT STORE FAMILY

Calgary, AB – There is a new Salvation Army Thrift Store in town! Yesterday, January 6th, marked the official opening of the new Douglas Square location at Unit #128 11520 24 St SE in Calgary, Alberta.

While the opening day celebration looked quite different from our usual Grand Opening festivities as we followed all health and safety precautions to keep our Guests, Donors, and staff safe during COVID-19, it was still a tremendous success. The community warmly welcomed their new store as over 200 guests joined the celebration over the course of the day – all maintaining physical distancing guidelines of course! 

The Douglas Square Salvation Army Thrift Store offers affordable pre-loved items for the entire family in clothing, household items, and more while also giving guests the opportunity to contribute to environmental sustainability through retail recycling – just by shopping with us. This new location will also allow us to further serve our neighbours in need in Calgary. Over 3,647 vouchers were redeemed at a value of over $350,000 through our Thrift Stores in Alberta last fiscal year, empowering vulnerable individuals and families to shop for essential items free of charge. For information on programs and services supported by The Salvation Army please click here.

The Douglas Square Donor Welcome Centre welcomes donations daily and has a dedicated Donation Attendant on site to offer donors a 20% off thank-you coupon. Donations are always needed and gratefully accepted in gently used clothing, housewares, textiles, electronics, toys, media, books, accessories, computers, antiques, and collectibles. As a safety precaution during COVID-19, we are temporarily not accepting large furniture donations. To learn why donations matter, click here.

Shopping and donating with The Salvation Army Thrift Store helps support programs and services such as food banks for hunger relief, school programs and camps, shelter for people experiencing homelessness and rehabilitation for those struggling with addictions, along with emergency relief efforts serving the many diverse communities across Canada.

We want to send a huge thank you to the Calgary community for their support – we are so grateful to everyone who came together to make this store and yesterday’s celebration a success! We look forward to celebrating our one-year anniversary next year, so stay tuned and happy thrifting!

COVID-19: A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM

Update as of January 11, 2021

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations:

 

As a national non-profit organization serving communities across Canada, the safety and well-being of our employees, Guests, and Donors is always of utmost importance to us here at The Salvation Army Thrift Store. We have followed all guidelines and recommendations from provincial and national Public Health authorities throughout the pandemic and we continue to do so.

As such, our Thrift Stores and Donor Welcome Centres in Ontario and Quebec have temporarily closed until further notice in accordance with provincial Public Health directives ordering the closure of all non-essential services. During these temporary closures we ask our generous Donors in Ontario and Quebec to please set donations aside at home and bring them to your local Donor Welcome Centre when we can safely reopen. To learn why your donations of clothing and household items are needed more than ever, please click here.

We remain open in all other provinces to continue serving our community while following all health and safety guidelines and requirements. Here is what we are doing to keep you safe while shopping and donating with us.

Ensuring physical distancing by:

• Using a single point of entry and exit and limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time by following all provincial retail capacity maximums:

  • British Columbia: 50% capacity
  • Alberta: 15% capacity 
  • Saskatchewan: 50% capacity 
  • Manitoba: 25% capacity
  • New Brunswick & Newfoundland: 50% capacity
  • Nova Scotia: 25% capacity

• Guiding navigation through the store using directional floor arrows

• Removing merchandise displays to ensure proper spacing for physical distancing

• Temporarily not accepting large furniture donations or non-perishable food items

Regularly sanitizing the store, including:

• Wiping down trolleys before and after each use

• Wiping down pin pads after each use and encouraging use of the tap function on your debit or credit card to limit contact as much as possible while at checkout

• Keeping all fitting rooms and washrooms closed and asking Guests to refrain from trying on any clothing while browsing and limiting touching of all items as much as possible

• Following a strict quarantine protocol for all donations and exchanged items. Please note that we are allowing exchanges of clothing only at this time.

Using proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including:

• Requiring masks to be worn while inside the store by all staff and Guests, unless exempt in accordance with provincial human rights codes

• Requesting hand sanitizer be used when entering and exiting the store

• Using plexiglass barriers at checkout

Please do not shop if you are feeling unwell or if you know that someone in your household has COVID-19 or is awaiting test results.

We will continue to support crisis needs of our community and family services operations. If you are in need of assistance, please contact 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.salvationarmy.ca for services in your area. For ongoing COVID-19 updates, please visit www.salvationist.ca/covid19.

We will reach out to our community regularly as we stay connected through Facebook, Instagram, and email. If you would like to sign up for email communications, please subscribe here.

Take good care and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

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Update as of December 11, 2020

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

 

We are thrilled that our Thrift Stores and Donor Welcome Centres are open across Canada to serve the needs of our communities. We want you, our valued guests and donors, to feel safe in every interaction you have with us, so we have taken extra precautions in accordance with health and safety guidelines to help ensure the well-being of our communities and staff. For updates on the temporary closures in Toronto and Peel Region, click here. For updates on the temporary closures in York Region, click here.

Please note that face masks are now required in all of our locations across Canada. Some exemptions do apply. Please contact guestservices@tstores.ca for more information. Our paramount priority is the health and safety of our dedicated employees, guests, and donors, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back.

In addition to our regular health and safety protocols, here is what we are doing to keep you safe while shopping and donating with us in the months ahead:
• Using a single point of entry and exit and limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time
• Wiping down trolleys before and after each use
• Wiping down pin pads after each use
• Closing all fitting rooms and washrooms
• Regular and ongoing sanitization of the store
• Ensuring use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) by all staff
• Using plexiglass barriers at checkout
• Allowing exchanges of clothing only
• Removing merchandise displays to ensure proper spacing for physical distancing
• Following a strict quarantine protocol for all donations and exchanged items
• Temporarily not accepting large furniture donations or non-perishable food items

Here is what we ask from you while you enjoy your shopping experience:
• Follow physical distancing measures in-store, including the use of floor stickers to help guide you through the store
• Use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the store
• Refrain from trying on any clothing while you’re browsing, and limit touching of all items as much as possible
• Pack your own reusable bags if desired
• Use the tap function on your debit or credit card to limit contact as much as possible while at checkout
• Don’t shop if you are feeling unwell or someone in your household has COVID-19 

Thank you for your ongoing support – we can’t wait to see you. For more information about how your donations help, please click here. To watch a video message from our Managing Director Ted Troughton, click here.

Together, we can help our communities rebound from the effects of COVID-19 and rebuild stronger than before.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
National Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

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Update as of June 22, 2020

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

 

We are thrilled to have re-opened all Thrift Stores and Donor Welcome Centres across Canada to serve the needs of our communities. For details in your area, search for your local store at www.thriftstore.ca/locations.

During our temporary closure, we have been preparing for our reopening. We want our guests and donors to feel safe in every interaction they have with us, so we have taken extra precautions in accordance with health and safety guidelines to help ensure the well-being of our communities and staff. Our paramount priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our dedicated employees, guests, and donors, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back.

In addition to our regular health and safety protocols, here is what we are doing to keep you safe while shopping and donating with us in the months ahead:

  • Using a single point of entry and exit and limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time
  • Wiping down trolleys before and after each use
  • Wiping down pin pads after each use
  • Closing all fitting rooms and washrooms
  • Regular and ongoing sanitization of the store
  • Ensuring use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) by all staff
  • Using plexiglass barriers at checkout
  • Allowing exchanges of clothing only
  • Following a strict quarantine protocol for all donations and exchanged items,
  • And temporarily not accepting furniture donations or non-perishable food items
  • Removing merchandise displays to ensure proper spacing for physical distancing

Here is what we ask from you while you enjoy your shopping experience:

  • Follow physical distancing measures in-store, including the use of floor stickers to help guide you through the store
  • Use hand sanitizer and face mask when possible
  • Refrain from trying on any clothing while you’re browsing, and limit touching of all items as much as possible
  • Pack your own reusable bags and use the tap function on your debit or credit card to limit contact as much as possible while at checkout
  • Don’t shop if you are feeling unwell or someone in your household has COVID-19

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience – we can’t wait to see you back in our stores. Together, we can help our communities rebound from the effects of COVID-19 and rebuild stronger than before.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
National Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

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Update as of April 9, 2020

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the safety of you, our employees, and our communities remains our top priority. It is our responsibility to do our part to ensure everyone’s health and well-being, and our Donor Welcome Centres, Offices, Stores, and Distribution and Recycling Centres across the country remain closed until further notice.

We are unable to accept donations from our generous Donors during this temporary closure to ensure the health and safety of our community. We ask you to please set your donations aside at home and bring them to your local Donor Welcome Centre when we can safely reopen. To learn why donations of clothing and household items will be needed more than ever once we reopen, please visit www.thriftstore.ca/covid19-donations.

Throughout this temporary closure we continue to support crisis needs of our community and family services operations. If you are in need of assistance, please contact 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.salvationarmy.ca for services in your area. Learn how The Salvation Army is continuing to give hope while responding to COVID-19 across Canada at  www.salvationist.ca/articles/still-giving-hope-today-covid-19/. The Salvation Army has also received $5 million from the Federal Government to support food banks and local food organizations. For ongoing COVID-19 updates, please visit www.salvationist.ca/covid19/.

Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this pandemic. We will continue to reach out to our communities as we stay connected through Facebook, Instagram, and email.

Take good care and remember, we are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
National Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

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Update as of March 23, 2020

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations:

As the COVID-19 situation continues to rapidly evolve, the safety of you, our employees, and our communities remains our top priority. It is our responsibility to do our part to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. As such, we are temporarily closing our Donor Welcome Centres across the country, alongside our Offices, Stores, and Distribution and Recycling Centres (DRCs) which remain closed until further notice.

Effective Monday, March 23, we will be temporarily unable to accept donations from our generous Donors to ensure the health and safety of our community. We ask our Donors to please set donations aside and bring them to your local Donor Welcome Centre when we can safely reopen.

The need for affordable clothing and household items will be very high in the days, weeks, and months ahead as we all work to rebuild from the effects of the pandemic. When we reopen, donations will be needed more than ever to support the needs of our local communities and social service programs so we can continue to help those in need.

We continue to support crisis needs of our community and family services operations throughout this temporary closure. If you are in need of assistance or would like to make a monetary donation to support the work of The Salvation Army, please contact 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.salvationarmy.ca. For ongoing updates from The Salvation Army, please visit www.salvationist.ca/covid19/.

Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been affected by this pandemic. Please know that when the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, we will be here for you. Whether you need an affordable place to shop after the financial repercussions that have affected us all, or simply want to take comfort in the social bonds that our stores share with their communities, we will continue to represent The Salvation Army’s values of hope, service, dignity, and stewardship now and in the future. We will continue to reach out with any new updates as we stay connected through Facebook, Instagram, and email.

We will continue to do whatever we can to serve our communities in these uncertain times. Take good care of yourselves and each other.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
National Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

—–

Update as of March 20, 2020

A Message from the National Leadership Team at The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations:

As a national non-profit organization serving communities across Canada, the safety and well-being of our employees, Guests, and Donors is always of utmost importance to us at The Salvation Army Thrift Store. We have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation under the guidance of public health officials and will continue to do so as new information becomes available. Our priority, as always, is to make a positive impact in our local communities and provide a safe environment for all who visit and work in our locations throughout Canada.

As a preventative measure during these unprecedented times, we will be closing our Offices, Stores, and Distribution and Recycling Centres across Canada as of March 17, 2020 and are scheduled to reopen April 1, 2020. Our Donor Welcome Centres at our stores and DRCs will remain open with reduced hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week in order to continue accepting donations of clothing and household items which allow us to serve vulnerable members of our society who are most at risk during this time.

In alignment with social distancing recommendations and to ensure the safety of our employees and our Donors, donations can be left in dedicated bins outside the Donor Welcome Centre. In locations where bins are not able to be placed outside, donations can be left by the door and will be collected by our dedicated staff.

Throughout the history of our organization, we have provided support to society’s most vulnerable and will continue to support crisis needs of our community. If you are in need of assistance, please contact 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visit www.salvationarmy.ca for services in your area. We rely on donations of clothing and household items in order to serve our neighbours in need. 

For more information, please visit www.salvationist.ca/covid19. If you would like to support The Salvation Army by giving a monetary donation, please click here.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this pandemic, and we will continue to do whatever we can to serve our communities. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through this together.

Sincerely,

Ted Troughton
National Managing Director
The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations

COVID-19

The Salvation Army Thrift Store’s mission to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate has never been more important. We’re working diligently to serve our communities, while taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our Guests, Donors, and employees.

Our number one priority remains the safety, health, and well-being of our shared communities. As such, we will be using this page to provide updates of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 experienced by our employees. In these cases, we work closely with public health authorities and follow their guidance to ensure proper notification of close contacts and required cleaning and sanitization in our stores.

For transparency, we regularly update the sections below with all positive COVID-19 cases in our stores, by province, in the last 14 days. For privacy, we will not release any personal information about employees.

Face masks are required to be worn by Guests and employees in all Salvation Army Thrift Stores across Canada, unless otherwise exempted. To learn more about what we are doing to help keep you safe, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact guestservices@tstores.ca.

 

Alberta

Edmonton Distribution and Recycling Centre: 9509-49th Street, Edmonton — On Thursday, January 7th, an employee tested positive. Their last day in the warehouse before receiving the positive result was Wednesday, January 6th.

British Columbia

Port Kells Thrift Store: 19733-96th Ave, Langley — On Saturday, January 9th, an employee tested positive. Their last day in the store before receiving the positive result was Thursday, January 7th.

KETTLES, CHRISTMAS, AND PAYING IT FORWARD

When John happened to drive past the Newmarket Thrift Store in Ontario on a recent trip, he decided to pull over, make a $5,000 donation to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign, and continue his way home.

John was raised in a small city in the East coast as the youngest child in his family. He has fond memories of Christmases growing up, but only recently learned of the role The Salvation Army played in his life.

“I wanted to give back because we were so influenced by what happened for us and our family at this time of year.” – John

“My mother benefitted from a lot of Salvation Army services when we were kids, but I didn’t know about any of that,” John recalls. “When I learned this, I wanted to give back because we were so influenced by what happened for us and our family at this time of year.”

One particular Christmas stands out for John, when he received a bicycle as a gift. It wasn’t until much later that his older sisters told John that the bicycle came from The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas hamper program.

This program enables individuals and families in need to access food and toys free of charge to ensure that, regardless of circumstance, all children can wake up on Christmas morning with presents under the tree.

“I wanted to donate because it’s getting close to Christmas,” says John. “I saw the sign and said, ‘there’s one right there, let me just go in and see what I can do’.”

John’s remarkable act of kindness and generosity will allow other underprivileged children and families to experience the same joyous excitement he remembers feeling so many years ago. To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign, please click here.

CELEBRATING A NEW HOME FOR THE PORT COQUITLAM THRIFT STORE

Port Coquitlam, BC – Yesterday, October 28th, marked the official re-opening of The Salvation Army Thrift Store in a new location in Port Coquitlam, BC. The opening day celebration at 2850 Shaughnessy Street followed all health and safety precautions to keep our Guests, Donors, and staff safe during COVID-19, such as limiting the number of people in the store at one time. Despite this, the community was thrilled with the new store as the 8,500 square foot space welcomed over 273 Guests over the course of the day – all maintaining physical distancing guidelines of course! 

The Port Coquitlam Salvation Army Thrift Store offers affordable pre-loved items for the entire family in clothing, household items, furniture and more. Shopping at the Port Coquitlam Thrift Store also contributes to environmental sustainability through retail recycling and supports programs and services such as food banks for hunger relief, school programs and camps, shelter for people experiencing homelessness and rehabilitation for those struggling with addictions.

The Port Coquitlam Donor Welcome Centre will have a dedicated Donation Attendant on site, and donations are welcomed 7 days a week. Donations are always needed and gratefully accepted in gently used clothing, housewares, textiles, electronics, toys, media, books, accessories, computers, antiques, and collectibles. As a safety precaution during COVID-19, we are temporarily not accepting large furniture donations. For more information on why your donations matter, please visit: https://thriftstore.ca/news/empowering-your-donations-to-build-stronger-communities/

The Salvation Army Thrift Store is committed to helping individuals and families in need in Port Coquitlam and surrounding area. Over 148 vouchers were redeemed at a value of over $15,000 through our Port Coquitlam Thrift Store last fiscal year to allow those in need to shop free of charge. For information on programs and services supported by The Salvation Army please visit: www.salvationarmy.ca/britishcolumbia.

Although the Grand Opening festivities looked much different than usual due to COVID-19, we are incredibly grateful to continue serving this community and our communities across Canada through our 100 Thrift Stores. Thank you to our Guests and Donors for your ongoing smiles and support and to everyone who came together to make yesterday’s celebration a success! We look forward to celebrating Port Coquitlam’s one-year anniversary next year with our Thrift Store community. Stay tuned, and happy thrifting!

KEEPING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE DURING COVID-19 (VIDEO)

Our Managing Director Ted Troughton has a message to share about the extra precautions we’ve taken in our stores to help keep you safe. We know that affordable clothing and household items are needed more than ever as we all work to rebuild from the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re here for you. Watch the video here or click the play button below.

To learn how your donations are helping neighbours in need, click here.

For more information on what to expect while shopping and donating in our stores during COVID-19, click here.

Thank you for your continued support as we help build stronger communities together.

BACK TO SCHOOL NOMINATIONS – WEEK FOUR: MEET KATIE, JAMES, AND LESLIE

We are pleased to share the final recipients of our Back to School Thrift Store gift certificates. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination – we are so grateful to be part of such a supportive and caring community.

Meet this week’s deserving students:

$200 Gift Certificate Recipient – Katie


Grade 8 was difficult for most Ontario students last school year as they first experienced disruptions from teacher strikes and were then not able to experience graduation due to the pandemic.

For Katie, a 13-year-old student, these disappointments were amplified by the absence of her father. Although he had previously been in regular contact, her father has now been out of touch for over a year as her 13th birthday, Christmas, and high school graduation all went by without acknowledgment.

Like many Canadians, Katie’s mother has been having difficulty making ends meet due to the work disruption caused by the pandemic. Katie has chores around the house to earn her weekly allowance and has remained dedicated to accomplishing them. To help her mother out with bills, Katie gave her almost $300 from her savings. 

“She gave it willingly to help our little family survive,” says her mother. “Despite having her heart broken by her father and the challenges of the school year, Katie has remained kind and hard working.”

Katie has embraced online learning and remained focused on her future goals. She continued to study math with her tutor this past summer, even taking a Grade 10 course online to enter high school with a credit achieved already. She is interested in helping to preserve marine life as a marine biologist, or in pursuing welding where women are under-represented in the trades.

Katie will now be able to start Grade 9 with a closet full of thrifted back to school clothes. Good luck at high school, Katie!

$100 Gift Certificate Recipient – James*

“I would like to nominate my nephew James. He deserves to win a certificate because he is 10 years old and lost his dad to suicide 2 years ago. His Mom has done an amazing job being positive and strong for her son. James misses his Dad so much. His mom really struggles financially and she could really use the extra help for back to school clothes and footwear for James.” – Jane*

$50 Gift Certificate Recipient – Leslie*

“I would like to anonymously nominate Leslie*. She needs some help that she would not ask for normally.  She deserves it because she does things for people in need often, but never announces her good deeds. She is always helping someone in need, including me. She is a great mother and has a 13-year-old who is growing fast. She also has a 9-year-old who is growing out of her clothes almost as quickly. I know she would appreciate any kind gesture of help. Thanks for caring.” – John*

*names changed for privacy

BACK TO SCHOOL – WEEK THREE: MEET ADINA & STEFAN, GABRIELLE, AND CHRISTOPHER

We continue to give Back to School Thrift Store gift certificates to deserving students who have been nominated in our communities. We are humbled and happy to announce our latest recipients:

$200 Gift Certificate Recipients – Adina & Stefan

 “I would like to nominate my kids for the chance to win $200 gift for the start of school year. Adina is 13 and Stefan will turn 11 in a few days. I am grateful to have such wonderful kids. I wish they could have the opportunity to shop for some clothes and school items they would need in the coming school year.” – Raluca

In September 2018, Raluca was rear-ended in a highway collision that changed not only her own life, but the lives of her children as well.

“Not only do they have to watch their parent suffer but they had to step up and start doing almost everything around the house,” says Raluca. “From cooking and cleaning, to laundry and outside work. Through it all they never complain and all they wish is to find ways to make me feel good.”

From buying small presents that they know she will enjoy, to offering a massage or cooking her favorite meal, Adina and Stefan are always trying to support their mother.

Due to her accident, Raluca is on long-term disability with a reduced income. Over the past two years the family has been able to buy only basic necessities, so Raluca nominated her children to give them a chance to shop for back to school clothes and other items to help them start the school year with confidence.

Adina is starting grade 8 in Airdrie, AB, and is looking forward to the culinary arts program as she loves cooking and baking. She hopes to one day become a veterinarian. Stefan starts grade 6 this year and is excited to see how junior high school will be. He is interested in becoming a policeman or engineer one day. Adina and Stefan are both looking forward to reconnecting with friends at school, and can’t wait to find some back to school clothes at the Airdrie Thrift Store.

$100 Gift Certificate Recipient – Elle

“I’d like to nominate my son’s girlfriend, Elle. This young lady has dealt with a bipolar disorder since the age of 10.  She’s been living on her own since 18, without family support.  She has always worked and just prior to COVID, she lost her job. I know clothing is going to be the last thing she can afford.” – John

Elle is attending Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, NS, this year. She is responsible for paying her rent and all other expenses on her own, and has limited contact with her family, who live in Europe. This isolation has become increasingly difficult during the pandemic. Elle is used to being on her own and always worked to support herself, but when the restaurant she was employed at went bankrupt a few months ago, she lost her job and has not been able to find one since.

With the help of her Thrift Store gift certificate, Elle will be able to shop for back to school clothing to transition her wardrobe into cooler temperatures without worrying about still covering her other expenses. Good luck at university, Elle!

$50 Gift Certificate Recipient – Christopher

 “I would like to nominate my paper boy Christopher. He delivers to my house each week in the heat, rain, snow, and even now during the pandemic. He delivers the paper wearing a mask and gloves and always has a smile and wave for us all. He leaves us special notes at Christmas, Easter and Canada Day. I know he has a paper route so he can help buy some things that his mommy and daddy sometimes cannot. This would be an amazing gift for his family to help them out with buying fall and winter clothes for him.” – Sue

CONTRIBUTING TO GREENER COMMUNITIES, ONE DRIVE AT A TIME

When The Salvation Army Thrift Store had to temporarily step back from participating in regular community donation drives due to physical distancing and quarantining protocols during COVID-19, Kelly Okamura of KO&Co for gooderGoods stepped in to make sure that her downtown Toronto community was still able to divert textiles from their local landfill.

Working with The Salvation Army Thrift Store, the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, and the St. Lawrence Market, Kelly organized a community donation drive with the help of volunteers to collect textiles that were no longer wanted or needed by neighbours in the area. The drive, held in late August, collected about 16,450 lbs. of textiles and was such an overwhelming success that the donated items exceeded the initial storage capacity for the event.

“We diverted 47 skids that took five truckloads of textiles out of our community.” – Kelly

“We diverted 47 skids that took five truckloads of textiles out of our community,” says Kelly. “The evening rain would have been a disaster for the collected textiles, so a special thanks to The Salvation Army Thrift Store team for extending their shift to accommodate the extra materials.”

Drives like these are an important way to extend the lifecycle of textiles and contribute to environmental sustainability at a local level, and they would not be possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of community leaders like Kelly.

“The most common comment we received was thanks, followed by questions about when the next event was happening,” says Kelly. “We also heard from many people of the special items that had been donated.”

The past few months have proven that even in the midst of a pandemic, people are willing to go above and beyond, donating their time and textiles to help build stronger, greener communities. 

As one of Canada’s original and largest recyclers, The Salvation Army Thrift Store has provided a unique way to serve through retail and recycling for over 100 years. Last year, 37,404 metric tons (82.4 million pounds) of clothing, textiles, household items, and furniture were diverted from local landfills. For more information on donating, please visit https://thriftstore.ca/donate/