Spring-clean for a cause

Store manager Gary Rich encourages the public to drop off the evidence of their spring cleaning at the Salvation Army, located at the corner of53rd Avenue and 24th Street.

By Charlotte Helston

A local thrift store is waiting to turn your spring cleaning into charity.

As Vernon residents thin their closets and tackle clutter, the Salvation Army is encouraging them to donate their items instead of vanquishing them to the landfill.

"We recycle as much as we can, even if clothes are stained or ripped or torn, we're able to get money for that, and it goes back into the community," the store's manager Gary Rich says. 

The store's profits go toward numerous services, including the food bank, a moms and tots program and emergency relief for people affected by fires and other crises.  

Rich expects the store will soon be able to contribute more money to the programs because of a recent relocation. He says the store leased its former location, and a significant portion of proceeds went towards rent. Once the mortgage is paid off for its new home on the corner of 53rd Avenue and 24th Street, a much larger stream of cash will flow into the community.

And for the thirsty shopper, the Salvation Army's Talking Donkey coffee shop is now right next door.

"It's a good combo, you can grab a cup of "coffee for a cause" then come over and shop," Rich says. Proceeds from the Talking Donkey go toward anti-human trafficking efforts, and all food and beverages are fair trade. 

"The community's great for supporting us," Rich says. He notes the store's biggest competition is Value Village, located just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away.

"Slowly but surely, people have been finding us, and the coffee shop helps," Rich says.

He encourages people to shop, donate, and dine at the new location.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call (250)309-5230.

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