Salvation Army resumes accepting donations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Deborah Richardson is glad to be able to donate to the Salvation Army today.

“I’ve just been cooped up for so long that all I’ve been doing is cleaning,” said the Pawtucket resident. “I don’t like to waste things and throw them away. I’d rather donate it to somebody who could use it or an organization that could make money and help other people.”

She’s not alone.

“The calls have been pouring in, ‘Hey, are you guys back open? Hey, are you coming out to houses now?’ There’s a lot of pent-up demand for what we have,” said Major Brian Thomas of the Salvation Army.

They are not coming to houses yet, but they are encouraging drop-offs — only at their Providence location.

And they have new safety protocols.

“A soft piece of furniture like a couch, we’ll spray that down with disinfectant for a couple days before we move it into the store,” Thomas said. “Clothing, we’re going to let that sit for a few days.”

They’ve brought back part of their staff to handle it all.

“We’re expecting an onslaught,” he said. “Which is good for us: that’s how we pay for our program.”

The pandemic has forced the Salvation Army to permanently close some of its struggling local stores. And while the remaining stores have been temporarily closed, the organization lacked funds to support its adult rehabilitation program.

“We’re just really happy to be able to open up again,” Thomas said. “Because to run this program with no income at all, we’re digging pretty deep into our pockets. I’m not in the business of selling used shirts. I’m in the business of changing lives.”

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island