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Sally Ann needs donations not junk to help community

The Weyburn Salvation Army did all that it could to help residents of Weyburn during the recent flooding and they are still contributing, but not without setbacks.
Linda Hockley, Salvation Army Thrift Store employee, sorted through the torn mattresses, used pillows, wet recliners, propane tanks and other unsellable items that were dropped off at the back of the store recently.

The Weyburn Salvation Army did all that it could to help residents of Weyburn during the recent flooding and they are still contributing, but not without setbacks.

Since the flood cleanup efforts began, the Salvation Army Thrift Store has been inundated with donations. Unfortunately, many residents have been using the back of the Thrift Store as a dumping ground for their flood damaged articles, which the organization must pay to have removed.

"Right now we are paying up to $230 extra per month on top of our regular dumpster bill," explained Lieutenant Melissa Mailman.

Donations that have been dropped off after hours at the back of the store are also a problem, according to Mailman. She said that these items are left out in the elements and often ruined before space can be found for them inside.

"We had two recliners dropped off at night and it rained, now they're garbage," said Mailman.

Many articles being dropped off after hours are things the Thrift Store cannot sell, such as used pillows (due to head lice), propane tanks, torn and dirty items, mouldy, musty and flood damaged items.

"I believe their hearts are in the right place but we can't sell everything for safety reasons," Mailman said.

Also, she said that donations must be light enough for store workers to lift unless prior arrangements have been made.

The Thrift Store basement did not suffer flood damage like the Salvation Army church, but Mailman is concerned that all the donations will begin to pile up, making the store look shabby and not a place where people will want to shop.

"We worked so hard to get that place looking good," said Mailman. "We are asking for the public's patience right now, we just don't have the storage."

Mailman explained that some donors have had to be turned away due to space constraints. They were asked to return in a week or two during regular hours, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Salvation Army is in need of Food Bank donations, however. Items like juice, peanut-free snacks, canned meat, fruit and vegetables, and sauces are always needed.

Mailman said there has been an increase in Food Bank users since the flood.

"We ask people to put into it in case you ever need to take out of it. There's no shame in that and the flood was a prime example."

Appointments should be made to pick up and drop off Food Bank items.

Mailman said the Salvation Army received $6,550 in cash donations for flood relief so far and is working with their head office and the City to determine how to best allocate the funds. Some of the money will go towards what was lost during the flood, such as Food Bank items that were under water in the church basement.

Since the flood that hit Weyburn on June 17, the Salvation Army, with the help of the Weyburn Ministerial Association, served 700 meals and snacks to volunteers, pump truck operators and firefighters.

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