Salvation Army thrift stores, including the Honesdale location, are running low on donated goods.

Salvation Army thrift stores, including the Honesdale location, are running low on donated goods.

The stores accept used clothing, furniture, and various household items. “If you have useable items you no longer want, you can donate them,” says Honesdale Store Manager Suzanne Weitzel.

Alan Miller, Salvation Army Stores Supervisor, says the drop in donations happens every winter with the cold weather, but this year is different. “The difference this year is the economy. We’re feeling the pinch even more,” he said. Miller says people are holding onto items a little longer. “I can’t blame them,” he said.

Weitzel says the Honesdale store, located at 240 Willow Avenue, sells about 600 pieces of clothing a day between the time they open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. weekdays and Saturday (Friday’s hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and closed Sundays). “This store puts out 2700 garments per day. That’s our quota, but we haven’t had that many (to put out),” she said.

“We try to put out double, almost triple what we sell. You want to give people choice,” Miller said. As to where the money goes, Miller says 90 % of the money they make goes to support the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center or ARC. The Center, located at 610 South Washington Avenue in Scranton, houses up to 60 men at any given time, trying to overcome various drug and alcohol addictions. Miller says they strive to give people a hand up, to get them back with their families. Scranton’s program is one of about 40 like-programs the Salvation Army runs throughout its United States Eastern Territory.

Miller says it, “runs into the millions in a year to run a program like this. You have to understand, there is no cost to people in the program,” he said. “Whatever’s left over, if there’s anything, goes for maintenance, etc.,” he said, meaning maintenance of the trucks used to transport the donated goods and furniture to the various stores. Then there’s the cost of insuring the trucks and the cost of gasoline. Not to mention the cost of insuring and heating the stores, and paying utilities and employees. “We feel the pinch,” Miller said when it comes to paying the gas and heat bill. “Just because we’re a charity doesn’t mean we’re excused.” Miller, who’s worked at the Center for 16 years says, “I’ve seen many, many successes come from here (the live-in Center). 

“We have six stores in our Center,” Weitzel said, including two in Scranton, and one each in Mt. Pocono, Stroudsburg, Tunkhannock and Honesdale. “People with quite a few children say they don’t know what they’d do without the Salvation Army,” Weitzel said. 

If you have any furniture you’d like to donate, free from stains or tares, the Salvation Army will pick it up for free. Contact them at 346-0711. The Salvation Army does not accept car seats and cribs because of the liability, Weitzel said, nor do they accept anything gas powered, or things that are broken, ripped or stained.

Miller says if you have goods you want to donate, clothing or small items, they have boxes alongside their stores.

Weitzel says the Salvation Army Store has been in Honesdale for about 20 years — 13 of those years at its current location.