"We never closed down at all." These are the words of Salvation Army (SA) Sgt. Les Ashby, referring to the ministry's pantry throughout the Covid-19 crisis. "We have had so much demand during this time - we even turned our fellowship hall into an additional pantry."
The SA also partnered with the United Way, the City of Shelby and the Dover Foundation to provide local qualified residents with $55,000 in utility and rent assistance.
"Applicants had to show that they had been adversely affected by Covid-19 shutdowns in order to qualify," says Ashby.
What did have to close - at least for a while - was the SA's thrift store. Located at 1649 E. Dixon Blvd, the ministry's store had to be closed for almost two months during the shutdown.
"We had to lay off our employees during that time, but now we have most of them back," says Ashby.
In addition to cash and furniture donations, Ashby says local residents can best help the SA by shopping in the thrift store.
"After paying our employees, all of the rest of the proceeds go directly to fund Salvation Army ministries," says Ashby.
A wide variety of goodquality items are available for sale at the store, including clothing, shoes, appliances, furniture, electronics, books, scarves, bed linens, bedspreads, bric-a-brac, jewelry and even wedding dresses.
"All of our items are already priced to sell, but then they also rotate by department each week to be offered at half price," says Ashby.
In the meantime, the SA is continuing to offer assistance to anyone who needs it. Just last week, they partnered with the Mills Auto Group to provide 200 boxes of food and toiletry items to local residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Each box donated also included a $20 Walmart gift card. The distribution took place on Friday, July 10, 2020.
"We will continue in our mission to help those in need, and right now there are many who are in need," says Ashby. "We appreciate the support of the community in helping us to fulfill this mission."
For more information, visit the SA website at
www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/ shelby, or find them on Facebook at "Salvation Army of Shelby, NC" or "Salvation Army Shelby Thrift Store."