(St.Joseph,MO) The Salvation Army is working to clear the air after a Facebook post accused the nonprofit of destroying donated clothing.
Major Abe Tamayo said the Salvation Army retail thrift store at 510 S 5th Street closed its doors on July 11.
“The thrift store has been losing money for the last several years and so back a couple months ago we decided to suspend the retail side of the thrift store and do our clothing distribution operation, which we’ve been doing all along,” Tamayo said.
The center no longer provides discounted clothing for the public to purchase, but still collects clothing for people using clothing vouchers from the Salvation Army.
Social media posts claim the center has received usable clothing and that clothing is being wastefully shredded, but Tamayo said that’s not the full story.
Tamayo said the Salvation Army is saving salvageable clothing for those who need it and recycling tarnished clothing into rags.
“We take clothing that is not suitable for use; that are torn, or soiled or irregularly cut, and bale those into clothing bales, and then sell those to clothing dealers,” Tamayo said.
The rags are then being sold and the profits are being put back into Salvation Army programs in St. Joseph. Employees estimate the rag sales bring in approximately $6,000 every six months.
“It’s unfortunate the person who started this rumor didn’t bother to come to me first; then we could have discussed these issues and had clarity. We just hope that it clears up and that people understand that the Salvation Army has served St. Joseph community for 132 years and we continue to serve it diligently with the utmost of stewardship,” Tamayo said.
Tamayo also said the Salvation Army is starting to accept bids for the remodeling of the Booth Center and accepting coats for their annual winter coat drive.