Empowering Your Donations to Build Stronger Communities

Thrift store employees stand in front of store
by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Articles, Blog, Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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Like its name implies, The Salvation Army Thrift Store, National Recycling Operations (NRO) is much more than just a thrift store.

NRO empowers donations of gently-used clothing and household items to make a tangible impact and build stronger communities. Once a shirt is donated, it is no longer just an article of clothing–it becomes an essential item for someone living in poverty, a way to support local Salvation Army programs and services, and a key component of environmental sustainability.

With 105 thrift stores, more than 120 donor welcome centres, 11 distribution and recycling centres, and 2,200 employees, NRO is proud to serve communities across Canada. In fiscal year 2019-2020, over 14 million guests and donors visited the organization.

“Our unique retail proposition allows us to provide a high-value, low-cost shopping experience”

“The Thrift Store has served Canadians for over a century,” says Ted Troughton, managing director of NRO. “Our unique retail proposition allows us to provide a high-value, low-cost shopping experience, a place to donate unneeded items, and an opportunity to support a non-profit organization that cares for those in need.”

Donating and shopping thrift are acts of reuse and recycling that extend the lifecycle of usable goods. Last fiscal year, NRO diverted 39,144 metric tonnes (86.3 million pounds) of clothing, textiles, and household items from local landfills. NRO also provides pick-up services to 26 Salvation Army corps thrift stores throughout Canada, further extending the organization’s recycling reach.

Beyond contributing to greener communities, donated items also provide direct assistance to those in need. Last year, $4,287,937 worth of clothing and household items were given free of cost to individuals and families living in poverty through The Salvation Army’s social services voucher program.

“Through 40,510 voucher redemptions, vulnerable Canadians were given dignity to shop for essential items that they otherwise could not afford,” says Troughton. “We are honoured to give donations the power to truly make a difference.”

“Through 40,510 voucher redemptions, vulnerable Canadians were given dignity to shop for essential items that they otherwise could not afford”

Monetary donations collected in-store further contribute to the work of The Salvation Army. Last year, NRO raised $676,284.02 through [email protected]® campaigns to support initiatives such as sending underprivileged children to camp, providing life-skills programs to adults, and caring for children in the developing world. An additional $118,053.24 to support local Salvation Army ministry units was collected last year through coin boxes, bringing the total funds raised to more than $800,000.

With the help of guests, donors, community partners, industry associations, volunteers, and employees from coast to coast, The Salvation Army Thrift Store is making a positive impact in its shared communities every day. Together, NRO is building a stronger, greener Canada to be enjoyed by all for generations to come.

By May Strutt