PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Goodwill store in Pittsburg opened last month, after the building on North Broadway sat empty for a number of years.
Meaning competition for clothes and more for charities..
So, the Pittsburg Salvation Army is reminding people of it’s efforts to keep donations and dollars in the local community.
Pittsburg resident Betty Reagan shops for treasures at the Salvation Army for her 10 grandchildren..
Betty Reagan, Pittsburg Resident:”So I have plenty to look around for.”
Reagan is one of many shoppers buying clothes, all donated by the community to support the Army.
Mylie Hadden:”The donations that go into our thrift store help fund actually the programs here in the Salvation Army.”
But, what happens when something.. like a pair of shoes or a coat.. doesn’t ever sell?
Hadden:”After they’ve been on the floor for several months and they’re not sellable any longer, then they go to our local South East Kansas Recycling Center.”
Jerry Babcock, operations manager for SEK Recycling. says the center has been partnering with the Salvation Army.. and other thrift stores in town like the Doggie Bag and St. Mary’s Good Will Center.. for a few years now to keep clothes out of landfills. and funds that have been raised local.
Babcock:”Sso you know, if you tally up what we take in.. ya know, 22 tons a month, and that stuff doesn’t reach the landfill.”
Once the clothes go to the recycling center.. the best ones are put on racks for sale.
The rest are baled and sold to a processor in Texas to make rags and other products.. then part of those funds go back to the Salvation Army for local programs.
Hadden:”That goes to fund our social service programs, which includes emergency assistance, representative payee, and our pathway to hope program. And the overhead of the store itself.”
After MOKAN Goodwill, based in Kansas City, Mo. opened a store in Pittsburg last month, Babcock and others started to worry clothing proceeds could leave town.
He encourages people to donate to non profit shops that keep funds local through the partnership..
Babcock:”We suggest people take their good clothes to them and whatever they determine they can’t sell or is bad, they’ll come to us.”
A program Reagan would love to see more non profits jump on board with.
Reagan:”I think that would be a good thing. The more that we can all work together, the better it’s gonna be.”
Hadden says she doesn’t know yet what kind of impact the Goodwill store opening could have on the amount of donations the Salvation Army receives.
The Salvation Army also takes recyclable items, like glass, plastic and metal, to SEK Recycling as well.