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End of year is busy for local charities

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Employee at the Salvation Army, Linda Holmes organizes an arrangement of winter clothing during her shift Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Combine the spirit of giving that Christmas inspires with the desire to start the new year with clean closets, and you get the busiest week of the year for several Greenville charities.

Both Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County and The Salvation Army ended 2017 engulfed in piles of donated clothing, knick-knacks and furniture.

“Our thrift store is remaining very busy. We are getting a lot of clothing and we’re having our trucks go out and pick up furniture. We’re seeing a little bit of an increase in furniture,” said Major Ken Morris with The Salvation Army.

“People would be surprised if they walk in here and see the items we have available,” he said.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore Shop on East 14th Street was so busy that Executive Director Scott Johnson made sure an employee or volunteer constantly worked in the donation center to help people unload their items without waiting.

People have a tendency to clean out their closets, garages and attics to get last-minute tax deductions, Johnson said. As of Thursday, Johnson didn’t sense any apperciatable increase in donations because new tax laws will limit write-offs for charitable deductions.

Most people gave cash donations to Habitat earlier this month, prior to passage of the tax bill, Johnson said. They do it either in memory of or in honor of a person, he said. Last week is when items are donated.

Morris said he has concerns about how the new tax laws will affect charitable giving.

“We hope the community will continue to be generous and help us so we can help more people in need,” Morris said.

Johnson said no single product dominated the items the ReStore Shop received. The store did get enough furniture donations that it ran its donor truck every day, he said.

“We are now seeing LED flat screens have been out long enough that people are trading up for larger TVs,” Johnson said. “We definitely take flat screens TV, they are hot sellers that don’t stay in the store more than two or three days.”

People also brought in Christmas items they didn’t want to store along with pots and pans and clothing.

“We don’t sell a lot of clothes here but we do accept clothes,” Johnson said. “What we don’t sell here we redonate to The Salvation Army. We do it for the convenience of our customer.”

Whether it’s boxes and bags of clothing brought in by individuals or from other charities, clothing is a valuable commodity for The Salvation Army, Morris said.

What isn’t sold in the store is bundled and sold to rag markets which either sell them overseas or make rags. Morris said those sales can bring $2,000-$4,000 a month for local operations.

“A lot of folks just give because they want to recycle things, they are happy about the environment and they rather see things reused instead of throwing it away,” Morris said.

Both the ReStore and Salvation Army Family Store discourage the donation of older model televisions and electronics such as VCRs and electronics that don’t work. The items don’t sell and the organizations must pay for their disposal.

It’s typical for donations to slow down once the new year and the colder weather settle in, Johnson said, but spring isn’t far off.

“A soon as people get that spring cleaning fever, donations pick up extremely fast,” he said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570. Follow her on Twitter @GingerLGDR.

 

Interested in donating?

Send a check to:

The Salvation Army

PO Box 30289

Greenville NC 27833

Or

Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County

210 E 14th St. D

Greenville, NC 27858

Call each organization for details on when and where to make donations:

Habitat for Humanity: 329-8364.

Salvation Army: 756-3388

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