When Lake Havasu City residents fall on hard times, they sometimes need to make sacrifices. The same is true of at least one charitable organization this month.
The Salvation Army will close its Family Thrift Store in Downtown Havasu later this month. With rising business costs and languishing sales, the organization announced Friday that the store could no longer operate in Havasu.
“The store has been struggling for a number of years to make a profit,” said Salvation Army River Cities Area Coordinator Stephanie Lueras. “Our thrift stores exist to feed back into our social services programs, and we’ve tried everything to boost sales … with the cost of business rising, the store just isn’t putting back into our social service programs what they could.”
According to Lueras, the decision to close the McCulloch Boulevard thrift store wasn’t an easy one, but it was the most fiscally-responsible decision for Salvation Army operations in Havasu. With the overhead costs of its thrift store soon to be gone, Lueras says, the organization will be better able to serve Havasu through its social service programs, such as community food boxes, sack lunches and rental assistance – a service that was discontinued in Havasu about five years ago.
“When people receive eviction notices or find themselves in crisis situations, the Salvation Army can step in and help in some of those instances,” Lueras said. “We’re expecting demand for the program in Havasu … it’s something we’ve seen in social media, and many more people are calling to request assistance.”
According to Lueras, thrift store inventory that will be beneficial to social service clients will be used to create a “clothes closet” that will be maintained at the Salvation Army’s service center at 2049 Swanson Ave. Other items will be sold, with proceeds benefitting the Salvation Army’s local social service programs.
As the organization’s thrift store prepares to close on July 27, the Salvation Army is offering a 50% discount on almost every item, with the exception of $1-marked clothing.
The Salvation Army will continue to recruit volunteers in Havasu, and raise money through kettle-drives and fundraisers throughout the year, Lueras said.
According to Lueras, the organization’s thrift store in Kingman will also be closing this year, but the Salvation Army’s thrift store in Bullhead City will remain. The thrift store in Bullhead City will, as of this year, be the only Salvation Army store in Mohave County.
To learn more about Salvation Army social services, and ways to help, visit LakeHavasuCity.SalvationArmy.org, or contact the organization at 928-680-3678.