The Salvation Army Increases Efforts to Meet Community Needs and Announces Closure of Thrift Stores

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

The Salvation Army, the nation’s largest social services organization with more than 7,600 service locations across the country, is increasing efforts to meet urgent human needs in the greater Savannah community. In response to health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the organization has modified its service delivery protocols to ensure that the immediate needs of community members, first responders, and government partners are met. At the same time, The Salvation Army Savannah has announced that all of the organization’s family thrift stores in the Georgia Division are closed until further notice in line with public health recommendations.

The closure of thrift shops will be a major loss of much needed income for The Salvation Army Savannah, with the organization typically making approximately $15,000 every week from their four area stores. With the increasing spike in requests which is anticipated to continue over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support is needed to help ensure that services are available to existing and new vulnerable populations.

While all are impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, the one in six Americans who are living in poverty will feel the effects quicker and more significantly. The Salvation Army is ensuring that people have access to food, shelter, and desperately needed services, such as childcare, through its nationwide network. This includes drive-through food pickup, community-based food delivery through canteens, and meals at Salvation Army facilities. The organization is also providing snacks and hydration to first responders.

In addition to these services, The Salvation Army Savannah continues to support men in their Work Therapy Rehabilitation Program (CSRC). This program is funded by the community’s donations of furniture, clothing, and household items, which are sold in Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores.

Although the thrift stores are closed, now is a good time to do some spring cleaning. Once stores are able to resume accepting donations, they will do so in earnest. People are being asked to give monetary donations online, by mail, or by phone. For more information about ways to donate, please visit or call 912-200-3004.

“I really don’t know what the next two weeks are going to hold for Savannah, but this community knows that time and time again during disaster, The Salvation Army has and will continue to work hard to meet needs,” said Salvation Army Major Paul Egan. “We’re going to find a way The Salvation Army can make a difference for people that are suffering.”

In the months that follow, The Salvation Army will continue to provide basic needs to the 23 million Americans it already serves, and anticipates it will also serve a new generation of need that is born out of the current pandemic. Anticipated impacts on the economy and workforce will likely force more Americans to seek rental, utility, and other forms of assistance. While the full scope of the pandemic’s economic impact is still unknown, cancelled fundraising events and market volatility elevate the need for public support in order to maintain and grow these efforts.