Salvation Army struggles with after-hours donation drop off

In the back alley behind the 100 Avenue location of the Fort St. John Salvation Army Thrift Store, a heap of clothes continues to gather weekend after weekend.

In most circumstances, this would be a welcomed sight for Captain Sheldon Feener. But Feener arrives at the back entrance of the store every Monday in despair.

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The back of the store has become a dumping spot of sorts, with people leaving their donations with seemingly good intentions. But what they might not realize is the Salvation Army has to discard those donations after they have sat out all weekend.

“I think if people were to drive down here on a Monday morning and see this, they’d be as shocked as we are,” Feener said, overlooking the massive pile of clothes that will have to be thrown out.

“This was the worst I’d seen in awhile.”

Feener’s advice to the community is simple.

“Just don’t leave it here when we’re not open. We try and be very accommodating. We take almost everything,” he said.

He holds no ill will towards those who have dropped off clothes during non-store hours, but stressed Fort St. John just needs to be aware that those clothes being piled up can’t be used by Sally Ann.

“We need to educate our community. They just need to know,” Feener said.

“They’re bringing (clothes) to help the community and this is not helping. This is costing us money because we have to pay to get this dumped, because this is going to fill up a dumpster… I know that none of them want that.”

The 100 Avenue thrift store location is open Monday to thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The sight that has greeted Salvation Army Captain Sheldon Feener on Monday mornings recently. - Byron Hackett Photo

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