Take 5: Soldiering on for The Salvation Army

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

This week, we Take 5 with Jean Temple, manager of The Salvation Army’s Family Store on Steele Street in Sanford about recent changes in the store’s operation.

You’ve recently assumed responsibility for the Sanford Salvation Army’s Family Store. What’s your background with the Salvation Army, and how did you come to oversee the Sanford store?

I have been in a leadership position for 20 years; for 16 years, I worked as a production manager for a cable manufacturing company. The year 2002 was the first time I attended the Salvation Army church. Maj. Al Smith was the commanding officer in Raleigh. My mother and mother-in-law were attending the senior program at the Salvation Army and were telling my husband and me about Major Smith, about how good of a preacher he was, and we started attending on Sunday morning. In 2004, I was enrolled as a soldier.

Why have you so stayed so involved in The Army’s work?

I love what the Salvation Army does for people. In 2009, I started volunteering, and not long after, I became an employee. I was

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working as assistant manager in the Raleigh store and heard about the open position as manager in the Sanford store. I was looking to take on a challenge and prayed to God and asked him would this be the right thing for me. Sure enough, it was. I took the leap and haven’t looked back! It is such a great experience; I immediately loved the people and the store and knew this is where I should be.

What changes have you made in the local thrift store? What changes do you hope to make?

One of the small changes I made was to add more days to do pickups of donated items. We usually do pickups every Tuesday and Thursday. It is my hope that we could get our pickup days up to four days a week. I believe once the word gets out, we will be able to do so. Another great change that I have made is we now have “family day,” where on every Wednesday, all children’s clothes, shoes and belts are 50 percent off. On Thursday, we have a “$5 bag sale,” where you can come in and fill up a bag of clothing for just $5.

What relationship does the thrift store have with local Salvation Army’s role in our community?

The Family Store helps fund the goals and programs of the Salvation Army. It also helps people who are in need of vouchers to get clothes in the community.

The Family Store is operated by donations from the community, and I would like to thank each person who shops there and who gives donations to help fund all the programs of the Army. We now have a place where donors can go online and schedule their pickups. Another great thing that is happening is we are now selling new mattresses, ranging in all sizes. We have pillow-top mattresses and heirlooms, which are regular mattresses and box springs. We still are selling used mattresses; we just wanted to give the community an option of buying a new mattress at a great price.

If people want to make donations to the thrift store, how do they go about doing so? What are the biggest needs the store has?

If someone would like to make a donation to the Family Store, they can call for a pickup of large items at (919) 776-2769. The Family Store accepts donations from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 305 S. Steele St. in downtown Sanford.

We can always use volunteer help at the store, sorting donated items and putting out clothes and bric-a-brac. Just call us, and we’ll put you to work!