11/14/17 — Salvation Army in need of storage space

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Salvation Army in need of storage space

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on November 14, 2017 5:50 AM

The Salvation Army desperately needs a warehouse to hold its Christmas distribution.

"We're in dire need of a Christmas warehouse," said Capt. Sherrie Stokes with the Salvation Army. "We're looking at about 10,000 square feet.

"We are living in North Carolina and have no idea what the weather is going to be, so it would be preferential to have heating and air conditioning. We would need running water and bathrooms, too.

"And we need an alarm system in the building because we're going to be holding all these toys that our community members have donated."

Mrs. Stokes said the Salvation Army would prefer the building be in the Goldsboro area because the organization's staff and volunteers will be going there every day to work in the toy warehouse.

"The buildings we have used in the past three years have either been leased out or purchased," she said. "It's left us where we need a building."

The warehouse is where the Salvation Army stores the toys from its Angel Tree Program.

"Right now we're at a little more than 300 applications; that's about 900 children," Stokes said. "We would work in the warehouse to separate the toys per child and per family."

She said the only people who would be in the warehouse would be Salvation Army staff and volunteers, usually the women's auxiliary and advisory board.

"On distribution day, we allow the applicants to come in," Stokes said. "We see 25 families every 15 minutes. There is a 15-minute devotion. During that time, our 'elves' get the toys for them and bring them to the front."

The Salvation Army needs a warehouse to be donated for Nov. 27 through Dec. 15.

The donor would get a tax write-off for use of the building.

And the Salvation Army has its own insurance to cover the building while it's being used.

"When we leave, we leave the warehouse the way we found it, if not in better shape, and clean," Stokes said.

"We would like to have one donated as soon as possible. We can't send out letters to applications letting them know the date, time and place where they can pick up their stuff because we don't have a warehouse yet."

Stokes said as an absolute backup, the Salvation Army could use its building as a distribution location.

"But we have so many programs here and so many people in and out -- employees, donors, clients, volunteers," she said. "It's difficult to house all of those toys when we have so many people coming through. We would have to stop all programming during that time if we have it here."

Anyone who has a warehouse the Salvation Army could use for its Christmas distribution should call the office at 919-735-4811.