Environment Week, June 1-7, is about celebrating the actions we take to improve the environment. It’s about taking steps at home, at work and in our communities that will make a difference to the preservation, protection and restoration of our environment.
The Salvation Army accepts responsibility for the environment by taking practical steps to regenerate and conserve God’s creation.
Across Canada, The Salvation Army’s National Recycling Operation runs between 120 and 130 thrift stores in urban centres, and local Salvation Army offices operate another 170 smaller stores.
Recycling is an essential part of The Salvation Army thrift store identity. The stores not only raise money for Salvation Army social services, but they play a big part in diverting goods from landfills. “Revenue is important, absolutely essential,” says Diane Van der Horden, director for public relations in the Maritimes, “but the leadership role The Salvation Army plays in diverting things from landfills is also essential.”
“It’s not unreasonable to state that across Canada Salvation Army thrift stores rescue more than 100 million lbs of merchandise from disposal each year,” says John Kershaw, managing director of National Recycling Operations. Stores have saved vases, bicycles, instruments, clothes-you name it, from landfill sites.
Items donated to The Salvation Army are also distributed to those in need, which include various correctional institutions, shelters, fire victims, new immigrants and developing nations for resale.
The Salvation Army has been recycling for over 100 years. General William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army, created and organized a program for reusable yet unwanted articles, naming it The Household Salvage Brigade. Says Kershaw, “All we are doing is following in his footsteps.”
When you donate good used items to The Salvation Army you are preventing merchandise from going to landfills and helping the needy and disadvantaged in our societies.