ENID, Okla. —
Many people become familiar with community thrift stores when they’re looking for a bargain, or when they’re cleaning out closets or the garage.
What they often do not see is the end result the shopping and selling at thrift stores provides— ministries, community development and charitable causes supported by the store sales.
From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.
The largest of these stores in the local area are Salvation Army Family Store, 518 N. Independence; Hope Outreach Ministries, 215 S. Van Buren; and Park Avenue Thrift, 507 S. Grand.
Salvation Army Family Store
Salvation Army Maj. John Dancer said proceeds from the Family Store cover a majority of operating costs — including the family and men’s shelters, soup kitchen, utility assistance programs and other outreach — for Salvation Army in Enid,.
“The object of the Family Store is that we can appropriate money from that account, so that we can pay the bills for everything else we do,” Dancer said.
Salvation Army also provides direct assistance to families who have lost their homes, particularly to fire, by providing them with an initial supply of furniture, clothing and home supplies for a new home.
Dancer said proceeds from the store go first to cover the store’s overhead, then to cover general budget expenses and community outreach.
“We have to take care of our overhead first,” Dancer said. “If we don’t pay our utilities, if we don’t pay our employees and put fuel in the truck, then we don’t have a store and we can’t help people.”
Dancer said the Salvation Army relies on both donors and shoppers at Family Store to keep operations going in all Salvation Army programs in the community.
“Our customers are very important to us, as well as our donors,” Dancer said. “If we don’t have donors we don’t have shoppers, and if we don’t have shoppers we don’t have income to appropriate to help the community.”