By S. Richard Hodder
The new Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center was officially opened August 3 at 8519 W. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33615. Named for its location, the Town ‘N Country Family Store promotes Tampa Bay Area’s sustainability efforts to care for the environment by recycling items that people no longer want. What once was taking up valuable storage space in homes and businesses can now be donated to the store to get recycled, and in turn keep more gently-used items from being transported to waste collection sites.
The store also enables people on tight budgets to purchase necessary items that they normally could not afford. For example, many clothing items, some manufactured by name brands, cost only a few dollars. In addition, when people shop on any Wednesday, they can buy clothes, shoes, belts, ties and linens for 50 percent off their normal prices during the weekly Family Day Sale.
Besides serving donors and shoppers patronizing the store, the revenue generated uplifts those who have lost the ability to care for themselves. Ravaged by substance afflictions, people can rebuild their lives at The Salvation Army Tampa Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) without having any out-of-pocket costs. The store’s funds help cover all their expenses at the ARC for up to one full year, where they participate in a long-term, faith-based, 12-step, residential rehabilitation program to receive the aid and education needed to transform into productive members of society.
At the Tampa ARC, hurting people find a safe place to heal their broken lives. Over 40 percent of the residents stay at least six months to graduate from the basic rehabilitation program. Living in a clean, wholesome setting with compassionate staff and sponsors to lean on, 195 women and men get a second chance to become healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
During the store’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Administrators Majors John and Katherine Reed of the Tampa ARC emphasized the good that all six of the Family Stores are doing in the communities of Brandon, Lakeland, South Tampa, Tampa, Town ‘N Country and Wesley Chapel. Majors W. Gary and Liz Wilson, who lead all 23 Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers throughout the southeastern United States, also welcomed the store’s first customers.
The public may contact Town ‘N Country Family Store & Donation Center at (813) 774-5684. Its business hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. & Sat. (10am to 7pm), and Wed. (9am to 8pm). As an alternative to dropping off donations at the store, a free truck pickup service of unwanted items, such as clothing, household goods, vehicles, and boats, is provided by calling 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825) or visiting satruck.org.