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Hilo Salvation Army Thrift Store Closed Due to Lane Flooding

August 30, 2018, 3:13 PM HST (Updated August 30, 2018, 3:13 PM)
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When managers of The Salvation Army’s Hilo Thrift Store returned to reopen the store on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, following a closure for Hurricane Lane, they found portions of the store heavily damaged by water.

Sometime between when the store closed on Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Monday morning Aug. 27, portions of the roof apparently failed and heavy rains flooded several areas.

The store, located at 188 Kamehameha Ave. in downtown Hilo, is closed indefinitely to allow for cleanup, repairs and remodeling as necessary. It is anticipated to be closed for a minimum of one month and perhaps longer.

In addition, the store is not able to accept any donations of clothing, furniture, etc. until it reopens due to lack of warehouse space to store the items.

“It was a shock to walk into the store on Monday morning with the manager and find the roof had failed,” said Lt. Jacob Bratton, officer and Hawai‘i County Coordinator for The Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps. “Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage and expected repairs, the store will be closed for at least a month and maybe longer. And, because the store is our corps’ primary revenue stream, the closure also creates a real need for monetary donations to support the various programs our Corps provides in Hilo and across East Hawai‘i.”

“Among the programs potentially impacted by the lost revenues include homeless outreach three times a week, after school keiki programs, and youth activities, among others,” Lt. Bratton continued. “From initial assessments conducted yesterday, the store lost thousands of dollars worth of product and display racks and stands to lose much more, depending on what the environmental cleanup company determines in the coming weeks. We also are reviewing employment options and opportunities for our eight staff members.”

The store’s closure also will potentially impact Pāhoa shelter residents using the distribution center. Up to this point, the distribution center was able to hand out thrift store vouchers to those in need for clothing, household items and furniture as they rebuild their lives. Now, with the closure of the thrift store in Hilo, the program will need to be curtailed.

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“Because most residents in the Pāhoa shelter have no vehicles, they aren’t able to make the drive to our other Hawai‘i Island thrift stores in Kailua-Kona and Honoka‘a,” said Lt. Bratton. “Although we won’t be able to offer thrift store vouchers anymore, our distribution center will continue to provide food boxes, bottled water, hygiene kits and mosquito repellant during operating hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays.”

Monetary donations for The Salvation Army Hilo Thrift Store may be made online at hilo.salvationarmy.org.

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