Flagstaff’s Salvation Army thrift shop on Cedar Avenue in Sunnyside has closed its doors.
However, the organization is still providing all of its other services to the Flagstaff community at its Humphreys Street location.
The nonprofit organization announced the closure on Friday. Capt. Sheri Ferguson said they are shifting focus and funds to the social services it offers.
The store didn’t have problems getting donations of goods and clothing. It just wasn’t fiscally responsible to keep the store open any longer, she said.
The Salvation Army’s Southwest Divisional commander and the local corps decided that the money to run the store was better spent on providing social services. The organization provides food for the hungry, clothing vouchers, utility and rental assistance, school supplies, Medicare assistance, holiday meals and toys and worship services.
The Salvation Army’s Flagstaff Corps has been in town for more than 50 years. It first opened its doors in Flagstaff in the 1920s but petered out before restarting in 1965. About 82 cents of every dollar donated goes toward helping those who seek the organization’s help. Most of the money the organization receives comes from the Flagstaff community and only a small part comes from the national organization.
Sally Veazey, the chair of Cedar Closet Thrift Store on West Street, said she was a bit puzzled about the timing of the Salvation Army thrift shop closing because local thrift stores always get a good amount of donations in December. People are trying to squeeze in one last possible tax deductible donation before the end of the calendar year. Veazey said the Cedar Closet was full and was busy unloading more donations that were arriving.
At least four thrift stores in town, St. Vincent de Paul, Cedar Closet, Sharon’s Attic and the Garden Thrift, said that December is usually a decent time to collect donations.
However, the cold weather sometimes works against the shops. Donations slow down a bit in February and March, as the weather gets colder, Veazey said.
Courtney Nelson, the vice president of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, agreed.
“However, it is a great time to donate. Donations are tax deductible, so while you are preparing for the holidays and before the snow starts, clear out items you no longer need and make room as we get ready to start the new year,” Nelson said.