Salvation Army to Close Hanford Store

November 13, 2008 2:17:53 PM PST
The South Valley Salvation Army has been a favorite to locals for decades. Many people all across the Central Valley are devastated that the thrift store in Hanford is shutting down for good.Hard economic times are to blame for the shutdown of the store which has served the community for decades.

Mary Alonzo has worked at the Salvation Army in Hanford for 26 years. She says the store had to close because sales and donations are down. Mary Alonzo says "I'm sad that they're closing because it is a great store. It's great for the community so it's real sad."

Customer Delores Simek is so devastated that the Salvation Army is closing, she launched a petition drive and gathered more than 400 signatures in the hopes the store can stay open.

Delores Simek says "Everything I could find that I would want to buy I buy it here. They say to go to Wal-Mart. Well, I don't have a car, I can't walk to Wal-Mart and I won't take the bus. I like my store here so I'm fighting for it to try and keep it open."

The Salvation Army is still taking donations and for the next few weeks, people can come by and look through the assortment of clothes furniture and household goods on sale. Mary Partida went to the Salvation Army thrift store to pick up some comfortable shirts to wear as she recovers from her cancer treatment. Though the purchase was small, Mary says it was well worth the trip from Merced. Mary Partida says "I love the Salvation Army. They've got real nice stuff ? you know usable stuff that we can use around the house."

Many echoed Mary's comments.

Abigail Gonzalez of Hanford says "I'm just so disappointed. I've been shopping here for over 20 years and with the economy the way it is, people out of jobs, I don't know where we are going to shop or what we're going to do."

Alonzo says "It's somewhere everybody can come, all denominations, nationalities, they can come and whatever they are looking for they can find it here."

The Salvation Army store will close on November 29th. Employees say they will keep the store fully stocked up until the last day.

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