Updated: Sep 9, 2022
September 8, 2022
Salvation Army at 21 N Spring Street in Buckhannon. Photos by Michael Morehead
BUCKHANNON - If you’ve been planning on donating items to our local Salvation Army on N Spring Street in Buckhannon, please be advised that they are no longer accepting items that you may be accustomed to donating.
As we stopped by earlier this morning to drop off a few bags of toys and children's clothes, we noticed a new sign posted to inform the community of certain donation items that will no longer be accepted:
We went inside and spoke with Assistant Manager Dawna Mackey, who was gracious enough to sit down and talk with Mountaineer News.
We asked Dawna for further insights into the issues they've experienced with being used as a drop-off facility for others' waste... and footing the bill for it.
"Well, I don't know for how many years in a row now, anytime Strawberry Festival comes or a yard sale comes, we are the only ones who take any donations in this entire County. Everybody else quits or has limits and we get hit really, really hard," Mackey said.
"Our store is very small. We don't have a lot of storage space and the donation drop-off location is being used as a trash dump way too often," she said.
But according to Mackey, the most important reason certain items will no longer be accepted is for employee safety.
"There were bags coming in with clothes that contained soiled items. You're risking making people sick. Given the potential health risks involved with continuing to accept certain donations, this was handed down by management as their way of trying to eliminate some of that," Mackey said.
"We hate to do that. We've never turned donations away. But given the enormous waste disposal costs for the Salvation Army, and with people leaving bags of clothes with soiled items, creating safety hazards for the employees reaching into those bags to pull out the donations, it has become a major issue. We frequently have people who drop off their household trash in the drop-off location." she said.
Please be aware that security cameras are now monitoring the entire property, including the designated donation drop-off location.
"I love my job because of what this organization does for the community. The money we're spending on waste disposal should be going to help the community as it was initially intended", Mackey concluded.
The Salvation Army assists approximately 30 million Americans annually, including right here in Upshur County.
If you have any questions regarding items they are or aren't accepting, please call (304) 472-6165.
Trash left on the sidewalk at the Salvation Army's 21 N Spring Street donation drop-off location.