A major milestone will happen Saturday morning in Gulfport when the
Salvation Army Family store opens. You can call it another sign of
post-Katrina progress. Seven years ago, the original store was destroyed
by the storm.
Friday, employees were in a race to beat the clock before the grand opening. Buying items here means help for those who need it most.
"It goes towards our ongoing services throughout the year, financial assistance in our social service programs throughout the Gulf Coast, not just Harrison County," Area Commander Major Terry Ray said of the sales proceeds. "It will go to support people when they lose their jobs and they need help to keep their rent going or food on the table."
The store is spacious and neatly arranged. In the back, more items come in on a daily basis and are stored in the warehouse. If you're looking for something, chances are good you'll find it, according to Danielle Butson, the Family Store Director.
"We have ladies' clothing, men's clothing. We carry children's clothing from infant on up to junior sizes. We also offer electronics. We've got sports equipment, bicycles. Pretty much everything and anything that you would be looking for or would like to buy for your home," Butson said.
Most people are aware of the obvious benefits of shopping at the Salvation Army Family Store: quality items at a good price and you're helping out members of the community at the same time. But there's an unseen benefit: Jobs. With this store come 11 new ones.
One of those jobs went to Ashley Lampkin, who had a hard time landing her first job. But the wait was worth it for her.
"I'd been looking for a job because it's real important with my age and everything. But this company is a really good company. Everybody welcoming and everything and I just love everything I do," Lampkin said.
The family store depends entirely on donations to operate, and they can be dropped off at the store or even picked up. The grand opening is Saturday morning at 10 with a ribbon cutting and other activities.
The store is located at the corner of Pass Road and Hewes Avenue in Gulfport.
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