The Salvation Army Service Center in Bainbridge celebrated the grand re-opening of its newly renovated and larger store with a ribbon cutting and ceremony on Friday morning.
In September, The Salvation Army will have been operating at its location on South Scott Street in Bainbridge for 23 years, originally opening in 1992. The board of directors of the Bainbridge service center decided that they could better serve the community by making the shopping area larger. On average, the Bainbridge Salvation Army has about $20,000 in sales each month, with almost all of that going back to the organization’s mission of helping local people in need.
Instead of making the building larger, space from the service center’s warehouse was merged with the store space, and Decatur County contractor Chip Hall renovated the show floor itself, adding product display shelves to the walls and replacing the old carpet with a new floor.
The new store, which opened to customers Friday, has more space for clothing and other items that people generously donate to the Salvation Army.
“There’s more space for customers to comfortably walk around, and everything just looks so much nicer,” Salvation Army board member Charles Tyson remarked. “The addition of the display shelves really makes it look like a modern store.”
Dewey Robinson, chairman of the Bainbridge Salvation Army advisory board, gave credit to the service’s center’s 8 employees and its director, Stacy Warren, for making the store successful. When the store first opened in 1992, Salvation Army leaders said they would be thankful for $2,000 a month in sales, said Major Jack Butler, a longtime officer in the Georgia Salvation Army who was involved in setting up the Bainbridge service center.
“To see how much success the store has made in sales, and to hear about all that the Salvation Army in Bainbridge has been able to do for the community with that money, it’s truly a blessing,” Butler said.
Robinson echoed those thoughts, saying he didn’t want to imagine what this area of Southwest Georgia would have been like over the past few decades without the Salvation Army.
“We have fed, clothed, housed and helped thousands of people during that time,” Robinson said. “I want to give credit to the many people who have been responsible for where we are today, including board members both past and present, and the many volunteers who have helped us raise money for the services we provide.”
Jim Morrow, the service extension director with the Georgia Salvation Army, said the organization had helped more than 100,000 people in Georgia last year. Just during the month of April, the Bainbridge Salvation Army center, which also serves surrounding counties, helped 95 people. The services provided included aiding victims of house fires with clothing, personal items and temporary shelter, as well as providing emergency rent and utility bill assistance to needy families.
A number of Salvation Army supporters and citizens from the community celebrated the grand re-opening outside the service center on Friday morning. The Bainbridge High School Air Force JROTC presented the flags of Georgia and the United States, while a selected group of student musicians under the leadership of Band Director Paschal Ward provided music both before and during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the Salvation Army service center also greeted community members and customers with a free hot dog lunch.
The Salvation Army of Georgia provides the following services and programs:
- Emergency Financial Assistance
- Homeless Shelters and Feeding Programs
- Drug and Rehabilitation Centers
- Mobile Kitchens and Other Services for Disaster Victims
- Services to Prison Inmates and Their Families
- Services to Elderly and Hospital Patients
- Camping Program for Underprivileged Youth
For more information on the Salvation Army, to become a volunteer or to make a monetary donation, visit the Georgia Salvation Army website or call (770) 441-6200. You can also bring by good quality items and clothing to the Salvation Army Service Center in Bainbridge, located at 600 S. Scott Street.