Sioux Lookout Salvation Army transitions to online, small outdoor sales
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout’s Salvation Army Thrift Store has transitioned to selling clothing and houseware items on Facebook, due to COVID-19, helping them to clear out some of their inventory.
“We’ve been doing online selling for two or three weeks now. One of our volunteers, Lynne Moxam, has been posting various things in the store (on Facebook). We’d like to try as many things that are in the store now. We have boxes and boxes of summer clothes, so we don’t want the whole season to go by without us trying to make that available to the public. There are other things, like housewares and such, that she’s been posting. Those sales have gone very well, and she’s posting those on the Sioux Lookout yard sale page and on the Storage Wars page,” said Lois Mombourquette, Executive Committee Member at the Salvation Army.
“We had a meeting with the executives just the other day, and we decided that Facebook is a safe way to sell. We thought about maybe trying a physical yard sale idea by selling things in lots…Right now we’re working on bagging lots of clothing, and we will put a description on the outside about what’s inside the bag with an inexpensive price,” she added.
Mombourqette said the local Salvation Army isn’t accepting donations at this time. She said their main priority is to sell what they currently have, both online and through small outdoor sales, to make room for future donations. Last Saturday the Salvation Army hosted an outdoor Grab and Go sale, and they said they’ll potentially be hosting more throughout the summer.
“Right now we’re not accepting donations. First of all we’ll try to deal with what’s inside the store and, if this works, we’ll continue to do a series of outdoor yard sales as well as the online sales. Gradually, very slowly, maybe we will open up for donations maybe a half-day a week or one day a week because we know a lot of people have been clearing out their closets and saving things to donate to the Sally Ann. We don’t want to be overwhelmed, but we also need room to bring in new donations and let them sit for two or three days before we sort them. We need to clear out the store so we can take in new donations because it won’t be going out as fast as it could potentially come in,” said Mombourquette.
“Our first goal is to try to clear out the summer things and the seasonal things that are in the store now, and we’re doing that online and in the outdoor yard sales if they work. What we thought we would do is leave the barricades up, have a place where people can come in, they can walk through where the bags of items will be, and then a place where they go out. We would allow four people at a time because we are so limited in the space there, which is why we don’t want to open the store because we could probably only allow a couple of people at a time in the store and then we’d run into the issues of trying to keep everything sanitized, clean, and wearing PPE (personal protective equipment). We have a lot of older people who are our volunteers, so we want to try to make things available to the public and to our volunteers, who do the sorting and the selling, as safely as possible,” she explained.
Mombourquette said community members will be updated, as things continue to change at the Salvation Army, through the Sioux Lookout & Area Events & Services public Facebook group.