Letter: Salvation Army Thrift Store will be missed

Editor:

We lost part of the identity of Tranquille Road with the closing of the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Of the many memories I treasure of the thrift store personnel, past and present, the most recent is the impact Sally (the most recent manager) had on the life of a young girl I shall call Mary.

Though Mary took on the air of being a hardened, bitter person, that was the protection mechanism she had to try to deal with the hurt and pain in her life. 

Inside was a lonely young woman who was desperate to be loved for who she was as a person. Sally, the manager at the thrift store, was one of the most important contacts Mary would have in the journey of transforming her life.

I worked at a business near the thrift store. Mary was a girl who had a natural beauty. She would come by, look inside and then make her way along the street. 

I saw Mary go into the thrift store, so one day I went there to speak with the manager. When I met Sally, she was so genuine and she told me a bit about Mary.

Bit by bit, it became apparent that Mary was responding to the care Sally was giving to her.

When I spoke to Mary, she just looked away.  Little by little, the walls started to come down. She decided she would come inside where I worked and the staff gradually got to know her.

I found out Mary’s name and we called her by name when she came in. 

Eventually, she began to talk with us, but we could not have reached that point without the influence of Sally and her staff at the thrift store.

At our place of business, we noticed we didn’t see Mary for a while, so I asked Sally about her. Sally told me Mary had found a place to live, was keeping in contact with her and things were finally looking up in life.

A changed life — “Go for souls and go for the worst” were words spoken by William Booth.

I guess the thrift store had served as an avenue for reaching a young girl whose life was a mess. There is no mention of red ink or black ink in the financial statement for spiritual matters.

Sally, Louise and Shirley are thrift store managers over the years who did well with their calling of meeting people where their needs were.

We’ll miss the Salvation Army Thrift store.

John Noakes

Kamloops

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