How your purchases at our family stores help others in need

Feb 24, 2017 | by Alexa Morris

The Salvation Army is well-known for our family stores, which offer gently-used items at a fraction of their original cost. While most can say why they shop at our stores – often referencing the low prices of our inventory – we are often asked how we use the money made from purchases.

In a nutshell, purchases made at our stores provide others with an opportunity to improve their lives, but there is so much more to it than that.

Healing broken lives

In the Portland metro area, materials that are donated by community members are collected and sorted before being distributed to our seven family stores. Once an item is sold, the income from that sale will go to support the adult rehabilitation center.


The Salvation Army Portland Adult Rehabilitation Center aims to help men break free of their addictions to drugs and alcohol. The rehabilitation process is intensive and requires all participants to commit to a six-month term or longer. Through this program, men are given the opportunity to regain their self-respect and acquire the life skills needed to take their place in society. During their six-month stay, participants gain these skills by performing volunteer “work therapy” for 40 hours per week, mostly distributing clothes, furniture and other donation made to The Salvation Army. At night, the men receive education, counseling and spiritual support as they make their journey towards a more fulfilling life.

The sales of these stores play a crucial role in the success of this program as we receive no government, city or United Way funds to cover program costs. In total, we have the capacity to serve 130 men at any given time – 130 people who will find the support and stability they need to turn their life around.

Meeting basic needs

Outside of the Portland Metro area, our stores in Oregon and Southern Idaho serve as an additional source of income for local basic needs programs in 22 communities. Through our voucher program, individuals and families can get new clothing, household goods and furniture – all at no cost to them.

Our stores are always in need of quality, gently-used items and volunteers. If you would like to make a donation or volunteer, contact the Salvation Army Store nearest you.

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