Cambridge Salvation Army Bounces Back After Summer Fire - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Cambridge Salvation Army Bounces Back After Summer Fire

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - They're the ones who respond when crisis hits, but after fire ravaged the salvation army thrift store in Cambridge earlier this year, they were the ones in need.

"The thrift store is the economic engine that keeps the army going," says Major Brooks Gilliam, Corps Officer for the Cambridge Salvation Army.

For the Salvation Army in Cambridge, that engine has been stalled for nearly six months, after a four-alarm fire tore through the thrift store back in June, the result of outdated electrical work.

The thrift store brings in between $80,000 - $100,000 to the branch of the Salvation Army, but since the fire, Major Gilliam says "we've lost probably a good $80,000 just in the time it's been closed."

A significant loss for the location, which helps nearly 6,000 families across Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline, and Kent Counties, but now, the Army is building back up its defenses.  Earlier in the week, workers began to fix up a store front at 704 Cambridge Plaza, off of Route 50 for the new Salvation Army Thrift Store.  Repairing the damaged location on Race Street would have cost the organization more than $1-million, a cost they couldn't take on.

While this year has been more difficult than previous, with administrative cutbacks, community donations, and the Salvation Army's iconic red kettles, Major Gilliam says their clients haven't felt the hardship, except for one time this year.      

"We would've normally done 600 to 700 families for thanksgiving, we were only been able to chose 125 families," says Major Gilliam, but thanks to donations from those same red kettles, officials believe Christmas will be a little brighter.

Since the fire, the Salvation Army hadn't been able to accept many donations, but with the new store on Route 50, people can once again bring items for donation.

The new Salvation Army Thrift Store in Cambridge is set to open on December 16th.

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