Local News

Donating used toys? Salvation Army says ‘no thanks’

Posted December 8, 2007 12:22 a.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2008 12:20 p.m. EST

— There's a little bit of everything at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. That's what Helen Gower and her son Charlie like about it. But on a recent trip, something was noticeably missing.

“Charlie wanted to know where the toys were,” Gower said.

The toys shelves were empty. The Salvation Army will no longer be accepting used toys or selling them at their thrift stores. Workers have removed all the donated used toys because of the massive toy recall.

The recall list is so huge that Salvation Army officials said it would be extremely difficult to check each and every donated used toy against the list.

“But most importantly, it’s our obligation to assure our shoppers and out clients that we are providing safe toys,” said Ashley Delamar with the Salvation Army.

The Wake County Corps is also removing the used toys at its shelters and community centers.

Toys represent at least 10 percent of sales at the Raleigh thrift store. Officials said it will amount to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue for community programs, not to mention the hit to families who rely on the thrift store.

For Gower, it will mean Charlie and her three other children might have to go without some toys.

“It’s cheaper. I can’t afford to go buy brand new toys for my kids,” she said. “They’re not going to get as many toys for Christmas, because this is where I was finding them.”

The ban on used toys excludes bicycles, vintage toys and electronic game sets. Brand new toys are always welcome.