Salvation Army numbers up

by Clay Neely

Stephanie May, senior service director of the Salvation Army in Newnan, has worked her position for more than four years now, but this year has thrown her a curve.

“I told my staff members that ‘we’re not going to be busy’ over and over, but the couple of days after Christmas we were slammed,” said May.

“I was astounded about the number of people that were doing their shopping here. They just kept coming. The majority of our customers did their Christmas shopping with us as well. Our donations have been through the roof and it’s been bigger this year than it has been since I’ve been here.”

May says their demographic stretches wide across the economic spectrum. “We see people who make a ton of money to people who can barely afford the items,” said May.

“This year has been crazy — that’s really the best way to put it,” said May.

“Since we only have two full-time employees, we were drowning back there in the warehouse. I thought it would ultimately peter out and we could catch up, but we’re still getting donations and a ton of shoppers,” said May of the December shopping. “We were closed on both the 25th and 26th, but on the 27th we were absolutely packed.

“It’s been astonishing,” said May. “We’ve been reaching our daily goals with no problem.”

May has been working up to 56 hours a week and doesn’t see things changing anytime soon. 

“If you take a look in our warehouse, you’ll see what we’ll be dealing with for the next three months,” said May. “We have court appointed community service workers but no one wanted to work during the holiday season. However, we have two volunteers that kick butt.”

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