LAWTON, Okla._The Salvation Army Family Store on Lee Boulevard in Lawton shut its doors for good on January 31, and now many are wondering if the organization is downsizing.
The Salvation Army made the difficult decision to close their Lee Boulevard location a few weeks ago. Now, organizers want people to know the move wasn't a sign of a struggle, but of a recommitment to make sure all help is available for Lawtonians who need it the most.
"We don't want to use the donors' money to pay rent. We also had to do all the sorting here and then transport everything in the truck to the store on Lee, so there was extra expenses with gas and personnel to take everything there. It was just more expenses for us," explained Lieutenant Israel Roseno.
Lt. Roseno says the organization's vision is to make sure all donations, from clothing to money, are given right back to the community. He hopes by doubling the existing storefront, not only will the organization save money, but become a one-stop-shop for donors and shoppers.
"If they're in the shelter and they need a clothing voucher, they just go across the street and get the clothing voucher. We're not going to have that extra expense every month of paying extra rent, or pay extra utilities for that building. If we reduce our expenses, then we'll be able to allocate more money to the services of the Salvation Army," said Lt. Roseno.