Salvation Army needs new truck

Published 9:50 pm Saturday, March 24, 2012

Salvation Army thrift store manager Jim Evans shows off the box trailer the organization has been using since its truck was totaled in a wreck two months ago. It is seeking donations for a new truck.

The local Salvation Army needs some saving of its own.

The organization’s box truck was totaled in a wreck two months ago. Since then, volunteers have been using a small box trailer to haul around donations and supplies, but less hauling capacity means more trips back to the thrift store and more gas money.

“It’s very difficult to work without one,” said Maj. Cal Clatterbuck of the Suffolk Salvation Army. “It’s a very necessary thing that we need. It’s been very difficult, because what we’ve had to do now is pull a trailer around.”

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The wreck happened on Jan. 27 in Isle of Wight County. On a rainy day, the driver approached a turn on a narrow country road that was “a little bit curvier than he thought,” Clatterbuck said. He lost control, and the truck flipped into the ditch. The driver and passengers were not seriously injured, but the truck was totaled.

Now the organization is using Clatterbuck’s 10-foot box trailer, which does not have the capacity of the larger truck.

“They have to return back to the store so many times to unload the trailer,” Clatterbuck said. “Before, they could do all those pickups in one haul, instead of making so many trips back to the store. It’s very expensive to do that now, with the gas prices.”

The little trailer functions to pick up donations to bring to the thrift store on West Washington Street, carry donations of furniture to needy families, pick up Operation Blessing donations and supplies and more.

“We use the truck for so many things,” Clatterbuck said. “It’s difficult to do without a truck.”

He said the organization hopes for a donation of a new truck or donations of enough money to buy a new truck.

“We have a little bit, but not even half of what a truck would cost us these days,” he said. A truck that would meet the organization’s needs costs roughly $30,000, he said.

To make a donation, send a check to the Salvation Army, 400 Bank St., Suffolk, VA 23434. Specify in the memo line that the donation is for the truck.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 539-5201.