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JustServe Volunteers Help Oregon Salvation Army

JustServe volunteers and members of the Grants Pass Oregon Stake clean up the flooded Salvation Army Thrift Store in Grants Pass, Oregon, December 28, 2021. Photo courtesy of Terry Conrad, courtesy of Church News.

This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.

By Mary Richards, Church News

When the Salvation Army thrift store in Grants Pass, Oregon, flooded in December 2021, the staff felt overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of them. Heavy rains caused extensive water damage to the building’s structure and all the merchandise. 

The store has only three staff members, and the work to remove all the destroyed material was daunting. But one phone call to a trusted contact set in motion the steps to get the help they needed.

That phone call was from Captain Rick Mabie of the Roseburg Salvation Army to Tim Juett, a member of the Roseburg Oregon Stake. Mabie asked if there would be anyone available to help clean up the flooded store that week. Juett thought of JustServe, a Church-sponsored website and app that connects community organizations with volunteers.

Juett found the contact information for Terry Conrad, a JustServe specialist for the Grants Pass Oregon Stake, and Conrad replied he was happy to help round up a local crew.

Water-logged items from the Grants Pass Salvation Army Thrift Store are placed in a dumpster in Grants Pass, Oregon, December 28, 2021. Photo courtesy of Terry Conrad, courtesy of Church News.

In just 48 hours, 40–50 people — including about a dozen missionaries — were at the thrift store cleaning up, where they accomplished in a matter of hours what may have taken the store’s staff several days on their own. 

“The local corp lieutenant for the Salvation Army was beside himself with relief because of such a showing of help,” Conrad said.

A Facebook post from the Salvation Army in Grants Pass expressed its appreciation to Conrad, JustServe and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for coordinating volunteers. 

Juett said he received a call that evening from Mabie. “He wanted to give me a ‘praise report,’” Juett wrote. “[The volunteers] totally cleaned up the Grants Pass Salvation Army building from its flood and brought everything back into the building to where it belonged, accomplishing it all in one day. This provided an immense blessing to the Salvation Army there, and we have received a tremendous appreciation from them!”

Christmas came the week after the flood. Local Church members collected and donated $6,000 worth of gift cards of their own accord for the Grants Pass Salvation Army to distribute to people experiencing homelessness in the area.

“We have a good, strong, new connection with the Salvation Army here as a result of loving service,” Conrad said.

Volunteers have been back since that day to continue to help the thrift store with repairs and renovations. The store reopened at the end of May.

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