Neepawa Salvation Army marches to new locale


Online Salvation Army

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Shoppers searching for a few bargains and perhaps a hidden treasure or two, now have a little more space to do so at Neepawa’s Salvation Army Thrift Store. On Tuesday, Oct. 31, staff and volunteers officially opened the doors to the store’s new location, within the former Co-op building on Mountain Avenue.

The new space is 6,000 square feet (sq. ft.), with 3,000 sq. ft. specifically for retail. That is 1,300 sq. ft. more than their previous location at 309 Davidson Street. As well, two more part time workers have been hired to join the 2.5 full time equivalent  staff members that were already working at the business. 

Neepawa and Area Salvation Army manager Amanda Naughton-Gale, along with a few dignitaries from across western Canada, commemorated the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Naughton-Gale said it’s so great to finally open up the doors and let people in.

“Everyone who has been checking out the new store has been commenting on just how much more space there is here, compared to the old location. Saying, ‘It’s like Value Village!’ and ‘I can’t believe how much space there is!’”  Naughton-Gale noted. “It’s well laid out and accessible. We’re pretty excited. Aside from the much larger storage area and processing space, we have a much bigger kitchen and food bank area. We’re able to house a lot more food there. We also designed for a classroom space and a boardroom space. That in itself will allow us to go ahead with more programming for our clients. We want this to be a place where people can feel warm and welcome.”

One of the Salvation Army representatives who helped to usher in the new era in Neepawa was Captain Gordon Taylor, area commander for the eastern prairie division. Taylor commended Naughton-Gale and the rest of the staff for the exceptional work they’ve done to make this day a reality

“It’s very exciting to see this type of step forward for the community and the local chapter of the Salvation Army. It’s a larger and better facility for us to be able to provide services. It’s been a long time coming and it took a lot of help from a lot of people in the community. [The head office] also wants to thank Amanda and the staff for all the work they’ve done in this process,” Taylor said. 

As the opening day festivities began to wind down, Naughton-Gale noted that the Salvation Army received a lot of local support on the way to making it to this point. 

“The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation and Farm Credit Corporation each donated $15,000. As well, we received $4,000 from the Neepawa United Way, said Naughton-Gale. “John Lavich did all the renovations. We purchased the property through Zen Developments, but John and his crew and all the local contractors put so much blood, sweat and tears into this place. It’s been much appreciated. And of course, we’re thankful to all the people who showed up [on Tuesday] for our grand opening. Their support is what makes any of this possible and we look forward to serving the community in the new space.”