The Salvation Army Store in Montreal on Notre Dame West is a disgrace and is in no way helpful to the true poor of the neighborhood. To think that decent well-meaning people have donated things to this organization in trust to help the poor and less fortunate be able to get furniture and clothing and just about everything else they need to live, but can not afford to buy in a regular store. The prices in the Salvation Army Store not only matched a normal stores, but in some cases for certain articles were more expensive.
I walked into this store looking for a coffee table to buy for a single father struggling to make ends meet and the cheapest table was $70.00 and it was worn, dirty and not even polished. The lady trying to sell it to me was telling me how it was real wood and that a side table came with it. $70.00 is a lot of money when you are on welfare, or you have just lost everything in a fire. I went to Wall Mart just to see how much of a difference in price it was to buy a new 3 piece living room table set and became even madder at the Salvation Army; the price for a 3 piece set at Wall Mart was $99.00 brand new in the box and just a coffee table was $69.00.
The shirts were selling for $5.oo and up and nothing seemed to say we are here to help you and if you can’t afford to pay we will make a deal, or give it to you for free, like we got it. I just finished shopping for myself at Wall Mart and the sweat pants were $10.00 a pair new. The first thing you see when you get up the stairs where they showcase the furniture is a dining room china cabinet, one of many selling for over $1000.00 and a dining room table with four chairs selling for $800.00, these are not prices designed to help the poorest of the poor. These are not the prices of a charity; these are the prices of a legitimate store. This is not what I expected to happen to the things I donated to the Salvation Army. I expected the Salvation Army to practically give my things to the needy and help them like they said they would.
I think that the Salvation Army for the most part in it’s other departments does a great job, but that can not be allowed to justify what they are doing to the poor and under privileged in this store and maybe all of them. These may seem like a good prices for a normal store, but it is high way robbery when talking about someone who needs the Salvation Army to shop in.
I think that in an effort to raise money for other things they have forgotten that a poor person can not afford $1000.00 for china cabinet, or $800.00 for a dining room table and 4 chairs.
I get angry when I know that they do not buy any of the furniture and they do not even clean, or shine it up and that the people who donate these articles like me would not have given anything to them if we thought that they would have tried to pull this off. I am a mover and have always told people to donate the items they did not want to the Salvation Army; because they would make sure that the donations were made available to the people who needed them the most. It may have been true at one time but sadly this statement does not apply and will not refer any donators to them any more.
These stores in my opinion are a black eye on the face of an organization that is known to do so much good. I hope that someone who works there reads this and does something about it. I will be lodging a complaint and writing to the government to see what can be done. If they want to be a real store than they should stop advertising and doing business under a charitable charter and be open with their dealings with the public. It saddened me to write this story, but here it is and so be it.
Come and watch this slideshow below and see the Rockies through the windshield of an 18 wheeler like I did one year.