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Riley County Salvation Army assistance programs.

The primary resource from the Riley County Salvation Army is their thrift store. As the result of the money raised there, the Manhattan Kansas Salvation Army may offer support including free food or back to school supplies, emergency rent or energy bill help, homeless shelters, and even free Christmas gifts or Thanksgiving turkey dinners. This resale shop is open to the public and provides the Salvation Army with funding to help the less fortunate.

The Family Store (thrift shop) not only provides low cost goods to the community, but the store also raises money for the charity organizations financial aid programs. The resale shop allows the food pantry to operate, help pay for the heating bill or rent help, meals for the homeless, furniture for a home or apartment, and more.

In general, the financial assistance from the Salvation Army center (which is based in Manhattan Kansas) is a last resort for the community. The applicant needs to have sought help from every other source first. So they should have called on a church, social services, community action agencies, and all other options first for money for their housing or other bills. Only then may the Salvation Army assist, and even then funds are sparse and also come and go throughout the year.

Thrift store in Riley County

This is the primary resource. It is a “resale shop”, meaning that people or businesses donate items to the site. Then those items are examined, organized, and if they meet the criteria in place, they are sold to the public. The prices will be competitive, and the Riley County Salvation Army will only sell more quality type items.

Be sure to donate to the thrift store. Or volunteer to work there. When contributing to it, be sure the items are clean, in decent condition, and able to be resold. If a household wants to donate larger goods, such as coaches, beds, or appliances, then the Salvation Army has some volunteers that may pick them up in Riley County. Also, volunteers are needed to sort the goods, stock the shelves, and even guide customers throughout the store.

Since the location does depend donations from the community, what is for sale changes. The thrift store may have women, children, or men's clothing. There can be household supplies, furniture, lamps, tables, or chairs. Kitchen supplies, such as dishes, plates, utensils, and pots may be given too. Then of course there are some more “unique” items, including CDs, records, vintage clothing, and much more.




There are also online thrift stores as well as marketplaces that consumers can turn to for low cost items, and these are in addition to the Riley County Salvation Army option. Or families can sell their goods there to raise money. PoshMark, ThredUp and others sell clothes, household supplies, vintage goods and more. Learn more on selling items at online thrift store marketplaces.

Financial help from Riley County Salvation Army

The funds raised at the thrift store pay for (1) the charitable programs as well as (2) the overhead of the Salvation Army. Since the organization is a non-profit, it tries to run lean when it comes to overhead costs. So most of the money therefore goes towards financial aid, basic needs, and other support for income qualified clients. What may be offered is below. This is part of the Family Services in Manhattan Kansas.

Food and meals – The pantry and soup kitchen feed the low income, poor, homeless, and people in an emergency. Or locate other Kansas free food pantries.

Rent and utility bill help – This is part of the homeless prevention program in Riley County.

Mortgage and home buying programs - The Salvation Army rarely can help pay this type of expense, but there are referrals. Find home mortgage loan assistance programs.

Shelter and transitional housing – Homeless as well as victims of violence or veterans can get housed.

Free voucher programs – They can help pay for goods at the thrift store referenced above, or vouchers can pay for medications and similar goods.

Employment expenses – Clothing, gasoline for work, and other minimal expenses.

Senior programs - The Salvation Army is also focused on vulnerable elderly too. Whether it is meals on wheels, medications, or companionship, help is offered. Find other low income senior citizen assistance programs.





So that is some of what the money from the thrift store can pay for. But the Riley County Salvation Army provides other services too. This comes in the form of free Christmas gifts for kids from Angel Tree; summer camps for students from lower income households; free back to school supplies; and Thanksgiving/Easter meals.

Of course the Salvation Army is a disaster relief organization too. So when a man made or natural event occurs in Riley County Kansas, they respond. Volunteers and staff counsel victims. They bring them food, clothes, or maybe have a voucher for new furniture at the thrift store. There may even be some limited financial help given out.

Phone number and applications for help from Salvation Army in Manhattan KS

Some of the resources are listed above. But there are other financial aid programs and basic needs available too. The main store, and Family Service center, is at 310 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan, KS 66502. Call them at  785-539-9399.

By Jon McNamara

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