The Salvation Army Thrift Store In Canada Struggles Amidst Declining Donations

The Salvation Army Thrift Store teams are rearranging store layouts and spacing out products, striving to make shelves look full. (CNW Group/The Salvation Army Thrift Store – National Recycling Operations)

As the cost-of-living continues to rise, The Salvation Army Thrift Store has observed a concerning trend that is putting a strain on its ability to serve local communities across Canada. While more people are turning to their local Thrift store in search of affordable options, gently used donations of clothing and household items have seen a significant drop.

“The situation is critical as this is the first time we are experiencing a shortfall in donations at this time of year,” says Ted Troughton, Managing Director of The Salvation Army Thrift Store. “Our teams are having to be creative and modify the store layouts to accommodate the scarcity of products and prevent empty shelves.”


While there might be different factors that contribute for this drop in donations, one of the biggest trends is that more individuals are reselling their pre-loved items for additional income, instead of donating them. According to the 2023 PayPal’s Resale Renaissance Report, half of Canadians (50%) say they have found reselling their unwanted items is a good supplement to their primary income.

“In these challenging times, we acknowledge the hardships many individuals face. However, it’s important to remember that when Canadians choose to donate to our Thrift Stores, they’re making a profound impact on the lives of our neighbors in need,” emphasizes Troughton.

Donations are the lifeblood of The Salvation Army Thrift Store, enabling the organization to provide essential items at affordable prices to individuals and families facing economic challenges while generating funds to support crucial Salvation Army programs and services including foodbanks, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, modern slavery and human trafficking prevention, addictions rehabilitation and emergency disaster services throughout the country.

The organization is urgently appealing for nationwide support from individuals, communities, and businesses to bridge the gap in much-needed donations. They are seeking both public donations and business inventory contributions, with a particular focus on everyday household items like kitchenware, home decor, housewares, ceramics, and small appliances.

“The Salvation Army Thrift Store remains steadfast in its commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of Canadians in need, but we cannot do it alone,” says Troughton. “If each Canadian household donated two bags or boxes of items they no longer need or want, it would definitely help us replenish our shelves and strengthen our ability to serve those who depend on us the most.”

To donate or find your nearest Salvation Army Thrift Store, please visit


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