JustServe volunteers with the Salvation Army in Oregon
The personnel of the Salvation Army thrift store in Grants Pass, Oregon, was overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of them when it flooded in December 2021.
Water flooded the premises due to heavy rains, causing major water damage to the building’s structure and all of the products.
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 Capt. Rick Mabie of the Roseburg Salvation Army, to Tim Juett, who is a member of the Roseburg Oregon Stake. Mabie asked if there would be anyone available to help clean up the flooded Grants Pass store that week. Juett thought of JustServe, which is a Church-sponsored website and app that connects community organizations with volunteers.
Juett already had a close relationship with Capt. Mabie, which developed into being asked to be on the Salvation Army advisory board in that area. But the JustServe team in Grants Pass wanted to develop a stronger relationship with the Grants Pass Salvation Army and had not been able to yet at that time.
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.
In just 48 hours, 40 to 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.
“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 Capt. 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 that week after the flood, and local Church members of their own accord pulled together and donated $6,000 worth of gift cards 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 will reopen at the end of May.