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Austin Salvation Army Turns Trash To Treasure

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 08:20 PM CDT

Mondays at the Salvation Army warehouse are busy. "Starts here and then fans out to the four stores," said Major Dewey Alderson. But not everything you donate goes right back out to one of the four Salvation Army Family Stores to be sold.

A quarter goes to the shop to be refurbished. The more damaged stuff goes to the as-is section to be auctioned off for money. Damaged clothing gets baled up and sold for rags at 30 cents a pound. Last year, it all added up to $6.7 million.

All of it funding the adult rehabilitation center for men addicted to drugs or alcohol.

"We do breathalyzer, we do random drug tests, they have classes they have to attend along with work therapy, they have to go to chapel services, they have to go to recovery services, we do a lot of recreation with them, a lot of different items along that line," Alderson said.

It's a voluntary 180 day program Major Dewey Alderson says really works.

"Because we care. He's not a client; he's a guy in the program. He has a name. He has a family," Alderson said.

While it's free, each has to work.

"They do 40 hours a week and process these items. They're the ones that have to do it, we don't get federal funds, we don't get United Way funds or anything else for this program," Alderson said.

While donations to the Salvation Army over the summer months have been very strong, sales here at the family story have not and that could be a problem.

"We'll have to make decisions about special things we do with the guys. I take them to UT football games; we go bowling a lot of times. We'll just have to make decisions on that," Alderson said.

While Major Alderson can't explain the drop, with 132 men depending on the program he hopes with more advertising and your help, it'll turn around soon.

For more information:

By Erica Miller

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Austin Salvation Army Turns Trash To Treasure

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