Wiregrass Salvation Army moving forward after car crashes through building

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL  (WSFA) - There's no question that this is the busiest time of the year for the Salvation Army.

Those unmistakable bells are ever-present during the holiday season, reminding us that not everyone is so lucky.

But, it was a different sound that rang loudly outside the Wiregrass Salvation Army Thursday.

Lt. Jonathan Howell said his employees heard what sounded like a "huge explosion."

Just after 10:30 that morning, a woman whose medical condition caused her to apply the gas instead of the break, drove her car through the building.

The car also struck a customer inside.

Luckily, neither of their injuries was life threatening, but the damage to the building was significant.

Howell said, "The car just popped over the front and went through our front door and knocked out our main entrance and some glass around it."

Next to those they serve, the thrift store is at the heart of the organization.

The profits made from the sales help fund projects not only during the holidays, but 365 days a year.

Right now, Howell says, it's not safe for people to be inside, so the store is closed for business.

Meaning, they can't collect profits or provide another service that's pretty important during these cold winter months.

Howell said, "People need thicker clothes, longer clothes, and we're able to supply that need with the thrift store.  But with it being closed right now, we're not able to meet that need."

It could take weeks before the store is re-opened,  but in the meantime, he says, while the way the operate could change, their mission won't.

Howell said, "We're always looking for ways to help those in the Wiregrass area, and that won't change right now."

He hopes they'll find a way to continue to serve in the midst of the building's repair.

The Wiregrass Salvation Army serves Houston, Henry, and Geneva counties.

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