Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store celebrates 1st Birthday Party with music and cake

Yvonne Gray and Tom Seaman at the Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center. Gray said the store is a fun and welcoming environment. Whether sorting donations, pricing or helping people, she loves working there.
Yvonne Gray and Tom Seaman at the Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center. Gray said the store is a fun and welcoming environment. Whether sorting donations, pricing or helping people, she loves working there. Submitted photo
Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center celebrates its first anniversary. Pictured are Yvonne Gray, Liticia Huntsinger, Tom Seaman, Peggy Epler and Susan Carlson.
Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center celebrates its first anniversary. Pictured are Yvonne Gray, Liticia Huntsinger, Tom Seaman, Peggy Epler and Susan Carlson. Submitted photo

The Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center will celebrate its 1st Birthday Party at the store, located at 700 South 4th Street, Hamburg, on Saturday, April 21, between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Two years ago when we first envisioned opening the Store, we couldn’t have imaged all of the impact it has had on the community and people’s lives in just a year and a half,” said Becky Netznik, Service Extension Unit, Regional Manager. “Our original goals were to provide a needed service to the community and maybe making some extra funds to help our social services through the Hamburg Service Center, but it has become so much more! It has brought The Salvation Army to the forefront of the local community and has helped educate others of the services that The Salvation Army offers in Northern Berks County.”

From giving out clothing for free at the local food pantries to providing life and work skills for students from Hamburg Area School District and from Tulpehocken Area School District, to giving thousands of pounds of donations to Hope Rescue Mission, to partnering with the Wernersville Community Corrections Center, Teen Challenge, and local churches such as Seventh Day Adventist, Netznik said they have touched thousands of people.

“The community has embraced us and we have embraced the community,” said Netznik. “I’m excited to see where we go in the future. If you or your organization or business would like to get involved, we are always looking for new community partners and volunteers!”

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The community is invited to the 1st Birthday Party at the Hamburg store that will feature performances by Salvation Army Brass Band members, door prizes, promotional drawings, and a bake sale, with a cake-cutting at noon. The Emergency Disaster Services Mobile Feeding Unit will be serving a free lunch of hot dogs compliments of Berks Foods, chips compliments of Dieffenbach’s Chips and complimentary Clover Farms beverages, and water.

The Hamburg Fire Company will have trucks on site to explore hands on, plus a fun crafts table for kids.

Donations of nonperishable food items for the Hamburg Salvation Army Service Center emergency assistance will be collected as well.

“We have witnessed lives transformed by putting on a “new” garment from our store,” said Susan Carlson, Hamburg Salvation Army Family Store, Store Manager. “The joy of a 2 year old putting on his first pair of shoes. The blush of a woman in a beautiful gown. The new found confidence of a suit for an upcoming court date. The appreciation of something appropriate for a funeral. Gratitude for an affordable winter coat, and many more... We thank God for the opportunity to help others in these meaningful ways. We look forward to celebrating all the Blessings of this past year and those yet to come.”

The boutique-style store features new and gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories for women, men and children, including casual, work wear, such as suits and blazers, outerwear, formal gowns and Tuxedos, nursing uniforms, handbags and purses, fun costume jewelry, scarves, and shoes.

“I love the fact that this store not only helps people with clothing, shoes and accessories, but, it helps employ those seeking part time income,” said David Burgmayer, Service Extension Unit, Director. “It helps students from area school experience helping others with their own community service projects. It brings together community and partnership of various agencies, churches, community groups. It represents hope.”

Thousands of pounds of donated items from local families and churches are processed weekly. Sales not only fund the operation of the store, but proceeds directly benefit The Salvation Army Service Extension Center programs provided to those in need in the greater Hamburg area, Northern Berks and Schuylkill counties.

A special team of staff and a network of volunteers throughout the region, referred to as The Salvation Army Service Extension Center, focus on Community Welfare programs which provide a safety net of basic needs to individuals and families in crisis.

“The store is a fun and welcoming environment,” said Yvonne Gray, Hamburg Family Store, Sales Associate. “Whether sorting donations, pricing or helping people, I love working here. We can lift up customer’s spirits by helping them out. Also, I like shop here and model the merchandize that I find.”

Over the past year, The Salvation Army Service Extension Center provided assistance to 2,400 people with around $130,000 in aid. Most notably, The Salvation Army helped 505 people with heating assistance during the winter. The Service Centers provided Christmas to more than 300 children and more than 100 senior citizens.