The Salvation Army Hilo Thrift Store flooded by Lane; closed indefinitely

August 30, 2018
David Sayre | | (808) 221-5025

Hilo, Hawaii (Aug. 30, 2018) – When managers of The Salvation Army’s Hilo Thrift Store returned to re-open the store on Monday, Aug. 27, following a closure for Hurricane Lane, they found portions of the store heavily damaged by water. Sometime between when the store closed on Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Monday morning Aug. 27, portions of the roof apparently failed and heavy rains flooded several areas. The store, located at 188 Kamehameha Ave. in downtown Hilo, is closed indefinitely to allow for cleanup, repairs, and remodeling as necessary. It is anticipated to be closed for a minimum of one month and perhaps longer.  In addition, the store is not able to accept any donations of clothing, furniture, etc. until it reopens due to lack of warehouse space to store the items. 

“It was a shock to walk into the store on Monday morning with the manager and find the roof had failed,” said Lt. Jacob Bratton, Officer and Hawaii County Coordinator for The Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps. “Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage and expected repairs, the store will be closed for at least a month and maybe longer. And, because the store is our Corps’ primary revenue stream, the closure also creates a real need for monetary donations to support the various programs our Corps provides in Hilo and across East Hawaii.”

Lt. Bratton continued, “Among the programs potentially impacted by the lost revenues include homeless outreach three times a week, after school keiki programs, and youth activities, among others. From initial assessments conducted yesterday, the store lost thousands of dollars worth of product and display racks and stands to lose much more, depending on what the environmental cleanup company determines in the coming weeks. We also are reviewing employment options and opportunities for our eight staff members.” 

The store’s closure also will potentially impact Pahoa Shelter residents using the Distribution Center. Up to this point, the Distribution Center was able to hand out thrift store vouchers to those in need for clothing, household items and furniture as they rebuild their lives. Now, with the closure of the thrift store in Hilo, the program will need to be curtailed.

“Because most residents in the Pahoa shelter have no vehicles, they aren’t able to make the drive to our other Hawaii Island thrift stores in Kailua-Kona and Honokaa,” said Lt. Bratton. “Although we won’t be able to offer thrift store vouchers anymore, our Distribution Center will continue to provide food boxes, bottled water, hygiene kits, and mosquito repellant during operating hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays.”

Monetary donations for The Salvation Army Hilo Thrift Store may be made online at 


About The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division
The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division covers the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands including Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and The Federated States of Micronesia. The Division offers a wide variety of programs throughout the islands including: adult day health services; affordable senior housing; at-risk youth services and housing; camp & conference center; family stores; food distribution and feeding programs; homeless services; The Kroc Center – Hawaii’s largest community center; preschools & day care services; social services – emergency assistance; substance abuse treatment; and work therapy & rehabilitation services. For more information, call 808-988-2136, visit, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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