Rescue Mission feeling the pinch

Rescue Mission feeling the pinch

The Times: Published: Monday, December 20, 2010

For most of the last century, the Rescue Mission of Trenton has generated a substantial portion of the funds needed to operate its programs from the resale of items collected through its fleet of trucks and collection boxes at key locations in the community.

Last year, industrial salvage and store sales generated approximately 24 percent of the Mission's total income, down from more than 40 percent of total revenue at certain points in the Mission's history. The decline recently has been, in large part, the result of a "perfect storm" that has hit the mission.

Over the past two years the Mission has seen a substantial reduction in donations of goods to the Mission Store, especially wooden furniture, televisions, appliances and men's clothing. Clearly, people are keeping things much longer.

"Not only have our in-kind donations dropped by more than 35 percent, but we have also seen a substantial reduction in store sales," said Doug Liebau, Rescue Mission Director of Entrepreneurial and Training. "Nowadays our customers do not have a lot of disposable income because of job losses and reductions in hours. The vast majority of our customers struggle to make ends meet."

"That's one of the reasons that we keep our clothing prices so low," he continued. "For example, you can pick up a men's flannel shirt with name-brand blue jeans for only $5.98. Add work boots for only $3.99 more. For women, a name-brand women's jacket with paisley blouse, matching leather belt, leather boots and purse are available for only $13.97."

If you are sitting on a stash of clothing, linens, blankets, sheets, towels or shoes, contact the Mission today. They are especially interested in group pickups at area companies, religious institutions, fairs/farmers markets and community and family gatherings.

Call the Rescue Mission at (800) 528-8825 or go to and the Mission will arrange to get a truck out to your site.

Funds from this year's Holiday Appeal will be used to support the Rescue Mission of Trenton's broad range of programs for the homeless, the hungry, the transient and the addicted.

The Rose and Louis H. Linowitz Charitable Foundation, a longtime supporter of The Times Holiday Appeal, has pledged to match the next $5,000 raised by this year's campaign, challenging Times readers and area organizations to be generous this holiday season.

To make a donation in support of the Rescue Mission of Trenton, please make your check payable to The Times Holiday Appeal and mail it to Times Charities Inc., P.O. Box 416045, Boston, MA 02241-6045.

Donations to The Times Holiday Appeal will go directly to the designated nonprofit organization without the deduction of overhead expenses.

All gifts will be acknowledged in The Times. Anonymity will be granted if requested.


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