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Florida Salvation Army: No more toys!

LUTZ, Fla (Dec. 7, 2007) – In reaction to the ever-changing toy recall list, The Salvation Army is pulling all used toys from its 59 thrift and family stores in Florida.

“This is what we needed to do,” said Major Kenneth Morris, the Divisional Secretary for the Florida Division. “We want to make sure our patrons and their children are protected.” Morris’ department oversees 26 thrift and family stores in Florida.

It’s estimated that less than 5 percent of total annual thrift store income is from used toy sales. In Monroe County, where there are five thrift and family stores, the impact will be noticeable, said Major Steve Welch, Salvation Army officer for the Florida Keys.

Welch said his stores sell about $100 a day in used toys. “My concern is what we are going to tell those that come in who can’t afford to buy new toys.” Captain Thomas McWilliams, area commander in West Palm Beach, said his staff stopped selling used toys about six weeks ago. “We don’t have the staff to comb through the toys, it wasn’t worth the man power,” he said.

Pulling the toys is also a mandate from The Salvation Army Southern Territory which requested this week to pull the toys in response to the toy recall.

Salvation Army officers are instructed to remove the used toys from the shelves immediately. The initiative does not include new (boxed) or vintage toys or bicycles.

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