Shopping program caters to homebound

Jefferson City’s Salvation Army is hosting its first Shopping on Wheels event in April, delivering goods to people in need.

The program, in conjunction with The Salvation Army Thrift Store, is meant for residents who are shut in or homebound.

“Most are elderly and live alone,” said Maj. Beth Trimmell, director of special services for the Salvation Army’s regional office. “They usually have no opportunity to get out and make choices for themselves.”

Shopping on Wheels allows individuals who receive service from Meals on Wheels and other individuals to create a shopping list of needs or wants. Items can include anything that can be found at the thrift store. For example, a woman can request a red sweater in a particular size or even a clock to hang on a wall.

People in need of items are encouraged to call The Salvation Army at 635-1975 to submit a shopping list, their name, address and phone number. Shopping lists are due to the Salvation Army by April 16.

The Salvation Army’s women’s ministry coordinates the lists and does the shopping at the thrift store. The women will then deliver the goods, offering residents a variety of choices. Delivery is scheduled for April 18.

“They choose what they want,” Trimmell said. “A lot of folks do have serious needs, but some don’t. They still get a visit and an opportunity to choose things, which a lot of them don’t normally get to do.

“It really improves their quality of life.”

The Shopping on Wheels program is free of charge, and Trimmell said the organization plans on having the program four times a year, at the start of every season.

“This is serving the most silent and forgotten in our community,” Trimmell said. “This is also the utilization of our store to help the community.”

She said a lot of the homebound become lonely, and they love having the visits and the surprise of the items they get to choose from. Trimmell led a similar program at one of her previous Salvation Army appointments.

“It’s just lovely outreach,” she said.

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