The Salvation Army of Amarillo is asking for the community’s help in raising funds to replace their totaled delivery truck, which was stolen and vandalized earlier in the year.
As previously reported by the Globe-News, the Salvation Army of Amarillo had their 26ft truck stolen from their lot behind the Family Store at the end of last June. In addition to the theft of the vehicle, the location also suffered damage to the gate and the window. This damage was allegedly caused by the thieves as they stole the truck. It is believed the thieves were initially trying to gain access to the property to steal the truck, but found they could not reach the vehicle through the window, leading to them damaging the door.
The stolen truck was recovered a few days later by the Amarillo Police Department and turned over to the Salvation Army. The vehicle was found abandoned and damaged in the parking lot of a hotel located in the 1600 block of I-40 East.
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According to Maj. Tex Ellis of the Salvation Army of Amarillo, at the time the truck had sustained significant damage to the interior and has since been assessed by the insurance agency as a totaled vehicle.
“We’re doing these repairs on the property; we’re working with an insurance agency to complete them. The window is fixed and they’ve fixed the door, but we’re working to replace it with a better system,” Ellis said. “As for the vehicle, it has been totaled, and we are currently looking for a replacement, and hopefully soon as we will need it as the holiday season progresses.”
Initially, Major Ellis estimated the vehicle’s replacement value at $60,000, but due to rising inflation and a general lack of vehicle availability, the nonprofit discovered that most potential replacement vehicle prices were around $100,000.
Currently, The Salvation Army has approximately $88,000 to support the purchase of a new delivery truck and is asking the community to help raise funds for the truck while continuing their search for a vehicle in this price range that meets his needs.
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Ellis said the organization requires at least a 20-foot truck with a tail lift. The organization prefers a new vehicle because of the use they want to get out of it, but they are open to used vehicles if it meets their needs.
The Major said he hopes the vehicle can be replaced as soon as possible with the expected increase in needs over the festive period, including daily transportation needs. During the holidays, the vehicle is used to transport toys, gifts and donations from the organization’s food drives. These transportation needs are added to the daily uses of the delivery truck, such as transporting materials for his family thrift store; moving food donations for the Salvation Army shelter pantry and kitchen; as well as other miscellaneous transportation needs throughout the year.
“Everything is still open. We still offer all our services. Our refuge is open every evening; our thrift store and pantry are available. We just want to thank the community for their support, and we ask for their generous support over the next two years. As we enter the holiday season, we are asking the community for monetary donations and volunteer donations during this time to help those in need,” Ellis said.
For those who wish to support The Salvation Army in their search for a new delivery truck, you can make a general donation online at https://southernusa.salvationarmy.org/amarillo.
To make a specialty donation specifically benefiting the truck, individuals are asked to call The Salvation Army of Amarillo at (806) 373-6631 or visit them in person at 400 S Harrison St.