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ALTOONA, Pa. & SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Sheetz Inc. announced it will donate one of its former c-stores and the land to The Salvation Army in Chambersburg, Pa., which will use the quarter-acre lot for parking while determining how to renovate the 3,600-square-foot building into a thrift store, The Herald-Mail reported.
The convenience store at the corner of Lincoln Way West and Franklin Street opened in 1980 and closed in 1990, when it was replaced by a larger store farther west on U.S. 30, company officials said. "At the time we decided (to close it), the Salvation Army gave us a call and said they were interested in our property, but couldn't pay for it," said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc.
Sheetz officials estimate that two months will be needed to transfer the land, which is adjacent to The Salvation Army's existing headquarters in Chambersburg.
Salvation Army commanding officer Maj. John Brooks called the donation a "great Christmas gift." While its chapel seats 250 people, only 16 designated parking spaces are outside, he said. Moving the thrift store from its current location down the block will save the organization $20,000 annually from its lease, Brooks said. It also will bring the ministry closer to headquarters, where needs can be better addressed.
"For The Salvation Army, $20,000 is a phenomenal amount of money," Brooks said. "That's a lot of meals. That's a lot of children's programs. We can do a lot with $20,000."
Since the early 1990s, Sheetz has partnered with The Salvation Army for Sheetz Family Christmas to provide presents to children in need. Brooks told the newspaper that the company’s efforts have been quiet, but worthy of recognition.
"They're our neighbors down there, and we've worked with them closely. ... What's good for us is that we've raised the money, and the partnership with The Salvation Army is that they've identified the children in need. We go Christmas shopping for children in all six states" where we have stores, Sheetz said.
In other charitable news, children's charities in upstate New York and Vermont will be receiving more than $1 million from the Stewart's Shops Holiday Match program, according to a report by Capital News 9, a partner of the program.
Organizers said collections were up 4 percent from last year. Donations reached more than $500,000, and with Stewart's match, it adds up to $1.2 million for the charities. Holiday Match is a holiday collection program, matched by Stewart's Shops, which helps kids all year long. Since 1986, the program has raised nearly $10 million.
Stewart's Shops is an employee- and family-owned business with over 300 convenience stores in upstate New York and Vermont. The chain is based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.