Chipley- Friday, Wendy Nowell was at the Salvation Army in Chipley shopping for a new winter coat. Two years ago, she lost everything she owned in a house fire.
"Honestly had it not been for the Salvation Army we would not have been able to get back in my house," she said. "Putting a house back together is only part of the problem and the money goes so fast."
Like many others, Nowell has been a regular shopper at the local Salvation Army store. She and many others were heartbroken when they learned the organization planned to close the doors.
"You know, this is really a poor, poor community," shopper, Susan James said. "Not everybody in the community can go to Walmart, or go to Panama City."
Salvation Army officials said the were closing the store because it was losing money. But residents said, other consideration needed to be taken into account.
"I don't think there could be a good, solid reason for this store to close. In this area, in these financial times right now? A store couldn't be needed more," Nowell told us.
Customer Robert Allen Spiars seconded her sentiment.
"I really don't understand what is going to happen if they do close it down because there's so many that cant afford [to live without] it," he said. "And when you put a person in that kind of a bind, what are they going to do? That's not going to be good for the community."
Some of the customers we circulating a petition they planned to present to the Salvation Army's state headquarters.
"The Salvation Army is supposed to help people, that's what they do," James said." And they do a very good job of it right here in Washington County."
As of Friday, the store, which had been open for the past 25 years, had not announced an official close date. Copies of the petition were located on the register for anyone to sign.