Shutdown forces military to cancel volunteer plans

Shutdown forces military to cancel volunteer plans

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 8:18 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- People in Charlotte are feeling the impact of the shutdown in many unexpected ways.

An all volunteer group was planning on help from the military for a major move this weekend. It’s help they're no longer getting.

For years, volunteers at the Assistance League of Charlotte have helped underprivileged kids running a popular thrift shop and warehouse on Tryon. But now they're moving to a newer, better building.

“It’s going to be a gigantic project to move from building A to the new building,” Frank Weicks told NBC Charlotte. He is a member of the Assistance League, a group that works with underprivileged kids in Charlotte. They take donated household items and clothing, sort them in a giant warehouse and sell them in a thrift shop on site. The money helps feed and clothe kids, and helps pay for scholarships. Getting to the new building means moving a lot of stuff.

A volunteer, and Vietnam veteran himself, Weicks enlisted the help of some local military guys.

The Air Force, Navy, and Marine reservists were all on board - until Wednesday.

“Unfortunately we found out they’re not going to be able to participate because of the government shutdown. They are under orders not to do any community outreach at this time,” Weicks said. “The Air Force has said they can still send 10 guys to help. The others say their hands are tied.”

“I was surprised, quite honestly. We’re going lose about 30 to 40 people as a result of them not being able to participate. I'm sure it was frustrating to them also because they were ready and willing, but you know the government shutdown affects a lot of things.”

So now this dedicated group of older volunteers is trying to figure out how to still make the big move work.

“You can imagine what you can do with young and able bodied people. With 10 we’re going to do a lot. Don’t misunderstand me, were grateful for the 10 that are coming but had we had an additional 35, we would have got more done!”

The new facility is supposed to open early next month. Next week they’ll have their popular annual Baubles and Bags Sale from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. For more information, click here.

 

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