BEATRICE - The winter time is one of the busiest times of the year for shoppers at the Salvation Army, making it equally as busy for employees.

Staff sees clothing items come in more frequently, but recently, Hope Burris and her staff at the Beatrice Salvation Army have received items they can’t accept.

“We absolutely do not take mattresses or broken bed frames, box springs, medical equipment,” Burris said. “Those types of items we cannot take here.”

However, not everyone was aware of those rules. Late last week, a large, severely used mattress showed up at the back door, after hours, said store manager Ruth Horton.

“It came Friday night,” Horton said. “I sent Ruth a picture of it so she knew what it looked like.”

When items such as mattresses show up, it creates more work for Salvation Army employees. With a back room already filled to the brim with donations, they take up space and cost the business a dump fee. Additionally, Burris says they’re just plain unsanitary.

“First of all, we don’t know the condition of the mattress… What’s on it, what’s been on it, if it has infectious diseases,” Burris said. “Bed bugs can be a big issue so we just cannot do that for the people we serve here.”

Another thing to note is when you can and cannot donate. The Salvation Army only accepts donations during regular business hours. Burris explains why donations cannot be accepted when the store is closed.

“It creates a massive mess in the back of our store,” Burris said. “Then, other people come, they loot through it, take the donations from outside… and then the donations don’t even make it into the store because other people have already rooted through it.”

The Beatrice Salvation Army is located at 120 S. 7th St, and is open Week days from 9:00 am-noon and 1:00 pm-5:00 pm.