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Friday, November 30, 2007

"Gently Used"...

As I have mentioned many times, I work at a domestic and sexual violence center. We operate a 24 bed shelter, have legal advocates that help with injunctions, go to court, etc. We provide group and individual counseling, both adult and child. We have a 24 hour hotline, provide training and education to community organizations, law enforcement, medical personnel, whoever requests it.

We are funded through grants, both federal and state. We receive funding from private foundations and donations from individuals. We do fundraisers, boy do we ever do fundraisers...everything from Clam Bakes to Wine Tastings, from Fashion Shows to a Peace Breakfast. That is my job, grant writing and events...Development Director.

Even with all of that, we still would not be able to stay in business without our Thrift Store. Our program participants are able to shop for free at the Thrift Store. We have furniture, household items, clothing, just about anything and everything they would need to start their lives over. Those items are also offered for sale to the public at greatly reduced prices. I have found some great deals there and most of my suits are purchased there.

We have two volunteers who take our truck out in the community to pick up the larger items. We advertise that we accept "gently used" items and furniture in "good condition".

Now, I am not sure what part of "gently used" or "good condition" people don't understand. You would not believe some of the things we receive. Clothing in bags that are mildewed, or worse yet smelling of cat spray! Ripped, dirty and filthy items. And our volunteers have to sort this crap. Then we have the TV's and computers...they swear they work and they don't. Or the wonderful bedroom set...yeah right don't get me started.

We have a huge construction dumpster that we use for the garbage, we also have a burn pile that we use for that furniture that is destroyed. Of course, the TV's and Computers and monitors are a different story. We have to take them to the dump and yes, they charge us. We are charged by the garbage company when they pick up the dumpster.

So what is the reason behind this rant? This year, when you are cleaning out your closets, when you are looking to donate items. Please be aware, please be honest, don't send your garbage to a non-profit. Throw it away yourself. Don't make us pay to get rid of it.

8 comments:

Bluepaintred said...

this should be printed up and delivered to every mailbox, everywhere so people understand.

Miss Britt said...

Ditto BPR

Mrs RW said...

RW and I are downsizing. By that I mean that we don't need a family room to be the family room - it's only us right now. You wouldn't believe how many calls I made to find someone who would take a 3-piece golden pine wall unit, and a matching sleeper sofa, loveseat and chair. It's in such good condition that I would've been happy to keep it if not for the above. A whole room ready to go...but it took forever to find an organization that wanted it.

Tug said...

There's a thrift store here in Hell that tries to sell everything you throw away - I swear. I feel dirty every time I leave there...

I finally just quit going in - duh.

Not a Granny said...

blue & Miss Britt-about twice a year I try and put something in the newspaper...

Mrs RW-sure wish you were in our area.

tug-we really try to only sell the better "junk". Only because we really believe that the women and childre we serve deserve the better items.

Ms. Understood said...

I used to work at the local domestic violence shelter here and someone called once to donate panty hose. She said she had about 50 pairs. The staff person was thanking her and then just making general discussion asking if she got them at some kind of closeout or something. Turns out no, they were hers, they were used, and they had runs in them. The lady felt like the residents should be happy to get hose and that it shouldn't matter that they were damaged and used.

It is just hard to believe some peole.

Stacie said...

I find that reprehensible! When we were moving from our somewhat large home in CT to less than half the space we have now, we took trailer loads of stuff to the dump AND to the thrift stores. There were some things we had that were still "usable" but just not nice enough to donate to the thrift shops, I couldn't imagine people just treating it like a dump. That makes me so angry...I hope someday those people are in need, how will they like it that only "trash" is available to them that other people donated. Geez...some people!

I hope people read this and take it to heart!
Stacie

Divalicious said...

The fact that people can suck so bad is a buzz kill. I'm reposting your post on myspace.
xoxox