We all know today’s modern mantra, is to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The rippling effect of that usually means frequenting a charity shop is high on the agenda for many folks. If the charity shop I work in is anything to go by. We are very busy with incoming goods and with hopefully satisfied bargain hunters along with those that believe in reusing and not buying new.
I have the privilege to work alongside a group of friendly, amazing, dedicated, hard-working women and men. Usually, twice a week. In my short time volunteering, I am astounded at the lack of thought put into the process of donating.
This is my opinion alone, not one that is necessarily shared by others who volunteer or work for the organisation.
Please, don’t get me wrong.
All Charity shops are forever grateful for donations to keep going with the vital work in which the money is allocated too. In the case of where I work, the money raised is used directly to care for people in the community with terminal illnesses and their families.
Here are some handy tips that you may want to take on board when sorting out bits and bobs while Spring cleaning.
Think Before You Drop Off
Charity Shops are not an alternative to the recycling and rubbish dump. Many organisations have to pay for rubbish collections so when you decide to dump the unsellable items, you are adding further monetary burden to a charity cause.
Do you have an unwanted electrical good? Well, not all stores have the resources to employ an electrician to test and tag these items.
Ask the contact person if the items you are about to drop off are actually needed.
Some stores cannot accept anything that is governed by safety standards, including prams, cots and baby seats.
Before you start to criticise how a shop is run, start a dialogue with a staff member to help shed light on how things are run and why specific procedures are in place. Each shop is run differently with varying needs and wants.
What Op-shops and Charity shops would like:
Donate items of clothing and bric-a-brac that you would give a good friend.
Something that will make the buyer proud to show off their new purchase in their home.
Washed clothing and other washable items.
What is not so welcome
Unwearable shoes or ones that you aren’t proud to wear any longer.
Personal undergarments. Seriously would you expect someone to wear your worn underwear? People do bring these items in or a regular basis.
Mouldy materials that cleaning can not remove. Some shops the volunteers will take home items to be washed, they are not paid to do this. So, please wash all donated clothing, curtains and linen before bringing them in.
That well-loved stuffed toy that your beloved child has been sucking on for the last two years.
Boxes of winter clothing when summer is approaching. Please donate it when summer is gone. There is always an exception to the rule.
Remember to Keep Donating
And before you finish your Spring cleaning to turn your annual clean-out into generous donations.
Would you give it to your friend to place in their home or to wear?