You've found the blog for Sandlewood Op Shop.
We are a small not-for-profit shop in Moorooka (Brisbane) run by volunteers.
Profits from the shop go towards our work with disadvantaged and less fortunate members of the community to help make their lives brighter.
We look forward to seeing you at the shop!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quality of Donated Items

We are blessed to have a wonderful relationship with Givit - Quality Giving Network- an amazing website which was created by Juliette Wright, a mum and strong believer of helping those who need it.

Recently she blogged at Giving, naturally about some of the problems charities face in receiving donated goods.

This blog entry rings so true to us!

We like to think that we can find a home for just about everything.
But there are so many times when we donations, and we literally stand there and look at it wondering "what the?".

With the recent flood, people have been giving us things in droves.  Many wonderful things.

But there's also been more than a fair share of things that absolutely, unequivocally would not pass on to anyone.

We get one solitary wheelie bin for use at the shop as part of our rental agreement.  In the last few weeks this bin has been full to overflowing by Monday afternoon!

There are certain networks that we try to utilise to enable recycling as much as possible. But, there's only so much we can do.
We don't sell rags, so any clothes that are stained, mis-shapen or have holes in them we just have to throw away!!  We often get people donating "things" with bits broken or completely missing - a coffee maker, a juicer, a blender, a vacuum cleaner!! (?) and these things are of no use to us, or any of our customers. 

Last week in particular, we received a donation which was left on our footpath - and left me totally astonished. 
It included (amongst other things)
  • a childs' stroller covered in mould
  • a childs' beanbag chair - also covered in mould and filthy dirty
  • a kettle, which was literally black on the outside from grime
  • a mattress for a cot, which had been stripped back to the foam and innersprings (there was no fabric on it and therefore it was a safety risk as a baby could easily get stuck in the springs!)
  • a single mattress which was wet and smelt of mould.
  • used pillows, that were yellow and smelly

What did this mean for us?  My brother had to take time out of his day to come and load it all into his car, drive it to my house and dump it here - where my husband then spent part of his weekend off work taking loads to the tip!! So not only did it cost us money (to take it to the tip), it also meant that 3 people had to take time out of their day/s to help us get rid of it !!

That said, we are often completely overwhelmed by peoples' generosity and kind giving spirit!

We love nothing more, than opening up donations of lovely clean, freshly laundered items, nic-nacs etc and we love the satisfaction that comes from matching those items up with people who want or need them.

Please, don't stop donating to shops like ours.  Your donations help us to help people who need it.
But please consider what you are donating. 

A friend of mine recently had a fantastic status update on Facebook which I put on our page - but I'm going to share it here too as they are great parting words.

"Please remember, if you are going to donate items, ask yourself "Would I wear this? Would I dress my child in this? Would I use this?". If the answer is no, then it belongs in the bin. People have lost enough, don't try and take their dignity as well."

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