Donating items to various local charity shops for resale is much needed and appreciated but one manager of one shop is letting the public know that items left outside during closed hours are ruined by inclement weather and are just thrown out.
“It’s discouraging to the volunteer staff to have to clean this up every day,” said Mills Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop interim manager Marg Petrick.
“We have just thrown three garbage bags full of wet clothes out that were strewn in the snow last night,” Petrick said recently of items dropped off overnight.
The volunteer-operated thrift store on Lazelle Ave. raises money for Mills Memorial Hospital and Terraceview Lodge.
Donated appliances, clothing, dishes and other items are processed and then sold.
But Petrick said about a quarter of the donations aren’t used because of the condition they are in if dropped off when the thrift store isn’t open and the weather is bad.
She said homeless folks will pick through the items outside and use it as bedding to sleep behind the store.
“We’re open 10-4 Tuesday through Saturday. It might be challenging for some people but it still doesn’t serve any purpose dropping it here because it ends up in our garbage.”
Petrick said there is also a metal drop box for donations but admits that sometimes it gets full despite being emptied daily.
“There are big signs on the door that say please don’t drop your stuff off unless the store is open,” she added.
Overall Petrick said that the store “very much appreciates everyone’s donations that are usable” but that the process could be improved if people didn’t drop off items that were damaged and dirty and refrained from leaving items outside.
In 2013 the auxiliary raised just over $106,000 for health care equipment and bursaries for health care employees. Last year, the auxiliary set a goal of $80,000 with specific goal of establishing eight bursaries of $1,000 each for students born and raised here who are now pursuing a health care field in post-secondary education.
The CoreStore on Greig which sells used furniture and appliances has had a similar problem with items left outside by donors.