Editorial: Quit hurting charities with unwanted drop offs

Some of these things do not belong here, if the sign is correct – Stephen Dafoe Photo

It is yard sale season in Morinville once again, and while that means plenty of bargains for thrifty shoppers, it also means our local charity shops are being burdened with all the crap people could not sell at their garage sales and just don’t want back in the house.

Sometimes that works out quite well. People schlep their stuff over to one of the two shops in town, take it inside during business hours, and the shop accepts or rejects those donations based on their present needs.

Sadly, this is not the way it is working again this year. Despite signs that say clothing only; despite signs that say no after-hours drop offs, illiterate or uncaring residents are dumping (yes dumping) their crap on the charity’s door step.

We recently received a letter to the editor from a resident concerned about the large pile of donations left at the charity drop off in Sobeys parking lot. Our visit there over the weekend showed quite clearly that despite a sign that said CLOTHING ONLY, someone left a car seat and a pile of other things that are … NOT CLOTHING.

Imagine our surprise Monday morning to find people had visited the Community Drop in Centre operated by the Midstream Support Society and left piles and piles of donations – everything from clothing to furniture. Having simply dropped it all off after hours, and having not covered it in the absolute crap weather that poured on the area over the weekend, local volunteers were presented with a soggy mess to deal with Monday morning. As most of it is damaged due to weather, those who might benefit from the donations are deprived of their value. And the charity has the expense of carting it all to the dump. The latter takes financial resources away from the charity and those they support in the community.

– Lucie Roy Photo

Let’s be clear, we are not speaking on behalf of the Midstream Support Society. They welcome your donations and truly appreciate them. They merely ask that donations be made Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you call them at 780-939-3953 you can even make arrangements for an off-hours drop off.

This is not the first time we’ve reported on this practice of charity bombing. Last August, the organization sent us a very polite letter to the editor reminding people of their tips for donation drop offs. As the society so eloquently presented their case last summer:

“We so appreciate the donations for without them we could not continue to make a big difference and in a small way to provide a better quality of life for those who need our help. Logically your donations keep us alive but if we have to use the proceeds to pay for the dump and gas or volunteer time it cancels your good works.”

Editors, fortunately, are given the ability to be less eloquent and a lot blunter. To that end we implore the residents of this community to stop being idiots. If you must leave donations lying about over the weekend when you know they are going to get soaked, have the common courtesy to cover them with a tarp. Or perhaps you take pride in keeping your house clean of clutter on the dime of those trying to help those a little less fortunate and those who volunteer their time to help them.


-Lucie Roy Photo

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