Dis­re­spect­ful to give junk to op shops

If you’re giv­ing goods you don’t need to an op shop, make sure it is good enough to use again, writes

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS -

There’s an op shop just down the road from my house, and it’s al­ways re­ally busy. Cars park on the grass and over the curb, while an­other hand­ful are ready to pounce on any car park that might be­come avail­able.

As I wan­dered past this op shop a few weeks back, I got think­ing. Our com­mu­nity is so blessed to have cen­tres like these that of­fer cheap home­ware, clothes and vir­tu­ally any­thing else you can think of, to peo­ple who don’t have a lot of spare change.

But my thoughts abruptly changed from grat­i­tude to dis­gust last week when I walked past the same cen­tre, only to see what can only be de­scribed as junk strewn all over the front steps.

Some­one had ob­vi­ously thought, ‘‘Let’s do a cleanup and get rid of the stuff we don’t want any­more,’’ then dumped their rub­bish at the op shop. Out of sight, out of mind.

A few months ago, New­shub (for­merly 3 News) ran a story about some Sal­va­tion Army stores that had to deal with house­hold rub­bish be­ing dumped on their doorsteps vir­tu­ally ev­ery sin­gle day. It was ob­scene.

Very lit­tle of this junk was fit to put on the Sal­lies’ shelves. In fact, most of it had to be taken to the dump, and the Sal­lies had to pay al­most $600,000 a year to get rid of it.

Do­nat­ing qual­ity goods that you don’t need any more to your lo­cal op shop is a great way to pay it for­ward to your com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly when house prices are through the roof and rents are climb­ing al­most as quickly.

Win­ter is one of the hard­est times of the year for many peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties (Christ­mas would be an­other), so do­nat­ing your un­wanted but still great qual­ity stuff to stores like these is just a good thing to do.

The key words here, though, are ‘‘great qual­ity’’. They don’t need to be store qual­ity, sure, but they do need to be good enough to use again.

Think about the peo­ple who might take your un­wanted goods home from the op shop. They’re just like you and me, and they de­serve the op­por­tu­nity to fill their homes with good-con­di­tion couches, ket­tles, plates and cloth­ing, even if they can’t af­ford to buy them brand new.

Be re­spect­ful – to both the peo­ple who might take your un­wanted be­long­ings home, and the vol­un­teers who run these stores.

Many op shops post signs on their front doors ask­ing peo­ple not to leave their ‘‘do­na­tions’’ out­side, but to re­turn when the shop is open. This helps re­duce the like­li­hood of stores be­ing in­un­dated with un­wanted rub­bish they then have to get rid of them­selves.

And don’t for­get, some of your im­me­di­ate neigh­bours might like your un­wanted baby clothes, wash­ing ma­chine or spare mat­tress too.

If you’re do­ing a pre-spring­clean, post a ‘‘free to a good home’’ mes­sage on Neigh­bourly.co.nz; you never know who might be in­ter­ested.

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

Do­nat­ing qual­ity goods to your lo­cal op shop is a great way to pay it for­ward to your com­mu­nity.

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