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