Dis­re­spect­ful to give junk to op shops

Kapi-Mana News - - GARDENING -

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.

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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