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The Case for Donation

The stroller in question sitting outside of the thrift store waiting for a new owner.

Last night we were driving down my block when I saw something cute and pink sitting on the top of a garbage can. I stopped to take a closer look. It was an adorable little toddler Strawberry Shortcake doll carriage. I loaded it into my car even though we have five doll strollers in my playroom. I knew it would sell in a second if I dropped it off at my local thrift shop.

It might sound sort of weird, me picking up trash to bring to a thrift shop. As my husband likes to say, I’m busy enough without adding trash picker and donation specialist to my job description. However, in this case the item was in such good shape it seemed wasteful just to keep on driving, especially since I go past the thrift store on my way to drop the kids off at camp. I left the item in my car and got rid of it this morning. It took me all of two minutes to complete the task. I pulled up out front, placed the carriage outside of the store, and stuck my head in to let the ladies who work there know that they had a new item for sale. Always appreciative, the woman at the front desk thanked me and told me it would be gone by the end of the day.

Last week I got an even better score out of the trash. A Little Tikes Giant pink toy box. The one that sells for around $100 on the company’s website. It was pristine. Not even a single crayon mark on it. And yet my neighbors up the block simply put it to the curb. Right now it’s sitting in my garage. I haven’t dropped it off anywhere yet because there’s too much stuff in my trunk right now. I’ll take care of it soon, though, and I expect –  once I drop it off –  it’s going to go fast. It’s just too nice and too expensive to spend more than a day in inventory.

When we found the toy box Big Girl asked me why someone would throw something so nice away. “Either they’re lazy or ignorant,” I told her. I’m hoping they were just ignorant and didn’t realize that there are six thrift shops located within three miles of our house:

  • Southeast Nassau Guidance Center’s Open Door Thrift shop on Jackson Ave. in Seaford
  • Grace Day School’s thrift store on Cedar Shore Drive in Massapequa
  • The thrift store at Community Nursery School on Park Blvd. in Massapequa
  • The Salvation Army in Bellmore
  • St Martin of Tours Thrift Store on 110
  • Church Attic on 110

Or maybe they didn’t realize that they could have sold the box on Craigslist for $50. Or that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, the Vietnam Vets, or the Salvation Army would have picked them up and given them a receipt for tax purposes in return. They also didn’t realize that they could have listed it on the Nassau County Freecycle page and had the box gone within an hour. Or maybe they just assumed that the trash picker who drives around with a truck picking up stuff to resell (that’s what I think he does with what he picks up) was going to take it. Still, I’m glad I rescued those two items. I’m glad they will end up in new homes and that their sale will help those in need. I’m thrilled that these items will stay out of the landfill — at least for a few more years.

2 Responses to “The Case for Donation”

  1. susan delg says:

    I have another thought as to why people put some things out at the curb: they are hoping that someone takes away their no-longer-needed goodies and gets use out of it. We put out a pile at the curb a couple of weeks ago: an old rotted out BBQ, a rusted metal table, an old nasty drawing table, and a few other things we no longer wanted, and I doubted anyone would want what I thought of a trash. Lo and behold, as I was going to bed I watched a man struggle to get this old BBQ into the back of his van, I’m surprised he didn’t hurt himself from the effort it took him to lift it. I’m glad someone took it, presumably at minimum for parts. PS, the drawing table and the metal table also disappeared.

  2. kb says:

    Yes, you’re probably right!

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