Michael Nygaard, Janell Malpert, Fargo, letter: Consider the quality of thrift store donations
The Forum's recent reminder to the public that local thrift stores may be able to use items otherwise designated for removal during Cleanup Week was greatly appreciated. The Arc Attic Treasures would like to take this opportunity to educate donor...
The Forum's recent reminder to the public that local thrift stores may be able to use items otherwise designated for removal during Cleanup Week was greatly appreciated. The Arc Attic Treasures would like to take this opportunity to educate donors on the types of donations we are unable to sell in our thrift stores.
Proceeds from The Arc's stores benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities. That being said, we look at each donation in terms of the money it can raise for our mission. Unfortunately, items with animal hair, rips, tears or stains are very poor sellers. In the past, we have tried to sell those items anyway with the attitude that "someone will by it." Years of experience has shown that items of poor quality tend to sit on our floor for a long time and take up space that could be used by nicer, better quality items. We eventually end up throwing out those items and paying for the cost of their disposal.
As a general rule of thumb, The Arc is unable to sell items that aren't in working condition. While we do have some volunteers on hand to test basic items like lamps and hair dryers, we just don't have the manpower to trouble-shoot broken items and make repairs. Some other items that are difficult to sell include construction materials, metal desks, console TVs and encyclopedias.
Over the years, thrift stores have become known as places for people on low incomes to shop. In reality, however, these stores are open to people of all income levels. While some thrift stores do benefit people in need, others have the purpose of raising money to support other missions, such as programs for people with developmental disabilities.
We hope members of the community will continue to keep thrift stores in mind for donating their gently used items. We suggest they call ahead if they are unsure about donating a particular item and make plans in advance if they want their items picked up. We also recommend asking questions if they wish to learn more about the mission their donation will benefit.