Where to Give
When I was a kid, my mother would call the St. Vincent de Paul society to arrange for pick-up of various items she was donating – clothing mainly but I think books, toys and other household goods were also picked up.
I followed suit; after Steve and I were married I would call one of several charities when I had goods that I wanted to donate – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Helping Hands for the Blind and Vietnam Veterans of America among them. It felt good donating to a “worthy cause.”
Like me, you’ve probably noticed the bombardment of donation bins around town. And, like me, you’ve probably dropped clothing that you wanted to donate into the bins. It was convenient after all. It wasn’t until about six months ago that I questioned, though, just where those donated items were going.
Some of the bins are clearly marked with the organization benefitting from the donation; but others (like the one pictured) give no indication of where those items are going. This bin was unceremoniously dropped at the Verdugo Hills Post Office across the street from my office. I wouldn’t have given much thought to it except that KB at La Crescenta Pharmacy had a similar experience at his store several months ago. He was angry because one day he found a beat-up donation bin had been deposited in his parking lot. When he tried to find out who authorized it he couldn’t find anyone who said they okayed the delivery. Thankfully, it was removed within a week. However, the bin pictured (at the post office) has no identification on it – just some writing that states that it is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Bizarre.
One person opined that the unmarked bins are part of a ring that is financing its illicit operations through the collection and resale of used clothing.
Whatever the case, I think I’ll return to calling a tried-and-true charity when it’s time to make a donation and keep away from these “mystery bins.”