Thrift stores always need some items, wont take others
Pallavi Agarwal | Highlands TodaySEBRING Fannie Hoppes appreciates all those who donate to her thrift store but has one plea to make: Don't drop off anything when the store is closed.
Published: June 22, 2012
Published: June 22, 2012
"They get ruined either by the weather or someone goes through them and the clothes get scattered," said the Resale Area Supervisor for Ridge Area ARC's Avon Park store.
It's fairly common for store workers to return to work after the weekend and see boxes and bags of donated items sitting on the dock behind the store.
It's a good thing if the things are still there, but sometimes the police call Hoppes about thieves trying to pocket some of the stuff.
Sometimes she catches people pilfering, like the woman who hid the things nearby and then came back to retrieve them.
"It's sad that people think they can do that," she said.
An alternative for people who can't come to the store during its regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, is to call the shop.
"We do pickup," Hoppes said. "We will schedule an appointment with you."
Thrift stores such as the one the ARC runs, the Church Service Center, the Habitat Restore store and Nu-Hope's thrift shop depend on donations to raise money for their programs, provide the community with bargains and keep their store operations going. The Church Service Center does not charge.
But not everything they get is in good enough condition to sell or is an item they even accept.
The Church Service Center, for example, does not take used fans or heaters, said Executive Director John Jeffo.
"They have to be new for us to take them," he said.
At the Nu-Hope store, broken furniture and stained clothing ends up in the Dumpster or the county landfill, where the non-profit has to pay a tipping fee to dispose them of, said the Nu-Hope store manager Katie Richey.
"If it's broken, it's dirty or it's ripped, we don't want it on the floor,' she said.
The Habitat store, which sells an array of items from couches to tiles, does not take tires, chemicals or paint cans that have been opened.
What's also on the "do not take list" for these stores are baby cribs and baby car seats.
"With baby cribs there are too many recalled items," said Habitat Restore's manager Stuart Spencer.
As far as car seats go, they have no way of telling if they have been involved in an accident, he added.
Nu-Hope will take pop-up play pens - not for kids - but for pet owners who want one for their puppies, said Richey.
There are some items that sell fast and are always in demand: towels, bed sheets, pillows and household items such as dishes, silverware and pots and pans.
"We always need beds," said Hoppes, from head boards to mattresses.
Of course, not all mattresses are accepted. Store workers may remove light stains with a stain removal machine but nothing with blood stains is sold.
"We just ask they don't smell bad, don't look bad," she said.
Sometimes, donors should use common sense when they want to give away something they don't need, Richey said.
"People don't just think," she said. "If you won't buy it, then you need to throw it away."
Richey remembered a woman who donated two bags of shoes.
The woman told her: "If it were me, I'd just throw them away."
Richey did. "They were nasty," she remembered.
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