Thursday, July 30, 2009

feeling charitable

Last night I was sorting donations for a charity rummage sale event. I was also fighting back my gag reflex because Ew! Smells! I don't do well with smells. Fabric softener, perfume, mold, moth balls...but what skeeved me out the most was the sh*t people "donate to charity" instead of "throw in their dumpster." Because I'm feeling charitable, I'll pass along a few tips for when you're pulling stuff from your closet for your next donation, folks:

1. If it's underwear? Throw it away. Unless it's still wrapped in original packaging and never been worn.
2. Ditto for bras. Especially bras all knotted together with wads of hair clinging to the elastic.
3. If it has stains, it's a rag. Throw it away.
4. If it has holes, it's a rag. Throw. It. Away.
5. If it has bleach stains, it's a rag. Throw. Away.
6. If the fabric has worn away in any area, particularly the collar, wrists, cuffs or knees, it's a rag. Throw. Away.
7. If it was once white but now is a dingy shade of almost gray, it's a rag. Throw. Away.
8. If it's unforgivably out of date (like the plaid polyester stirrup pants with matching sweatshirt I found in one bag), it should not even be used as a rag. Throw it away.
9. If it smells funky and you're not willing to even wash it first, throw it away.

As for the other stuff I hauled to the garbage pile, outdated canned goods, half-used bottles of lotion and nail polish, mix tapes and old magazines are NOT rummage. They are rubbish. So please, for the love of God, throw them away.
(Green Girl goes to wash her hands again, scrubbing them raw under hot, hot water.)

I'm going in today for another bout of sorting--this time I'm wearing gloves and a face mask. It makes me wonder, if this is what people see fit to donate to charity, what do they actually throw in their dumpster? Next time I make a thrift shop run I'm baking cookies for those poor souls who do this for a living. They need a little extra love if this is what they endure.

And? I'm feeling very superior in my charity right now because the stuff I donate? Is nice, often new, just not my taste.


  1. I love shopping thrift - and yes, if it's trash, throw it out. Cookies for the thrift folk? Great idea!

  2. To your list I add the following:

    * If it's lingerie, do not donate it. The other mothers WILL look at you curiously.

    * If it has been chewed by a dog (or any other animal), throw it away.

    May I never have to preside over another preschool yard sale again.

  3. I believe the rule of thumb should be, "Would YOU wear it?"

  4. Kudos to you GG for getting in there and digging through the dirt so others can live clean - only cheaper.

  5. For a Charity Rummage Sale, I agree with the rules. But for donating to other places, I have a hard time throwing things out even if I wouldn't wear them because I always think that some kid or mother that can't afford any clothes at all, would prefer a "new" dingy shirt over no shirt at all. ;)

  6. Wow.

    That's all I have to say. Wow.

    Okay, and... some people's PARENTS.

  7. Agreed. People send JUNK. Not JUNQUE which is acceptable forms of useful stuff with a new set of eyes... but downright JUNK.

    I also do not want old coffee mugs with stains... yuck.

  8. Excellent list of suggestions.
    I helped organize a huge yard sale for our church youth group last year and couldn't believe what people pulled out of their attics to donate. I mean it's nice to help out, but donors should be required to put their names on all their items. I bet then they wouldn't just bring in boxes of junk they haven't presorted themselves.

  9. When deciding ng what to give away I always think of the line from "The Sound of Music": when Julie Andrews is asked about her ugly dress she says "Even the poor din't want this one!"

  10. That was DIDN'T. Ms. Andrews has perfect diction!

  11. I also helped run our preschool rummage sale. I frequently begged the other Mom to chop my hands off, why do people donate their funkiest things?

  12. I remember giving this speech to my husband when he attempted to put holey underwear and socks into our donation pile.

    I told these were items even homeless people knew were past their prime.

    And then I threw them at him.


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