All year long, and especially at this time of year, people give generously of themselves by donating clothing, housewares, books, and toys to non-profit organizations such as the one I work for.
Yesterday I opened a large box and began removing the items within. The top layer was an assortment of broken down shoes circa 1980. Beneath that was a large number of men’s white dress shirts…stained, stiff, smelling of old sweat and basement, and stuck together. I started pulling them apart and was hit in the face with the dust of mold and mildew. If there’s anyone out there looking for mold stained shirts, I’m sorry to have to tell you I threw them out.
Last night around midnight I started having coughing and hacking spells, and couldn’t sleep because of it. I may be wrong, but I’m almost positive this is a reaction to inhaling that moldy dust. Most of my Christmas Eve plans have been cancelled because of this. I could follow through with my plans but I don’t have the energy.
Our organization depends on the sale of good, reusable donations to fund our vocational rehab and employment training programs. Do you seriously believe we can resell moldy clothes and unwearable shoes? And as for other donations, such as old toys that have been recalled by manufacturers, non-working electronics, broken dishes and other household items, wouldn’t it be easier for you (and your conscience) to just throw them in a dumpster? Separating this garbage from the good items takes up more time, money, and energy than you would spend hoisting a bag into a garbage bin.
There are many people who donate clothing that is clean, nearly new, and obviously well taken care of. People who donate household items that anyone would be proud to own and excited to purchase at a fraction of retail cost. Most of our customers are folks who know the value of the little money they have, and shop at thrift stores for Christmas gifts because they want to stretch their last dollars to see smiles on their family’s faces on Christmas morning. When I go through donations consisting of dog-shit filled shirts, filthy thong underwear, blood-and/or-other-body-fluid-stained bed linens, mud caked shoes, and terminally broken toys, it makes me want to hunt you down and re-gift them to you.
I believe there is a very special place in hell for people who donate their garbage to organizations such as mine. Think twice next time you bring it to our donation center. Think about the misery you inflict on a stranger when you think nothing of dumping your trash off at our door instead of just putting it in the dumpster.
And, to add insult to injury, you demanded a tax receipt from us.
Merry Christmas, you filthy slob; you greedy, thoughtless asshole.
I hope you get audited by the IRS.