A few weeks ago, I had the Salvation Army come pick up a bunch of extra furniture. We were donating a fairly new computer armoire, a nice baby changing table, a dining buffet/hutch, and a twin bedroom set. The twin bedroom set was fairly old, but solid wood, and one drawer in the dresser was fairly difficult to pull out. When the guys arrived, they (insultingly) inspected each item. Then they explained they don’t take any baby furniture because of the liability involved (this I understand, I guess), and that they wouldn’t take the twin bedroom set because the dresser (1 of 4 pieces) had a less-than-perfectly functioning drawer. They’re “trying to reduce waste,” the driver explained. So, yeah…for those of you keeping track, all they ended up taking was the computer amoire!
Here’s the thing that really gets me: we used those pieces of furniture for years. They work well enough to get by. It is my opinion that someone who just needs a dresser to hold clothes and doesn’t need anything fancy would pay a nominal fee for said dresser, even if it isn’t in perfect condition. What’s that expression? Beggars can’t be choosers? We were donating furniture. The Salvation Army was already spending their gas and their laborers time picking up furniture at my house- grabbing those other items and making a few bucks selling them is just gravy at that point. Or, heck, if you have to throw out one or two items in order to keep your donors happy, you should be willing to incur that cost, right?
The experience we had with the Salvation Army really put a bad taste in my mouth. This doesn’t mean I won’t donate my things anymore, I’ll just stick with better organizations. So far, Big Brothers Big Sisters Long Island has been awesome.
Have you had negative experiences when trying to donate items? Do you have any advice for charitable organizations so they avoid turning off potential life-long donors?