You can’t know for sure, but you can take an educated guess why they do it. Just outside the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store, there’s a large old universal gym in pieces. It’s broken. Heavy stack-weights are piled on top of the bench. Whoever put it there didn’t have any trouble loading the heavy items into their vehicle, or unloading it and dumping it outside the thrift store when nobody was around. Driving it to the landfill and paying to dispose of the heavy item, however, was too much of a burden to bear.
Signs outside the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store clearly list all the items they don’t want. Garbage, of course, but also big, bulky furniture, computer equipment, mattresses and broken-down items that are of no value to anyone, to name some.
Nevertheless, the piles of junk just keep coming, and it’s costing the volunteer-run charity organization dearly, a message the shop’s public relations volunteer Patti Larson is trying to get out to the public.
In a recent one-year period, the hospital auxiliary society donated just under $105,000 to a variety of local charities. They are a charitable organization; they donate all of their profits to local causes. However, their annual garbage hauling costs total about $8,400.
Paying for all that hauling means less money for organizations they donate to, such as the food bank, infant development programs, children’s day camps, the hospice society and of course Queen Victoria Hospital.
They’re asking the public to help by paying attention to the signs and only donating accordingly.
New thrift shop manager Sheila Combs’ first day was one of the worst so far. It was in early May, just after moving day at the end of the ski season.
“It was out to there,” Combs says, pointing towards the edge of the parking lot. Broken sofas, garbage, stained mattresses — you name it. Volunteer staff struggled to sort it all out and were stuck with the bill for hauling some of it to the dump.
Public education is part of the issue. Old broken stereos and other electronic equipment can now be recycled at the bottle depot for free, for example. If you’re not sure the shop will want your donation, you can always bring it by during business hours and ask them.
If common sense tells you it’s worthless, then do the right thing and don’t burden them.