This has really happened a couple of time - trucks on their way to the local dump saw our store sign and stopped here to say they were on the way to the dump but is there anything that still might be usable in their haul? My first response is always Let's Look!
Have we recovered anything from those trucks? Yes! Were the items sold or donated? Both. Depending on the needs of the store and needs of local charities, items were recovered, cleaned, checked for safety and either listed to sell in our store or given to someone in need. Sometimes the person started a new consignment account and sometimes the items were simply given to the store or offered for donation. Then again, some items were not usable (safe, clean, etc) and were sent on their way back in those trucks.
Now on to a recent incident - On Monday of this week there was a crib (I assume it is) left outside our store. We are closed Mondays and Tuesdays so it was left there for two days in the elements before I knew about it. We are located in a small strip mall so that means it's presence was also in front of our neighboring businesses. It is in pieces with a baggy of hardware behind it. A lovely honey brown it might have made a wonderful bed for a child but since it's been outside and we have no history for it, not knowing if all pieces are there or if it's safe, it is not a worthy item for donation much less sale. Now I am left to haul it, clean up the front walkway, and pay to dump (or find a creative but non-traditional way to use the pieces, but in the meanwhile, where do I put these pieces??).
This is written not to embarrass the person who left it but to inform all how to work with us and understand our limitations, and to follow up on my Facebook post because I felt the need to clarify and give details behind our policies. Someone probably thought they were doing a good thing by leaving it and it could have been a good thing but the manner in which this was done lead to it being unusable.
We certainly do collect donations and after received we check safety, check functionality, sort by gender or age or season, etc, and find charities or people in need. (Need I mention we don't take in broken, spoiled, unusable dirty items.) We also take requests from charities or people in need and gather or accept donations based on specific needs. None of this is part of our usual working day. It is a decision made by Melissa and Stephanie to make the time to include these activities knowing that items need to be passed along, knowing that people need help.
How can you help? Never leave anything, consignment or donation, without personally speaking to me, Stephanie. If we don't have a home for what you have and you just leave it then we end up being storage for items (and we don't have the space!) or we must pay to do dump or recycle runs. Or instead I may well be able to point you to a local charity where you can bring your items directly or I may have to take information and get back to you when a need arises for the particular item(s) you have.
Gratitude is expressed on a daily (hourly sometimes!) basis around here. If we all work together, communicate and follow best practice guidelines, we can all make a difference and relieve, not place, burdens on others!