Friday, June 17, 2016

Giving Stuff Away Should Be Easier

Every few months I get a phone call from the Cerebral Palsy Association, asking if I have any gently used household goods that I can donate to their cause.  Often I do, but I hesitate to say "yes" because the "convenient pickup from my home" always seems to turn into a fiasco.

Items need to be boxed or bagged and put out at the front door before 8 am on the pickup date.  I have a history of remembering at 8:15 am, and rushing out with the packages.  Just my luck that I'm first on the route, so by then the truck has already gone by in a huff.

Other things that have been a pain in the butt:

  • The day the packages were definitely for sure out on time, but the driver claimed that there was nothing there when he arrived.  I promise you that everything was in order; the boxes and bags were waiting for me on my patio when I got home that day. So, unless the donation items went for coffee in the afternoon, then walked back to my patio before I got home, they were there.
  • The day that I got the packages out on time but the pickup truck broke down, so when I got home the packages were all waiting for me AGAIN.
And today, the day that I decided to be a smarty-pants and put the donations out the night before (0% chance of rain) but I forgot about the automated sprinkler system that pops up and soaks our tiny front lawn at 4 am every morning.


Fortunately I am a belt and braces kind of girl, so all the stuff (books and old clothes, mainly) was tied pretty tightly inside waterproof grocery bags.  I noticed what had happened at around 7:20 am, so I had time to drag the wet packages back inside and transfer the stuff to new bags.  (And make a new label that says "CP" for every package.  And stick them on with tape.  And drag everything back outside.)

Let me tell you, if I get home today and the packages are still there (I'm half expecting it) you will hear me growling wherever you are.  


Vanessa T said...

Oh my goodness! You are absolutely right, it should be easier! That's a lot of stuff to go through for ... stuff.

I'm at a point now where I either just walk it out and set it in front of the dumpster (because someone will take it and if they don't the trash company will) or taking it to a place where we can toss bags into a covered bin. I kind of resent companies that gives me rules for me doing them a favor, lol.

Jenny Woolf said...

By the time I reached the end of your post I was starting to wonder if it might be more convenient to pile the lot in the car and drive over to the nearest thrift shop.... but then I remembered that they usually open very short hours. Well, all right then, a garage sale.
Oh, well, no, what a nightmare. OK I suppose the pickup is best after all...

Hope they came! :)

G. B. Miller said...

Sounds like at this point its best to put the stuff out on the lawn with a sign that says "Free". Guaranteed it'll be gone when you get home.

Father Nature's Corner

LL Cool Joe said...

Whenever I can I never arrange for things to be picked up but always offer to take what I have to them. Much less drama.

I hope the pick up was successful this time!

Lynn said...

So? Did they get the stuff?

I'm lucky that I have a Goodwill donation center near my office - I just drop off.

Granny Annie said...

It is getting more and more difficult to donate these days. I understand we have to appreciate the volunteers who do the collecting but rules seem very strict. My children were moving and had a lot of very nice things, including a practically new washer and dryer that would not fit in their van. The called various causes to pick these things up and no one wold. They finally had to call a company to pick up and they had to pay the company.

wigsf3 said...

I've never called these charitable pickup services because I know they behave like this. And now I'm going to get rid of some sofas. Too good condition to leave outside. I'd like them to go somewhere they'd get used. I'd like to give them to a charity. But I'd bet that the person sent to pick it up would refuse to physically lift up the sofa and just go to the next stop.

Abby said...

Gee, I use a pickup service here and have never had problems. I often put the stuff out the night before since we have a covered porch area, and the truck always comes when they say they will. Good luck!

Snowbrush said...

I would HATE to have people call me and ask if I had anything to donate. In fact, the LAST people I would donate to would be people who called me. I don’t know if you have a car since you never mention one, but I regularly take things I don’t want to a St. Vincent de Paul store, drop it off, and get a discount coupon.

Another thing is that here in Oregon, people put stuff out by the curb all the time for anyone who wants it. I’m forever bringing home things that I get from “free boxes,” and I also put things into free boxes in front of my own house, and someone invariably takes them away. So, if I saw your stuff out by the curb, I might very well go through it to see if it was anything I wanted. Maybe where you live, that would be a real faux pas, but it’s expected behavior here.

Snowbrush said...

"But I'd bet that the person sent to pick it up would refuse to physically lift up the sofa and just go to the next stop."

Jeez, why don't you call and ask? Here, the point of having a charity pick things is that there are either a lot of them or they're big, as in sofas and refrigerators.

Sparkling Red said...

Snowbrush, my husband can always drive me in his car (I don't have a license) but I was trying to avoid asking him to run the errand. I make a point of not treating him like my chauffeur, even when he might not mind being asked.