HCM requests donations be dropped off during operating hours

May 16, 2013

Thrift store donations play an important role in the work of Haywood Christian Ministry with the proceeds from selling those donated items going toward helping people with medical care, food, heat in the winter and much more.

However, lately there has been a problematic development when it comes to donations that are dropped off when HCM is closed.

Interim Director John Berrong said that while the organization is grateful for donations from the community, they request that people only drop off donations during the ministry’s open hours.

“The donations that are received while the ministry is open are taken in and routed through our sorting process so that we can get them to our clients as quickly as possible,” he explained. “Recently, we have been having donations that have been dropped off in front of the building on the weekends and at night when we are closed. This presents a significant concern for us. Many of the items that have been left for the needy are stolen, broken and otherwise vandalized when there isn’t someone here to receive them.”

Often, the items left will be riffled through or strewn about, creating more work for the volunteers who open the thrift store.

“Basically, what we’re trying to say is please don’t leave items when we’re not there,” he said. “It just creates a mess for everyone concerned.”

HCM’s donation hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Another issue with some donations is the quality of the items.

Rathbone said HCM cannot sell broken, soiled or otherwise unusable items, and when people donate such items, they just have to spend time and effort bringing it to the landfill.

“We don’t have the ability to fix things, so if they’re not working, we don’t have a use for them,” he said, adding HCM cannot accept building materials or large appliances either. “If that person wouldn’t use it, if that person couldn’t use it, then we won’t be able to use it. Please don’t use us as a dumping ground.”

The items HCM is most in need of are towels and sheets, pots and pans, tableware, socks and underwear and any food items.

“If you have gently used household items and clothing that you would like to give to a good cause please bring them to us when we are here so that we can get the fullest potential out of them,” Berrong said.