I'm boycotting charities.

Today I went to yet more thrift-stores looking for furniture and I just got totally upset. Yall, I'm gonna confess something shameful here: the thrift store made me cry today. Why? I'm glad you asked...

I can not afford anything there. Thrift stores are not what they used to be. I've been to at least 15 just this week, so don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. Today I was in the salvation army (one in the ghetto) and they had a table and chairs that wasn't even in good condition for FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. They also had some chest that had been donated from a furniture store that would have been perfect for me but they were 200 dollars. And I found myself talking to a lady about it and she agreed that they just aren't serving the poor like they were originally intended anymore. And it upset me. For one, I'm under a lot of stress at the moment but for two it kinda breaks my heart.

Everything in there was donated to the store for free. Good people (and also companies -- target and many furniture stores donate brand new merchandise to charity stores) took their things there and gave them to the charity so that they could pass them on to people who needed them. But the people who need them can't afford them. What gives them the right to take these donations meant to help people and sell them for such outrageous prices? The furniture in these stores (the old -- sticker covered - worn down furniture) is pretty much the same prices you'd pay for them new (unless it's something from the 20s with cat piss stains on it). And I was so angry because I've donated to thrift stores all my life. Two days ago, I dropped off 5 bags of clothes. Not ratty clothes or much used clothes -- good cloths. Clothes that it hurt to part with because I knew it was a couple of hundred dollars I was throwing away. But they no longer fit me so I passed them on to someone who can use them. But did I? The store will mark those up and even at 4 dollars a garment (they charge more) they would still make at least 400 dollars off of what I donated. And I donated it so that someone who needs them can have them -- not so that the store can make 400 dollars. And then I turn around and am in need and I've been to all these stores and I can't afford anything they have. Please don't think I'm exaggerating that these stores are selling these 100% free-to-them pieces for hundred of dollars. And this isn't one store or two stores or even 5 stores. This is every single one I've been to. I saw a chest in one of them today for 450 dollars! And they won't come down on their prices either. You show me someone at the poverty line who can afford to drop 400 dollars on a table. I dare you.

I was speaking with this woman in the store and she was agreeing with me (she couldn't afford the clothes she wanted) and I honest to god started to cry. And I'm not even poverty. I can handle sitting on the floor and I'll be alright. But what about the people who cant? What if I had a child and was trying to do this? I'm not looking for free handouts -- I have 200 dollars to spend and that should be enough -- but it's not nearly enough. I've contacted charities and churches and been to all of these stores and all I can think is that they aren't helping the people who truly need their help.

I honestly wish I could go back and get those bags of clothes and take them to a church who will actually give them to people who need them and not to people who can afford to shop somewhere else. Now please understand that I have no problem with them charging money -- they have to pay the bills to have the store. But I have a big problem with them taking a bag full of shirts I just gave them for free which I intend for a person in need and marking it to sell for 25 dollars. When you can buy things cheaper new at a furniture store or Target then theres a big problem.

I'm posting this because I think that you should know how these places are operating. And I want to urge you to take your future donations to a church or some other charity. I know it's easy to take stuff to goodwill or the salvation army -- hell, hannah home will come pick it up for you -- but now that I've seen where my donations actually end up, I will no longer support these charities. From now on I will take the extra time to find a church who will donate freely to people in need.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree 100%! Seriously, you should send what you just wrote to some of the news reporters. They're always trying to make someone feel bad. Maybe this time they can shame the thrift stores into changing their ways. I bet all the people who donate stuff to them don't have a clue what's going on!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know one bedroom furniture store.

4:53 PM  

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