We always have a box or bag being filled with items we no longer want, but which somebody else might be able to use.
Clothing purges add many "gently used" items to the collection. Pared-down kitchen items find their way into the box. Why did we end up with five peelers anyway?
When the gathering of items gets large enough, we put them in the car to drop off the next time we go by the Thrift Store. I recently spoke with an employee at the Pembina Highway store. She gave some guidelines on what to donate and what not to donate.
Acceptance guidelines include:
• Gently used clothing including underwear that is new or gently used;
• Books, but no encyclopedias;
• Small appliances such as toasters, kettles, lamps if they are in working order,
• Saleable furniture;
• Kitchen wares;
• Household decor items.
They do not want:
• Furniture that is ripped, stained or broken;
• Televisions, microwaves and other appliances except for those listed above, as the Thrift Store can’t tell if the appliances are in working order;
• Mattresses; and
• Clothing which cannot be sold.
The best way to donate furniture is to phone head office, take photos of the furniture and send them in. If the items are accepted, arrangements will be made to have the pieces picked up. One huge problem for the Thrift Store is having people drop off items that cannot be sold as the store has to pay to have these "garbage" items removed. The removal costs are a big expense.
The employee told me encyclopedias fall into this group as they cannot be recycled.
I visited the store recently. It is well-lit and wonderfully organized. Ornaments, stockings, knick-knacks, cookie tins, dishes, wreaths, greenery, lights — all with the Christmas theme — are in plentiful supply.
Hundreds of DVDs, CDs and even LP records are for sale. Prices are very reasonable: $3 for a DVD and $2 for a CD for example. In the same area are hundreds and hundreds of books. Children’s books are 99 cents each or five for $4. Adult paperbacks are the same prices. Hardcovers are $2.99 or five for $10.
Whether you want to donate or shop, this Thrift Store might be the place for you.
Jeannette Timmerman is a community correspondent for Richmond West.