Thursday, September 08, 2005

Charity begins in SW19..?

Fresh from a seminar on such things the other night and with our
launch imminent, plus the initiation of our own news feed, I'm
drowning in press releases; both those we're putting out and those
we're getting in. Such immersion has made me interested in how what
is written can get re-interpreted subsequently.

So I'm wondering what happened here: <bold>Oxfam tells Britons: "Don't
give us your rubbish"


The facts are clear, and fair enough.

Seems we're a scummy lot and dump a bunch of tat on the poor old
charity, which costs them half a mil to sift. That's half a mil not
going to where it should.

The Association of Charity Shops has estimated that in total about
£4.5 million was wasted each year on the problem, and went on to ask
people use common sense in deciding whether the items are suitable to
donate to charity shops or whether they should be recycled elsewhere.

You know it's coming...

The thing is, was this the right way to go away about it?

In our high street, there are half a dozen charity shops. I've pretty
much given up going most of the big names because they really don't
give out the vibe that some stuff we didn't want but did not seem
skipworthy was, well, up to scratch. So it all goes to a local animal
shelter, who seem cheerful and happy to look, hand pick and generally
sift away. So I'm happy to see stuff go to a good home and in a good
cause, but they wouldn't be my first choice; I'm a bit more human
before animal in my charitable preferences, and a lot more teaching
and assisting than giving. Hard to teach a cat to fish and all… well,
at least better.

So I just wonder if this message a) was the right one, and b) got
broadcast as it should. I don't know about others, but frankly I felt
that I'd just give all the swanky charities a wider berth, and I'm not
sure that was the best result.

Especially as I don't think those that do drop off the real tat will
be in any way dissuaded from continuing to do so. And that means what
exactly, by way of a result? About the only positive message I could
get was as a potential consumer, that they have high standards, but
really what's incoming doesn't bother me, and I kind of expect some
quality control prior to that which I exercise on my own as I rummage

So hate to say it, but it’s simply a cost of doing business,
especially when your supplier chain is out of your control. But at
least it’s free! And there may be a chance the supply may be reduced.
Unless they're trying to get to new stuff, which is unfair competition
to local shops and away from's reuse support.

An example of unwanted goods that fell in the 'how could they’
category was a box of assorted false teeth donated on Monday to the
charity's store in Wimbledon.

Now that seemed a hoot to me. Certainly not for the bin. I couldn't
say for sure, but wouldn't it be great if instead of a problem they
spun it positively by taking a quick pic with the mobly, and popping
it on some website that catered to the SW 19 area in such matters,
especially with a FREE service for charities, and maybe lured in some
Damien Hirstesque cove with Tate Modern in his sights. he may even buy
some other stuff while browsing.

Now, if only such a site existed.. if, oh...!