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Salvation Army Wholesale

Use money from second-hand stores to buy discounted merchandise
  [vote for,

The reason many of the homeless are unable to pull themselves out of hardship is partly because of their self-esteem. Has anyone been into any of those second-hand stores lately? They are filled with 1970's leisure suits, toys with missing pieces, broken furniture and one torn sneaker. How is a person supposed to feel good about one's self and face hardship when the charity you are getting would be refused by the UN??

This is my proposal. I know there isn't alot of money to throw around, but I have been out looking at unclaimed freight and cargo sites (something I saw on TV) and there happens to be large shipments of usable products for 70% of retail prices. How come the Salvation Army doesn't go out and purchase these pallets of clothes, toys, shoes, food to use at their shelters? The prices would be discounted for less-than retail. The store would be able to charge $1-2 more for costs. Make some money for the next pallet purchase. Shipping would be tax deducted. Have freight companies sponsor Salvation Army locations in their city. Tax write-offs.

I would like to hear what you think. I know this has probably been thrown around, but I donate as much merchandise as I can. Children's clothing, baby products, furniture. If the products I think of donating are crap, I try to fix them or just trash them. Who wants a broken car seat?!?!?!

puckcontroller, Sep 09 2003


       Hmm...70% of retail is still alot more than $1 or $2 per item that goodwill charges. Salvation army, if I'm not mistaken, gives stuff away because nobody wants it anymore. You suggest taking their profits to buy bulk clothes and sell them wholesale. The profit margin of goodwill and salvation army is practically nil. Many of the employees are volunteers, and the money they take in typically goes towards rent and utilities for their facilities.   

       If your choice today is eat and wear out of style clothes or starve and wear stylish clothes, I think you'll chose to eat. At that point, pride has little to do with it.
Freefall, Sep 09 2003

       I will resist the urge to activate myself in this discussion.

Mainly because I wear leisure suits most of the time...
DeathNinja, Sep 09 2003

       p.c., I suspect the reason so much trash ends up being donated is that some people realize they can donate a broken car seat, for instance, get a receipt for "car seat," and the IRS has no way of knowing it was broken, so the donor takes a full tax deduction for it.   

       Donating useful things is a better idea, but a still better idea is donating cash, or something new...the real value in giving is not so much what someone else can do with what you no longer want, but what happens to you when you sacrifice for someone else in a way that actually costs you something.   

       And while it certainly seems that "there's not a lot of money to throw around," in fact, Americans (I don't know about other cultures) are pretty stingy givers. Even in churches, where there's reason to expect 10% of income, the actual numbers average less than 4% (it's been some time since I've seen the numbers, but I think they're actually closer to 1-2% in churches). So ostensibly, there *should* be a whole lot more money to throw around.
beauxeault, Sep 10 2003

       [DeathNinja] Tell me it's not true. You've ruined my mental image of you now. (sob, sob...all my dreams and fantasies....gone...GONE).
squeak, Sep 10 2003

       [Freefall] Yep, you are absolutely correct. A large number of the donation centers get filled up with trash. Instead of having a moving sale or taking the time properly dispose of things, many people look at their "stuff" and say "I'll bet someone could use this" without realizing that they themselves stopped using it over a year ago because it was broken. So they pack it up, drive down to the local salvation army corps (which, by the way, usually do NOT take donations -- the thrift stores / ARC usually take in the donations). Well the Officers (administrators of the corps) usually then come in in the morning, look at the wonderful pile of neato things, and then have to call someone to help them move it from point A to point B (insert cost), then the thrift store moves it from B to C (most cost) IF the item is usable its priced and put on the floor to be sold. Unfortunately, most of the stuff isnt usable.   


       The Salvation Army works on donations and the kindness of the human spirit. There really isn't a whole lot of overhead to pay someone to scope out the pallets of stuff / move those things / price those things, then sell them.
blrogers, Sep 10 2003


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