To the Editor:
I want to take the opportunity to thank Cat Bryant for her letter in last week’s Hull Times so I can correct the misinformation that gets spread so easily.
First, the Thrift Shop staff and volunteers at Wellspring do an amazing job sorting through the hundreds of items that get donated every week. It is only through these kind donations and the staff diligence that we can use these items to help our neighbors in need or to resell the donations to support the work of Wellspring, including Aunt Dot’s Kitchen (food pantry), food truck, legal advocacy, adult learning program, counseling, community outreach, transportation, elder services, and other developing offerings. We strive to provide support and skills to people facing challenges to help them achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
Ms. Bryant’s statement that anything deemed “unsaleable” gets thrown in the dumpster is simply false. Our shopkeepers go through all donations to check for rips, tears, stains, etc. If the items are in good enough condition that we can give or sell them to a customer with dignity, we do so happily. If there are issues with condition, items are transferred to a bin that is picked up weekly by St. Vincent’s where the items can be used elsewhere.
The only thing that gets thrown in the dumpster is trash. Someone looking into the dumpster does not know where the items came from or why they were put in the trash, but there is always a reason.
Ms. Bryant is correct regarding yard sales. If an item does not sell at a well-publicized yard sale and then can be left outside all night exposed to weather, animals, etc., it can be assumed that it is unwanted. We do not resell trash.
We had a community member who recently climbed into the dumpster with all the broken glass, rusted metal, discarded dog bags, and general filth that one might find in a dumpster. She did this to extract a pair of shoes. Again, these shoes were put in the trash for a reason. This neighbor did not know how the shoes came to Wellspring, if the shoes had come in contact with animal waste, contaminated food product, vermin, or anything else generally associated with trash. This neighbor was told that her actions were unsafe, unsanitary, and very dangerous. I am still concerned for her well-being.
Ms. Bryant’s last comment was that she wishes that if the items cannot be sold that we send them on to families in need. We at Wellspring believe that “families in need” deserve better than filthy shoes and broken items. No family in need wants a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that has only 950 pieces in the box.
Our Thrift Shop has been serving the Hull community for more than 35 years. We do so with dignity, respect, and compassion for customers and donors alike.