On September 25, 2015

Quality donations are crucial, trash is a burden

Dear Editor,

We are all experiencing higher disposal costs at transfer stations because of state law changes.  Black River Good Neighbor Services is not immune. To generate funds necessary to fulfill our mission of providing food and assistance, we need to receive donated goods to sell in our thrift and furniture stores. During summer, yard sales increase. Often, once the sale is done, sellers bring the stuff that could not be sold to BRGNS and leave it in the donation box or on the ground outside our door. We understand that this is done with the best of intentions, but if the item did not sell in a yard sale, we are not likely to sell it in our store either.

Please realize that the unintended consequence of donations that we cannot sell is less money available for us to buy food because we now have to pay new fees when we dispose of unsalable goods. Unfortunately, this is our new reality. As a result we must limit the quality of goods we accept so that we do not diminish mission fulfillment by paying excessive disposal costs.

The best way for you to help us is to be extra careful in what you donate. This is particularly true of furniture and mattresses. Leaving a couch outside for even one night in heavy dew will ruin it.  If it smells, is torn or is badly stained it becomes a burden to us rather than a blessing. The transfer station considers mattresses and furniture to be construction/demolition waste, assessed by the pound. A wet item becomes an expensive liability.

As a result of the increased disposal fees, the BRGNS board of directors has charged our employees and volunteers with being more careful in accepting donations. They have a good understanding of what will and will not sell in our stores. Please be understanding if we refuse a donation. We are grateful that you thought of us, and that you care enough to help. Going forward as in the past, we are guided by our mission of providing help to those in need. We don’t want that mission unnecessarily diminished.

Sincerely, Peter J. LaBelle, president, Black River Good Neighbor Services, Inc.

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