Wednesday, May 30

I'm Not Sure Stealing From Overflowing Salvation Army Donation Bins Is Stealing

The video was embarrassing for the two local women accused of stealing donated clothes from a Salvation  Army donation dumpster, and I'm sure catching them in the act and posting it as a news story will be enough to get these women to stop. I'm just wondering how bad the whole thing really is.

When I throw garbage out, I expect someone to pick it up. I'm fine if it's the garbage truck or someone in a pickup truck. To me, it's gone. Now, if I decide to donate that garbage, then I often feel it has a little more value to someone, and I'm fine with Veterans, Goodwill, or The Salvation Army getting some profit from my trash. The main goal is to get rid of it, however, and I'm basically cool with anyone who has less than myself getting the goods.

Kind of related, I've heard that the folks who work at many donation centers get the first pick of the items coming in. I'm not sure if it's free or just first dibs, but I'm not against that, either. I used to get a 25% employee discount at The Boston Store because I worked there. Everyone likes a good deal.

So these ladies went dumpster diving at the Salvation Army donation area. Actually, the video doesn't show them pulling items out of the dumpsters, but maybe they did. If they didn't, then the bags were just sitting out, waiting to get rained on. I'd blame either lazy people who donate or a system of collection that needs to be more efficient (assuming the dumpsters were full). Basically, if the garbage is left out, someone will probably take it, just like in front of my house.

Let's assume these women did pull some bags out of the dumpsters. That's wrong, I suppose. If the grandma lied about her grandkids needing clothes because of a fire, that's also wrong. But I do think we need to take this all with a grain of salt here. People were throwing these clothes away, not even concerned enough to take them to an actual donation center. And the women were taking clothes, not meth, not guns from unlocked cars, and not lawn furniture from off your patio. Even if there was no fire, and even if these women do this to sell the items at other stores, I guess I just don't care very much. In fact, I'd much rather they do this for profit than steal my lawnmower from my storage shed.

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