Donations – Pack to Help!

As most everyone knows, donations are what helps us help others … but do you know what we do with the donations?
When you drop something off, our awesome crew members on the donation dock do an initial sort of what you bring. They organize things in to categories so that the wonderful department crews can get your donations ready to go into the store. It reads like a simple process when we put it like that, but in truth, it’s a process that requires a lot of work and focus.

Our Donations team has a lot of decisions to make as they sort items. Does it go to Housewares or Seasonal? Crafts or Office? Is it considered a Toy or a Sport? Is that pottery or a planter? Does it go to Fabrics or Linens? Honestly, if you would see all the category options and know all the qualifying factors for each category, well, you would understand why our donation crew is exhausted at the end of the day!

Recently, when dropping off a donation, someone asked how the donation team keeps up with everything and if anything made it easier. While they never really thought about it in depth before, the team discussed the question as they worked. It didn’t take long until they had some answers. So, on the off chance that the person who asked reads these posts, we thought we’d share the answers here. And really, it’s helpful information for all of us!

“It’s always nice when people put their shoes separate from everything else.”

Yes – shoes is one of the categories and the team often has to dig shoes out of bags and boxes of clothing. Also, shoes can soil clothing, so keeping shoes separate is helpful for everyone in the process.

“When large bags are crammed full, they get really heavy. It can be difficult to get some of them out of the bins.”

Yes, sometimes, less is more! If you ever need boxes to use for your donations, let us know. Chances are we can help you!

“We get a lot of broken bins and things. We don’t like to throw them away, but we can’t use or sell them, so we have to put them in the dumpster.”

We have to pay to have our dumpster emptied. So every time we have to throw something away, it costs the organization money. That cost takes away from our mission of helping people. So we ask everyone to remember that if it’s broken, we can’t fix it. We will have to throw it away just like anyone else would.

While the donation team had more to say on the subject, the basic theme of their answers was just awareness. They wanted us to help make people aware of the process and all that goes into making it work for everyone. “Most people want to be helpful”, the donation team leader said, “and when they understand the process, it’s easier to know how to help.”

We hope this little insight into what we do and how it works was interesting for you. We certainly appreciate all those who choose to donate to our store! Many people are helped because many people help!

One more note, we are adding to our team here at Gift & Thrift and Book Savers of Virginia. So if you’re interested in being part of the process we described, be sure to stop by and fill out an application or find the job listings on … Come help us help others!