Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Red Collection Boxes

I have been meaning to do this post for some time but let more interesting topics get in my way. I noticed these red drop boxes in different locations around my town two years ago. Knowing Goodwill Industries, used red boxes for decades in the St. Louis area, I assumed they were Goodwill boxes. I always take my donations to the local Goodwill Outlet so I had never stopped at a drop box. One evening last fall, on a walk, I stopped to photograph the box sitting across the street from the Elks Club. I wanted to add it to my file of red items for future memes. As I neared the box I noticed some fine print which said items donated were not for charity but to be sold for profit. I went home and looked up the website on the box. Lately, I have begun to see some blue boxes with the same tiny disclaimer about being for profit. Today, I found a new green and white box sitting on the corner of the shopping center just like the red and blue ones.

If you Google this company, or collection boxes in general, you will find dozens of newspaper articles, blog posts and warnings concerning these boxes. Be aware that not all clothing donation boxes are for charity. Some are misleading for several reasons: First, they are often placed near charitable thrift stores. Second, they are often designed to look like boxes used by charities. Third, I learned for-profit companies are reselling donated items to consignment shops, textile recyclers and even jobbers in other countries who resell for huge profits. These for-profit companies claim, on their boxes, to donate large sums to local charities and civic groups but, records show, they actually donate a tiny percentage of their profits to charitable causes. Some as low as one percent. This practice is misleading at best, outright fraud at worst.

I can't prove or disprove any of the things I found on the web, but please, choose whom you give your items to carefully. Donating your unused clothing is a good thing to do and makes sense. you help a charity like Goodwill or the Salvation Army while cleaning out your closet.

I have also learned that some city councils are considering ordinances to regulate these collection boxes. I certainly would be in favor of it.

I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday and Rednesday.

Mary at "Work of the Poet" hosts Ruby Tuesday. Rednesday is a Wednesday meme hosted by Sue at "It's a Very Cherry World." Both memes are dedicated to the color red. To join the fun or just check out what Red others are excited to share visit Mary and her friends at Ruby Tuesdayand Sue and her friends from Rednesday


  1. Hi - I see those types of donation boxes around here too -- some big yellow ones. I agree ... I prefer to be choosy about where I donate, and I don't like being misled.

    You have a nice blog --

  2. Thanks for the information....I too have seen them around my town. I always donate directly to the Goodwill store.

  3. That is wrong! So wrong! Thank you for the information -- I'll watch out for those; we donate to Goodwill whenever we clean out the closets (in our teeny homes we can't buy anything new unless we throw something away first).

    I just now noticed your hat parade slide-show; it is adorable,, I'm impressed with your talent!!!

  4. Stopping by to say hello and wish you a Happy New Year a little late.

    I haven't spotted any of those kind of boxes in my area - yet. I usually donate to Goodwill or the Humane Society thrift store.


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