Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scraps For The Poor

I'm standing at the cash register at the Community Health Foundation's thrift store in Truth or Consequences, NM.

Today's find is my "new" toaster, a white Sunbeam, tremendously clean inside and, yes, it works. I plugged it in to test it out. 

While waiting for the clerk I notice a sign on her cash register: "We're looking for people to drive bags to Mexico and to the reservation."

"Bags of what?" I ask the clerk.

"Clothes," she says, while counting my change. "We send all of the clothes that are ripped or stained to Mexico. Anything we can't sell, we send down there."

So, I think to myself, we toss them our scraps.

And she continues: "They, well the men especially, don't seem to mind wearing stained clothing."

I think I'm staring, wide-eyed at her. Then I just walk away. Ashamed.

First, that someone in my thrift store community (I LOVE thrift stores) gives unfit clothes  to the poor and considers it generous.

And second, for my  silence, which endorses the discrimination.


Linda said...

I've struggled with this when donating. Are stained clothes better than no clothes? I prefer to allow the recipients to keep their pride but...

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is discrimination or shameful. What is sold in the stores helps raise funds for the ministry which helps many people in our own communities. It is better to try to sell it but if it doesn't sell, then at least make use of something that still has a use. If it's torn and can't be useful, then they make rags out of it. Nothing goes to waste.