Letter: Wrong idea about charity

In response to Deb Garlock’s letter concerning “charity” clothing stores…

Yes, there are stores in Lima with “thrift” in their names that are not actually run by charitable groups. There are also those that are, in fact, charities, You are misguided in your idea of what that means.

Charitable thrift stores do provide a service to the poor of an area by making quality, gently-used items available at a low cost to individuals who cannot afford them. An important part of the income of these stores comes from those who could easily shop elsewhere. What do you think is done with the money charitable thrift stores make from the sale of clothing and other goods? Well, first, the rent and utilities for the stores are paid. After that, the funds are used for a variety of good works in our area. Depending on the charity, the money could support a food pantry, provide help keeping the heat and lights on for a family, emergency rent assistance, or perhaps provide a gas card to help with a job search. Working with social welfare agencies, an individual or family may be allowed to come in and “shop” at no charge.

If you are concerned about how a particular charity spends the money it receives from selling your donated items, all you need to do is ask the sponsoring group for a copy of their annual report. They should be happy to get a copy for you. If not- you should look for another place to donate your items.

— Irene Alderman, Elida

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