Archive for Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Thrift stores resume accepting donations after student rush

June 4, 2002


If you were turned away when you tried to donate goods over the weekend to any of several Lawrence charities such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill, try again.

Managers of the charity thrift stores said they had to turn away donors because of a seasonal glut caused by too many garage sale leftovers and too many students moving out of apartments.

"It happens every year," said Reed Peterson, manager of the Salvation Army Thrift Store. "Normally, I hate to turn people away. But if you don't have a place to put it, it becomes trash in the neighborhood."

Baker University professor Gwyn Mellinger was one potential donor who returned home with her intended castoffs. She could not find any takers in Lawrence on Saturday. Not at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, not at Goodwill and not at the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store.

"Each place told me they weren't accepting donations," Mellinger said. "It struck me as very interesting that organizations that depend on donations weren't in a position to take them."

Officials at the three thrift stores said they were always swamped at the end of May and beginning of June  when students give away stuff as they're leaving town and when local residents in the midst of spring cleaning discard things they can't sell at garage sales.

Goodwill and Salvation Army said they had resumed taking donations Monday. Much of their surpluses were packed into trucks and sent to each organization's respective distribution center in Kansas City. From there, the items will be distributed to other Kansas City-area stores in each chain.

"We're pretty full right now," said Vince Wood, Goodwill's assistant manager, "but we're still taking donations."

Laurie Coozennoy, assistant manager for the Disabled American Veterans, said her store would start taking donations again today.

"We don't like to" refuse donations, Coozennoy said. "This is probably the second time we've had to do this since I've been here. Saturday we just got overwhelmed."

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