Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Dispose of a TV

I worked in the nonprofit sector for five years before burning out and turning to professional dog walking. I'm going to rant for a minute but I promise a happy ending. 

One of the things that drove me bananas was donations. At a homeless shelter with very little storage space, we could only take donations that we needed such as new sheets and towels, laundry detergent, and gift cards. Anything else that donors would argue was "perfectly good" -- stained clothing in the wrong sizes, half used hotel shampoo, or  old blankets that may or may not be harboring bed bugs -- got rejected. I tried my little heart out to find matching organizations for these donations.  More often than not, we just had to say "No thank you." Unless it was from a wealthy donor, then we would thank them profusely and throw their junk in the garbage.

Around this time, older "box" televisions were going out of style to be replaced by flat screens. All charities across the board were being bombarded with good, working televisions that no one wanted any more. We would say "No thank you," citing our space issue and donors would become irate arguing that they couldn't believe a charity in need would turn down such a generous gift.

It got to the point that many charities, even Goodwill, would post a policy on their site that "Due to an abundance of donations, we can no longer accept box tv's."

So, what is a bleeding heart tv donor to do? Throw it off a bridge, of course. While walking a German Shepherd the other day, we found this:

Well, that's one way to deal with the problem. 

Personally, I prefer this person's artistic inspiration. It's a donation to all who walk by! Seriously, though, it's pretty cool. And had I not been walking by with a dog who insists on smelling every single blade of grass, I might have missed it.

Let's all take a moment to stop and experience the world around us. Upcycle your junk into art. Contact your local homeless program and ask what donations and volunteers they need, and do it! Even if it's a little more uncomfortable than you were hoping for. Adopt the dog who has to stop and smell every other second. If we don't stop and notice the little and big things around us, the moment is lost.

Oh and I promised a happy ending. The homeless shelter bought a property all of their very own, affording them the opportunity to expand the number of people they serve. And a very kind donor provided a brand new, large flat screen tv. The rest of us can look up our local recycling centers which would be more than happy to direct us to electronics recycling services.

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