Wednesday, February 29, 2012
USAgain: Another fundraising option for schools
I've noticed these collection bins in my area lately. At first, I didn't pay too much attention, because I have already have a place to donate household items we no longer use.
But it turns out that the company that provides these bins pays money for the clothes that are collected in these bins. The company is called USAgain. They are a for-profit company that pays for gently-used items, and then sells them worldwide. They make money, the school, church or business that houses the bins make money, and the earth benefits because lots of crap is saved from the landfill.
It all sounds good. I am always interested in ways to make money for our school that doesn't require someone to get stuck with a painful amount of work. And certainly, the USAgain format sounds easy. You call, they bring a bin, you ask families to bring their old clothes... that's it!
Sigh... here's the thing: Even though it's easy, we already have too much going on. We already work with Terracyle, another green company. We collect hard-to-recycle items like Capri Sun juice pouches and send them in to Terracycle, who pays us 2 cents for each pouch. It's not a lot, but you'd be surprised how quickly the pouches pile up.
We already collect boxtops. We celebrate a panoply of things: All the regular holidays plus Lunar New Year, 100th Day of School, Read Across America Day. We sell chocolate bars. We have dances and book fairs and potlucks and teacher appreciation breakfasts and ahhh... you get the idea.
So, even though this pretty bin seems soooo easy... I just have to take a pass. Parents' brains are cluttered with too many school-related things to do.
Oh, and as I've said and I will say again, I'm sure, I LOVE thrift stores! If everyone starts giving their clothes to this company, who ciphons them away to be sold worldwide, what is going to be left to search through in my favorite shop? Thankfully, in this age of excess, I'm sure there's enough stuff to go around to keep both the thriftstores and the USAgain bins filled to overflowing.