I threw out a couple pairs of shoes the other day. One pair was XBoy’s that he wore into the ground over a year ago, literally since there are holes in each heel and toes. The other pair, some Merrill’s I’ve had since before I got pregnant…in 2001, that after two (term) pregnancies no longer are comfortable on my now 1 size larger feet. *ouch*

I salvaged the shoe strings from the Merrills, but as far as I was concerned neither pair were worth keeping. Now my husband, who saw them sitting in the garbage, announced that he was going to give them to Goodwill instead. I looked agog at him.

As the first (and I can assure you, the ONLY) one to notice when an article of clothing needs to be retired, which is wisdom I’ve gained after YEARS of collecting, sorting, washing, drying, folding or hanging up said articles of clothing, I think Mr. DD’s sense of quality is a tetch…warped. Every season, I try to convince my husband to reduce the number of white t-shirts – emblazoned with either Big Johnson’s tacky sayings, Fox, or Losi graphics (yes, I really am married to a 14 year old) – from 30 to 24 (just a half dozen, that’s all I’m asking). I’m lucky if I can get him to part with one.

XBoy’s growth spurt that went first o u t and then UP left him with a nearly bare closet since I was harvesting outgrown, torn, and stained clothes at the rate a Lexion 590R combine in the north 40. For you non-farm-savvy readers, that’s a lot. Ooops. Pardon me, I think my hick is showing.

I probably take a boxful of clothing to Goodwill (or Salvation Army depending on what end of town I’m on) a few times a year. I wash and very neatly fold what can be washed and folded. If it has a hole in it, I try to mend it. If the zipper is broke, I get it replaced. If I can’t fix it, it doesn’t get donated. Mr. DD on the other hand, doesn’t quite understand why I put the effort into it. Can’t they wash/mend/fix that stuff themselves?

Places like Goodwill and Salvation Army should not be dumping grounds for stuff I wouldn’t make my own kids wear, yet people take their mildew and flea infested sofas and dump them in the back of the stores all the time. Mattresses of questionable smell and color are “donated” at night. Old tube-televisions with frayed cords that don’t even work are left daily because some people think they are the perfect “project” for somebody with some free time and spare change to fix.

Let’s just take a look at that last statement: free time and spare change. Right, because that’s EXACTLY what we all have, especially those who find themselves thankful for the services Goodwill or Salvation Army provide, Free Time and Spare Change.

So back to Mr. DD and his ridiculous suggestion that I give XBoy’s torn and worn shoes to Goodwill. His argument in this case was they’re probably better than what some kids have to wear. While that may indeed be true, then instead of giving some poor kid an opportunity to wear just slightly less than passable as footwear shoes as opposed to barks of tree ducktaped to their little feet, just go out and buy an inexpensive pair of NEW shoes and donate them. Don’t assume the people who shop at Goodwill are THAT desperate or have that little pride.

Give. Give generously. But don’t give generous amounts of crap just because YOU don’t want it anymore.

*trip -THUMP-bump*

Erm, sorry. That was me falling off a soap box I didn’t know I even climbed on. Silly me.


  1. I feel the same way, and am horrified when my husband, who ought to know better, asks why we are throwing things away instead of donating them, and I’m looking at him in horror.

    Because all the stuff he wants to donate? Utter garbage–broken toys, old leftover crap, worn out shoes and clothes that I would never ever have anyone wear.

    I donate a lot to Goodwill, but like you, it’s always clean and wearable and usable. If it’s a really nice thing, almost new, and has the instructions, etc. I give it to a woman’s shelter nearby because if i drop it right off to them, then I can ask if they will use it or not. Like car seats? They won’t take them unless they can confirm no accidents and it has all the parts. That’s where our baby car seat just went.

    Goodwill spends a LOT of money on garbage haulage. Terrible.

  2. You know, I was in Goodwill the other day. At the rate my stepkids are destroying clothes (and I do mean destroying), we’ve decided to supplement what we buy them with Goodwill jeans, since I won’t get as upset when those get destroyed LITERALLY a week after I buy them.

    But I was shocked to see – EVERY pair of pants I picked up had holes in them. SOme mended, some not. But there’s no point to me in buying them with holes – because that’s what we’ve got at home!

  3. a loong time ago in a galaxy far far away… aka: when I was barely 21 and had just left my abusive ex with no job, no home and a barely 1 yr old baby- I was a welfare snob.

    I HATED what the second hand shops wanted me to spend on REALLY shitty clothes. I REFUSED to buy used shoes at all.

    Thank you from the 21-year-old lonely, scared, and dirt-poor me for the compassion to care what you’re taking to goodwill.

  4. I am going to use agog in a sentence the next time I get the chance!

    We have those shoes, too. I sneak them into the trash. They get pulled out. I sneak them back in.

    But they’re my favorites!

    But they’re crap!

  5. My sister and I had this discussion recently. She argued that they took torn things it for rags, but I was told by a Sally Ann worker that they have to pay to haul away the garbage. I think you have to be sure that they take rag suitable stuff.

  6. Most embarrasing goodwill story.

    I went through the boys closets, under the beds, behind dressers, and anywhere else you can imagine boys would stuff clothes, both clean and dirty.

    Yeah, you guessed it. I had them all in bags to take to the laundry room and for the first time in his entire life, BigD decides to be “helpful” having heard me mutter something about donating…he grabs the bags when I am at the store and takes them to goodwill.

    We are talking smelly, stinky, holey clothes.

    I was mortified.

  7. A few years back, I did some research and supposedly there are places that will take your unwearable clothes and turn them into rags for industrial use. I haven’t found a place that will actually take these clothes and what “industrial uses” unwearable clothes might be good for, but I have bags and bags put away in little used corners of our house, ready to go in case I ever figure out where to take them.

  8. I give away a lot of stuff to Goodwill, but I throw away the stuff that I’m fairly sure no one wants. If it’s clothing, it becomes a rag. My issue with our donations is that my husband wants to claim a million dollars for every item on our tax returns. Like his slightly faded old long sleeve polo is priceless because it wasn’t bought at Walmart. I have to rein him in on that stuff – but then, I do the taxes, so it doesn’t really matter.

  9. ALSO……
    I only have to donate my clothing to Goodwill as the kids’ clothes get handed down to my friend Jill (formerly known as “pregnant co-worker”) Who has a 3y.o. daughter & 1 y.o son.

  10. I have a lady here at work who has a 9 year old grand daughter. Pat is always bringing in bags of clothes that don’t fit Ashley anymore for Maggie.
    While I genuinely appreciate the hand-me-downs from G*p, Gymb@ree, Children’s Pla$e, etc….please don’t include panties, t-shirts with yellow armpit stains, or sweatpants with “JUICY” written across the ass.

  11. AGREED!!! If isn’t something I would buy second hand – I don’t give it to them. It has to be something usable or wearable.

    On the flip side – I have bought stuff from there that was stained – it was a quarter sale and the stain came right out…

Leave a Reply to PottyMouthMommy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s