Behind the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Dawson Creek is a stack of mattresses and other heavy furniture that Ministry Unit Leaders Carlos and Evangelina Galvez said would require at least a day's work to dispose of - not to mention the costs incurred.
"People are not just bringing clothing in a bag, they are bringing furniture that's not good to us," said Mr. Galvez. "There are a lot of people who use it as a dump."
Donations of furniture in good condition are accepted during operation hours, but Mr. Galvez said it tends to be those donations left at off hours that are not in shape for resale. He added that even pieces that might have been in decent condition could spend a night outside in snow or rain and quickly become unusable.
"It's hard because we need the support from the community, but our staff needs to be using their time to deal with this," he said. As well as the manpower required to deal with the abandoned furniture, Mr. Galvez said it has to be trucked out to Fort St. John to be disposed of, which also takes time and gas money.
"It's work for us and the cost it involves to clean it up," said Mrs. Galvez. She added that even clothing donations left on the steps outside the thrift store at night get picked through, or possibly damaged before they are brought inside to be sold.
"We are happy that they donate and we are really happy to take a donation in any capacity," said Mrs. Galvez. "When they do it after hours, it can rain or snow and the possibility of it being ruined is high."
The Galvez' hoped that the community would be cognizant of the problem dumping furniture behind the store causes for the Salvation Army, as well as the cost it incurs.
"We hear it today and in the past that our stuff is the cheapest," said Mr. Galvez. "We need to keep our expenses low to be able to provide that to the community."
Mr. Galvez said that an added concern was that the amount of furniture behind the store was beginning to block the alleyway and encroach on neighbouring properties, but they haven't been able to get the time to dispose of it.
"This is a real issue for us," said Mr. Galvez. "We try to help the community and so many in the community help us; we know it's not everybody."
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