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to think that sharing a picture is not the same as being a full-time volunteer?

(7 Posts)
postergirlgoespostal Tue 02-Feb-16 11:45:07

This is driving me mad.

Before Christmas, there was a well-publicised campaign in London to collect coats for homeless people, and a local charity decided to do similar. The local charity asked people to put up posters and adverts in local newsletters to encourage people to collect men's coats and sweaters for homeless people in our town. I put a poster up at DD's school to mention that this was going on, and asked the PTA to put the picture in their newsletter - sharing local charity details is very common and they were happy to do it.

Then it started... someone then asked the PTA whether I'd be organising a collection at the school or at my house, and if so, what my address was as they had loads of coats to spare. Many other parents posted on the PTA's facebook page and website asking for my details. I had had no particular intention of organising a collection, expecting that people would go directly to the charity to donate (as I intended to do myself); I often work away from home so wasn't able to set myself up as a school-gate collection point. Mistake #1 - to try and limit things a bit, I said I would take a single collection on a single day that I would be around, but would not be able to collect anything after that. I collected a few bits and pieces on the day, took down the poster and put a note in the newsletter thanking people for their donations, but saying that if anyone had any other donations they'd need to contact the charity directly to arrange dropping them off.

The charity assure me that yes, they're very much in need of the coats that have been clogging up my house for the last few weeks, but their offices are only open infrequently so they can only arrange for me to drop off at times when I'm at work. This is obviously something I should have looked into before, but I've learned my lesson in that regard. (Not trying to do the charity down as I know they're volunteers doing their best)

Meanwhile, it has now been several weeks since I took the poster down but I still get mobbed by people asking 'Oh, you're the charity lady? I had all these coats for you but you won't collect at school... Can you collect them from my house at the weekend?'

It's put me off even mentioning a charity ever again - it feels a bit like rattling a tin for Medicins Sans Frontieres and being asked to examine someone's sore ears! I know I ought to have done my research on the charity's opening hours beforehand and I was perhaps naive to think people wouldn't expect me to do the delivery on their behalf, but AIBU to think people might know the difference between 'here's something you might want to be aware of' and 'I work for this charity and do house clearances too!'

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Feb-16 11:49:30

but AIBU to think people might know the difference between 'here's something you might want to be aware of' and 'I work for this charity and do house clearances too!'

It was up to you to put their simple mistake right though.

I would have either told them where to drop their coats off, or asked the PTA if they could arrange for the charity to send someone to pick the coats up.

summerainbow Tue 02-Feb-16 12:29:08

I think you x factor re charity.
You need to find a another place for the coat. Have a search on facebook for out reach programme.

ValiantMouse Tue 02-Feb-16 12:34:05

Why don't you just say 'I'm not collecting the coats, sorry. Here are the charity details.'

I think you've turned it into a bit of a bigger thing than it needs to be.

postergirlgoespostal Tue 02-Feb-16 15:01:58

IABU. Sorry. I suppose I thought it would be enough to say exactly as ValiantMouse stated - which I have done to everyone who has asked.

I suppose I rant because I've now had a couple of weeks of 'hey, charity lady!!!' and 'Oh I know you're not collecting officially, but you can still collect my coats, right?' when my name was never on the poster.. it's a bit annoying.

Thanks for setting me straight.

ElderlyKoreanLady Tue 02-Feb-16 15:07:04

Was your name on the poster and the PTA newsletter or something? Why?

postergirlgoespostal Tue 02-Feb-16 16:55:49

Not at all - which is why I'm a bit peeved.

It's quite a small school, and I think the first people to email me had got my email from a class list or the PTA - after that it's a word of mouth thing. I don't mind them getting in touch per se, but since the poster and the newsletter said 'contact <charity> for details of where we are collecting the coats' rather than 'contact Postergirl who is organising a collection', it doesn't make much sense to me.

Oh well, you live and learn.

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