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They didn't accept my bras...

102 replies

KnobZombie7 · 30/07/2017 22:39

Last week I decided to make use of an M and S gift card and upgrade existing bra 'collection'. On hearing about a local service that collects bras for women in war zones, I decided to donate six of my old ones and went into their shop to hand them over - all reasonable condition, clean, washed.

They said they were very much needed but I had to also give them a minimum £5 to pay for postage costs. I wasn't aware of this, my mother had donated some previously and didn't mention this, and I had no change on me at that time. Also, I don't have a huge amount of spare money at the moment.

I said that I could come back another day and donate (after pay day) but they said I would have to take the bras with me and couldn't leave them without a donation. So I left with my old bras and as I walked through the door heard, clearly, the woman say 'waste of time'. She was obviously BU!! The shop is quite a way away from where I live and decided to, on my way home, just drop them off at a charity shop instead.

Just wondering if this is the norm for some charities these days. Never encountered it before and find the whole idea of rejecting much needed donations rather odd and unreasonable.

OP posts:
WhatToDoAboutThis2017 · 30/07/2017 22:53

fairypuff As a pp says, transportation is a major cost.

KnobZombie7 · 30/07/2017 22:54

It was an actual shop. A local charity. They have a few branches in this area though not near where I live. It seem like a proper charity. Been there for ages so I guess it's a registered charity.

I was thinking that maybe the woman working there just didn't know what she was talking about.

OP posts:
MrEBear · 30/07/2017 22:56

I'm thinking it sounds like a scam. In some countries £5 would buy you a new bra.

Redsippycup · 30/07/2017 22:58

That does sound odd. Obviously if it was on the poster or whatever you would expect it, but to not have it on the info is strange. Oxfam do a similar thing but their website says 'simply drop off your bras and we do the rest' so they must not want paying!

Can you google the charity to see if the requet for a fiver was legit?

Did your DM pay when she donated?

fairypuff · 30/07/2017 22:58

I know transportation is costly which is why it makes sense to bundle loads up together and transport them that way. Which is what we did. If you want ppl to donate then you cant have a £5 charge or less ppl will donate. It doesn't make sense!
And there was no need for the woman to be rude, but perhaps she meant the bra thing was a waste of time as quite a lot of ppl were then walking out rather than paying the £5.

Runninglife · 30/07/2017 22:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BossyBitch · 30/07/2017 22:59

A general point on donating clothes:

I've done several stints of volunteering in war zones and with refugees in Europe, often, predominantly in non-food-items aid collection and distribution.

While items are very much needed in a lot of places, I've always felt odd about underwear - mostly pants but to some extent also vests and bras. There is something utterly humiliating about handing a desperate person a set of worn underwear. Something about it smacks absolutely of 'you're so down that you're meant to be grateful that someone has given you their discarded underpants' to me.

I've spent literally thousands of my own money on underwear to give away for this precise reason. There are wholesalers that will sell a pair of pants for literally under a pound and a bra for maybe two.

This is not to say it's not lovely to donate (it is), but I'm wondering if there is a fee either way whether this could instead be donated to some organisation that will then buy instead of re-use. UNHCR, for instance, only give away new underwear to the best of my knowledge.

There's something very dignity-restoring about being able to offer people who have literally nothing at all at least a set of clean, unworn underwear that is all theirs.

KnobZombie7 · 30/07/2017 22:59

Investigated and ...It seems as if the shop collects the bras for a another charity. Looking at this other charity's website, it seems as if the £5 is a suggested donation, not compulsory so I think the woman in the shop doesn't understand this.

OP posts:
Rufustherenegadereindeer1 · 30/07/2017 22:59

Thats a good point fairy

BackforGood · 30/07/2017 23:00

YANBU. I've never heard of any charity that expects you to cover postage costs. There is a lady near here who collects bras for similar, and is thrilled when you take some round. Never asked for anything for costs.
Nobody is going to pay to donate bras.

FrancisCrawford · 30/07/2017 23:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsWanaBanana · 30/07/2017 23:01

We have this where I live. They ask for bras and any unopened packs of knickers you may have to send off to third world countries. They do not ask for money for postage and I have never heard of this before from anyone. I would be careful

KnobZombie7 · 30/07/2017 23:01

I've actually bought a couple of secondhand bras on ebay - discontinued ones that I absolutely loved and couldn't get hold of anymore, so I don't see the stigma attached to secondhand underwear as much as others may.

OP posts:
Aeroflotgirl · 30/07/2017 23:01

Yanbu at all. If they were charging postage costs, that should be clearly advertised. It's very unusual for someone donating clothes, to have to pay postage costs, wtaf. I thought someone from the organisations comes round to collect them, and then they are distributed them to the locations. The cost of this is absorbed by the charity, not the donator.

FrancisCrawford · 30/07/2017 23:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MyMorningHasBroken · 30/07/2017 23:05

Never heard of this. I'd be miffed too if I'd taken the trouble to actually sort clothes out, wash, pack and make the journey to the shop. I understand it costs them but this should be advertised. I rarely carry cash on me these days anyway.
OP yanbu -- you were trying to do something decent and got mowed down.

Nanny0gg · 30/07/2017 23:06

This one asks for a donation if you can

confuuuuused · 30/07/2017 23:09

Send them to Smalls For All, a lovely charity

confuuuuused · 30/07/2017 23:10

Sorry cross Post with nanny

BossyBitch · 30/07/2017 23:11

KnobZombie7 I'm personally borderline on bras, vests and pants for pre-pubescent children (i.e. much preferable to purchase, if at all affordable, but can be re-used when in a pickle) but absolutely opposed to underpants for teens and adults.

People also seem to think sometimes that people in dire situations should swallow their pride. I've seen underpants with worn-out elastics, women's knickers with not-quite-washed-out period stains, pants with other, random stains and even holes in donation items before - along with bras that were missing hooks and straps, or whose elastic band was clearly gone. And naturally shipping containers full of singleton socks.

And that's just the underwear. I could write a novel on the weird stuff people think is appropriate to donate to relief. I once received boxes worth of what I'm reasonably certain must have been the costume section of a strip joint gone bankrupt.

KnobZombie7 · 30/07/2017 23:11

Thank you for the link. I'll send them to Smalls For All in future x

OP posts:
Aeroflotgirl · 30/07/2017 23:20

Tbf I would never donate my secondhand underwear, it's just seems not very nice. You can buy cheap ants and bras from budget shops, or Tesco, or Asda. I would rather donate a new packet of pants, or a couple of new bras.

scoobydoo1971 · 30/07/2017 23:22

I recall a lot of doorstep collectors operating at the time of the former Yugoslav crisis claiming to be 'charities' sending clothing and goods to children affected by war. The reality was they were selling them on at markets and such like. If this charity is legit, please write to the head office asking them to train their staff in customer service. They would be mortified by the service you received if they were genuine, and it is helpful feedback. These are hard times for charity collecting as everyone is skint, so they should know that their fund raising efforts are being thwarted.

I understand that Women's Aid do collections for female clothing as some victims of DV leave with nothing...local refuges would be happy for your donations.

Aeroflotgirl · 30/07/2017 23:24

I agree Bossy, it just does not sit right with me, these items gave touched people's intimate areas, where they coukd have body fluid on. The thought of some poor person, wearing some bodies worn underwear makes me feel ill. All my old bras and pants go in the bin. If the bras are worn out, they are not going to do tge job properly.

Mummyoflittledragon · 30/07/2017 23:24


I went to the local charity shop a couple of weeks ago and asked if they wanted all my old clothes or just the resalable ones. The lady said they get money for rag. So now I'm going to donate everything and label bags accordingly. I have always binned old knickers and socks etc.

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