Wednesday, 1 August 2012

One woman's rags is another women's riches.....

I posted a few weeks ago on my other blog about how great it feels to clear out the clutter from your wardrobe, cupboards and selves and making your home a relaxing and peaceful environment, you can read more about this here
When I had finished my mega de-clutter session on the wardrobes I also went through some cupboards in the kitchen and spare room and put into bags some old baby bottles and other baby items and bits and bobs we weren't using and bagged them up too. I then thought about how I wanted to get rid of it all, I could of just chucked it out for the bin men or taken it to the skip or a charity shop but it was decent stuff that still had a lot of life in it and use to give to others, so I decided to call the local women's refuge.

Some of the clutter we no longer needed

A few years ago I used to work in a homeless hostel for men and women, sometimes we would have people turn up for a room with only the clothes they were wearing, they needed a shower and to wash their stuff and didn't have anything to put on so having a cupboard of clothes that people had donated to the hostel was a god send for them. Often we were also able to move our service users on into supported housing or other accommodation, which was great but again they didn't really have any of the basic household things you need when moving into a new home so again when people donated things like bedding, curtains and bits and bobs for the kitchen, bathroom etc, it was so useful and welcome to these items all ready to go to a new home.

I always remember how grateful the hostel residents were to have these items available to them when coming in or moving out and how over whelmed we always were by other peoples generosity that enabled us to make such a difference to lives of the people who stayed in the hostel.

With this in mind I searched the internet for local services and found that there was a local women's refuge. I gave them a call and asked if they could make use of our old unwanted things. They were very happy to take our clothes and bric-a-brac off our hands, in fact they didn't have any storage at the refuge but had a shop near by in partnership with a local trust took on all donations and sold them on. The money from sales was donated to refuge and when women move on to their own home they are able to pick up bits and pieces they need at a minimal price, they also support the local night shelter too.

So on Monday I dropped off 7 bag loads of our unwanted clothes and items at the shop, it was lovely to meet the ladies who donate their time to run it and see that they put so much effort in to run the shop and displaying all their wares. I like the fact too that at some point these items that I once needed but no longer used were going to become essentials for someone else and see them also through an important phase of their life, new life for old things!

* If you or someone you know is effected by domestic abuse or homelessness you can get in touch with Women's Aid and Shelter for information and support through their websites and/or advice lines.

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