Thursday, May 23, 2013
With the influx of more affluent, or maybe middle class shoppers shopping in these stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army seem to have changed their mission. They seem to think that if something is worth more new, than it should be worth more used as well. Now I won't argue that there is some logic in that. But these are Not For Profit Charitable organizations and these are the same items that five years ago, were considered generic donations and were accepted without question and put on the shelf. No price checking to see if they could make a few extra bucks. What I question is the motivation behind this change in policy. Have things changed for the real needy in America? Have things gotten better to the point that we can all afford to pay more for used and mostly donated clothing items? Or is it an issue from the other side. Have Goodwill and Salvation Army adopted a policy of paying their workers a better living wage, hence needing to raise prices? I kind of doubt that one.
Is there a place in the donated or consignment world for higher end clothing to be priced this way? Absolutely! It's called Boutique consignment stores, or Plato's Closet. They exist, and for the people that are looking for that and prefer not to shop at Goodwill or Salvation Army, you have a home.
If I'm honest, in my case, I can afford to pay more right now. A year ago...no. But what about all of the people that depend on these stores for their clothes and household items exclusively? I often see people shopping there that I know, really don't have a choice. Why are we penalizing them for the shopping habits of more affluent people? Even worse in my opinion, is the fact that I see only two solutions. The first would be that as a people, we stop shopping at these establishments unless we really can't afford to shop elsewhere. The second would be for these two NOT FOR PROFIT corporations to get back to doing what they used to do best...Charity.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I do enjoy the position. I spent the better part of the last two decades working on college campuses, so I feel quite at home. I think of the campuses much like I think of the elementary school kids I used to work with. Some are small, some are big, some are fast, some are slow, some are skinny(Budgets) and some not so...but I think I like them all, no matter what type they are.
I am amazed though at the fact that, even on college campuses, there they are...my break even teachers. At the college level they are a bit harder to spot. There aren't nearly the amount of hugs on campus with teachers as there are in the elementary school. With college professors, you see it on the kids faces. The kid who just got some basic math functions explained to him again, or the kid that just turned in a paper late and was greeted with a "Way to go!", instead of a stern look and a disappointed face. How about the teacher that dresses in an ape suit on the day of their first exam to break the tension. Or the teacher that never shuts his door and sits in his office in his bare feet while students work on their homework.
They are out there, friends, I've seen them! And I hope to report back with many more amazing incidents in the near future. Until next time, let me know what's going on in your world so I can keep my six readers in the know.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Other than the "2012", this title could be as timeless as a 1967 Corvette. Aren't all picture days the same? The night before, thinking about what to wear. Be honest guys, even we did it. The morning of, your mom making sure you didn't wear your favorite striped shirt with plaid pants. The "walk of Fame", sporting your very best outfit as you walked into school for the day. The anticipation of when your class will be called down to the gym. Now, from the inside, I see that it has hardly changed.
Today was picture day at Jefferson Elementary School, where I work. What a day! The kids looked so great in their not so oft worn ensembles. It is funny though, some kids really do it up, and others just don't get into it that much. I understand that some of that is economic in nature, but I think there is more to it than that.
Some kids like the whole "dress up" gig. It's fun for them to get all fancied up. Some of the older kids come to compete, it is obvious. Many just conform to the group of kids they hang around. Some kids I am certain, think what they normally wear is already good enough, so why upgrade for a photo? I think I am in this camp.
Today was special for me though. Today, I was reminded of the most magical part about picture day for us guys. The FREE COMB! Sure, most of us had a comb or several at home. But this was the brass ring. The slim black beauty...and free! Some of us would even go to the bathroom before our turn and mess up our hair, just so we could land that tiny plastic piece of black magic. We would sport around all day with that thing hanging out of our back pockets, asking each male passerby non chalantly, "Did you uh, get the free comb?" Many of our friends would look back in horror, forgetting the whole reason for all of the pageantry, knowing that they would have to wait 365 days for this chance to present itself again.
Today, sadly, I was an adult. When asked by a bright eyed third grader, "Did you get the free comb?” I had to awkwardly reply, "Oh man!" Oh well, at least next year is not a leap year...only 364 days to go.