Friday, January 8, 2010

Ever Heard of Charity?

I warn you now, this is quite a little rant...I heard this story on the news yesterday and looked it up this morning. Bags and bags of clothes, shoes, coats, and more that could have been donated to charities and shelters by Wal-Mart and H&M destroyed so they would be unwearable and thrown away!
For those who have worked or had family members that work for 'big box' stores you probably knew about this kind of practice. I know when someone I know worked at the Wal-Mart deli they threw out food instead of donating. The explanation given was to avoid lawsuits from possible food poisoning since the thrown out food was past it's prime. OK, I can kinda understand that. But really, are you that unconcerned about your fellow man that you would, as a company, make a decided effort to destroy unsold merchandise that you have already written off as a loss rather than pass it on to those in need? Apathy is one thing, but to send a paid employee to go through garments and shoes one by one, cutting off fingers of gloves, sleeves from coats, and slitting the insoles of shoes is disgusting and disturbing. If they did not want to make the effort to ship them off to shelters or charities, just put them out back for people to go through, or have a monthly 'free store' in the parking lot for charities to come get the stuff. Any charity would have been falling all over themselves to come pick up those items, and the good publicity for those companies would have been immeasurable. Why did they do it? Because they knew they could. The general population will say 'That's just awful! That reminds me I have to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home for milk and bread.' I have been encouraged to see in this recession stories of people reaching out to others, people pulling together to make it through hard times. The bottom line is that the people who would have benefited from those clothes being donated were or are Wal-Mart customers more than likely, and when the hard times hit, they as a company not only did not care but took deliberate steps to keep products they had written off as trash out of the hands of those who needed them.  What am I missing here? Someone explain it to me? My family is broke as a joke right now, and still we donated a van full of old toys to a local church daycare, we donated all the disposable diapers I didn't use for Mojo when I made cloths as well as our clothes when we purge closets twice a year to the mission in town. I don't know much about H&M, but doesn't Wal-Mart set it's self up to be 'moral'? Not selling this CD or that book because it's too dirty or sexy or whatever? Where was that 'morality' when it came to charity that would have cost them NOTHING? I don't live too close to a Wal-Mart, being in a rural small town. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to one, and I have probably been once in the last 4 months or so, so it's not like they, as a business, will notice my absence as a customer, but what little business I give them has just gone to Target, who contributes both money and merchandise to charities each month at least until I can be assured that Wal-Mart has taken steps to be more socially conscious and has donation procedures in place for this type of non-perishable merchandise. This is not a rallying cry to join me, I know some people have to depend on Wal-Mart for jobs and for being the best price on food in a bad economy, but at least think about this story the next time you are in the check out line, and think about getting involved somehow to make up for all those who don't care out there.


inannasstar said...

This is OUTRAGEOUS! I have always been a "hater" of Walmart ever since I saw the documentary about them. I actually boycotted their store for a good year or so. Then the economy crashed and like every other person we had to cut back and scrimp and save where we could so I ended up shopping at Walmart for my "pantry" items as they are less expensive than the grocery stores. I also ordered a bunch of new stuff from their home section for our new home we're moving into. Now I feel like I should be walking around with a huge red "W" on my chest! Well, the strike is back on (in true Kramer fashion) and I WILL NOT support them anymore. I also agree that Target has it right in that they absolutely give back to their communities.

Thank you so much for this post.

Hippie Witch said...

No need for a scarlet "W"! These are tough times andI know not everyone can 'boycott' Wal-Mart for a principle because of financial situations and needing to stretch a dime into a dollar, but people need to be aware of their policies so they can make an informed decision. If I lived right near a Wal-Mart it might be hard for me to not shop there on our tight budget, but what little I went will be no more till they change their policies about donation.

Delphyne said...

I hate Walmart and have never shopped there. I've been in the NJ store twice because I was with my sister and a friend who wanted to go in.

The Walton family has serious Karma to repay - I wouldn't want that for all their money.

I definitely understand why people shop there, what with money being as short as it is. So many people do not understand what Walmart is, so posts like this are terrific!

inannasstar said...

That's what happened, a Walmart opened up across the street from the entrance to my development.

Iris said...

Yes, exactly! I hate this store as well, even though I had no idea they went to all of that trouble to NOT help people. Even if they just threw it all away it would be bad enough, the fact that they damage it so people who dig through their dumpsters cannot salvage it. Makes me sick! Yay for Target. I liked them anyway!

GreenWheel said...

Walmart does suck. They don't care. I wish we were financial set so we did not have to shop there (or at Sam's) But they are everywhere here WM close to work & close to home.(I have 3 that are approx. 2, 4 or, 5 miles from home) Can't get away from them!

Bridgett said...

I had no idea, but it's truly reprehensible.

We're one of those families who relies on WM for our food...all the other grocery stores in the area cost nearly twice as much. It's not that I necessarily WANT to shop there, it's that I don't have a choice.

Like you, we have very little extra money each paycheck, but we still donate clothes and food to shelters.

WM should be ashamed of themselves.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again...

free web page counter
Get a free hit counter here.