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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 12:00 PM
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Goodwill warns fake donation bin scam is feeding 'billion-dollar for-profit industry'
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Goodwill warns fake donation bin scam is feeding 'billion-dollar for-profit industry'
Published: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 5:45 AM Updated: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 9:05 AM
Julia Bauer | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- Those big bins for clothing donations that dot the corners of parking lots and gas stations are not always what they seem.
What look like charitable collection boxes really can be a fraud, funneling donated items to for-profit companies.

And Goodwill Industries is on a mission to stop their misuse.

"Instead of supporting a charitable purpose, those donating old clothes may find themselves supporting a billion-dollar for-profit industry," an analysis by the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth determined recently.

The hurt is on mainstream charities that rely on such donations. Used clothing and housewares underwrite their outreach programs, including job training for people burdened by employment barriers such as a criminal record, disability and other issues.

"The market impact here is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Randy Slikkers, executive director of Michigan's Goodwill Industries. The fraud is a moving target, as boxes appear and disappear in cities around the state.

"Flint had the highest concentration," Slikkers said. "It does tend to ebb and flow. It most recently was in the Kalamazoo market, then for the past three or four months, in Lansing."

In Flint, 56 boxes were found to belong to for-profit outfits. That means 1 million pounds of donated clothes were diverted from Flint-area charities. Similar ruses are diluting donations around the state.

"It's completely fraudulent," Slikkers said. "One year's work by one outfit brought in about $58 million. Only 6 percent went to a charitable organization, and the other 94 percent went to line their pockets."

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  -Goodwill warns fake donation bin scam is feeding 'billion-dollar for-profit industry' Bozita  Oct-16-10 12:00 PM   #0 
  - that makes me ill. i haven't dropped anything off at one of those bins  ejpoeta   Oct-16-10 12:02 PM   #1 
  - Yep, same here, I take stuff directly to the place. I get stuff there for myself, very  RKP5637   Oct-16-10 12:14 PM   #6 
  - I donate to our local Foster Family Organization  SoCalDem   Oct-16-10 12:25 PM   #9 
  - I will not buy used underwear  notadmblnd   Oct-16-10 12:58 PM   #10 
     - Me neither. Shirts and stuff are pretty good. n/t  RKP5637   Oct-16-10 02:05 PM   #14 
     - oh i don't buy used underwear or socks either. shoes used only if i know  ejpoeta   Oct-16-10 04:10 PM   #19 
     - I've never seen used underwear or socks, or at least, not in the last decade.  Quantess   Oct-16-10 04:22 PM   #20 
  - Fucking dirty bastards!  lonestarnot   Oct-16-10 12:04 PM   #2 
  - One of those bins popped up in my area not to long ago  KingFlorez   Oct-16-10 12:10 PM   #3 
  - I always drop off donations at the charity  tammywammy   Oct-16-10 12:11 PM   #4 
  - Almost as scandalous as the scam currently being run by Goodwill  Orrex   Oct-16-10 12:13 PM   #5 
  - I've never seen that at my local Goodwill.  Schema Thing   Oct-16-10 12:23 PM   #8 
     - me too  davidinalameda   Oct-16-10 01:31 PM   #11 
        - As a matter of fact, I happened to stop by the local Goodwill about 20 minutes ago  Orrex   Oct-16-10 04:26 PM   #21 
  - I no longer use Goodwill....  Uben   Oct-16-10 12:17 PM   #7 
  - We donate either directly to the charity or they drive to pick up the items.  Dappleganger   Oct-16-10 01:35 PM   #12 
  - GOODWILL IS THE TRUE SCAM....  chaska   Oct-16-10 01:35 PM   #13 
  - I donate to Union Mission....they do good work  Gin   Oct-16-10 02:38 PM   #15 
  - Yikes! didn't know  Liberal_in_LA   Oct-16-10 02:40 PM   #16 
  - The Oregon Goodwill top-man (President? CEO?) annual income was 5 million.  Quantess   Oct-16-10 02:46 PM   #17 
  - In Portland, I try to bring my stuff over to Value Village, which is farther for me.  Arugula Latte   Oct-16-10 04:28 PM   #22 
     - Value Village is a good one.  Quantess   Oct-16-10 05:32 PM   #26 
  - My daughter got hurt on the job working for Goodwill.  lpbk2713   Oct-17-10 12:38 PM   #32 
  - well, are there any charities that are not scams?  gmoney   Oct-16-10 03:06 PM   #18 
  - There are a few.  Nye Bevan   Oct-16-10 04:46 PM   #24 
  - Nope.  Dorian Gray   Oct-17-10 11:47 AM   #29 
  - LOL at Goodwill  jberryhill   Oct-16-10 04:43 PM   #23 
  - +1  Orrex   Oct-16-10 05:08 PM   #25 
  - Those bins have been around here for years.  Lugnut   Oct-17-10 12:50 AM   #27 
  - Any idea what to do with a box of clean rags?  Patiod   Oct-17-10 11:13 AM   #28 
  - Put it on Craig's list in the free section  zalinda   Oct-17-10 12:23 PM   #31 
  - recycle them for cleaning?  Retrograde   Oct-17-10 01:55 PM   #34 
  - Sell to your local thrift or consignment store.  girl gone mad   Oct-17-10 11:57 AM   #30 
  - Typical of the "charity industry" in general. I was really quite shocked when, in a fit of altruism,  Greyhound   Oct-17-10 01:10 PM   #33 

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