Local charities are being hurt by clothing collection bins placed in parking lots advertising charitable benefit. Ernie Carnavale, Jr., Executive Director of Blue Ridge Hospice, told the Berryville Town Council last week that the large blue or yellow drop-boxes are siphoning resources away from his charitable organization as well as others.
“Blue Ridge Hospice, Salvation Army and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have all seen a drop in giving,” Carnavale said. “Donations that we would normally receive are being siphoned off by these collection boxes.”
Carnavale said the collection bins have no local affiliation with any local charity and that the donated clothing is actually shipped to a nearby warehouse where it is processed and resold. A blue clothing donation bin located in an east-end of Berryville parking lot appeared to confirm Carnavale’s claim.
A sign on the bin states:
“The donated items deposited will be sold and after expenses Charity receives a guaranteed fixed monthly revenue without risk of financial loss. This revenue helps to further Charity’s charitable purpose.” (sic)
Carnivale, whose 200-member hospice staff provides care to over a thousand clients in eight Virginia counties and the City of Winchester, asked the Town Council to take immediate steps to ban the clothing bins.
“These bins create an eyesore and litter,” Carnavale said. “I request that you prohibit placement of the bins on private property.”
Assistant town manager Christy Dunkle told Council Members that town staff is working on zoning language to address the bins. Dunkle said that she plans to present the proposed ordinance for consideration soon.