Thursday, September 01, 2005


Well, I got to volunteer today. I went to the Red Cross and filled out a volunteer application. The office had one large family in it asking for help for food and clothes and meds. They were staying with relatives in Anderson, a town nearby, and needed help. The lady there was so caring and calm with them. One of the shelters, Central Baptist Church, is right down the way and is full of stuff, ready for the people to go through.

I went to the Donation Intake Center that had been set up and worked sorting the clothes. They were quite disorganized. The lady in charge had "been to training in Austin about this sort of thing" and was going to make us do it HER way. When I suggested calling Central Baptist Church, a Red Cross authorized center, she said, "I don't care what those Central Baptist people are doing. They're doing their own thing." We could not convince her otherwise.

We wanted to distribute the clothes garage sale style. Stuff would be in large boxes labelled, for example, Ladies Medium Tops, Ladies Large Bottoms, ect. Then the people could go through stuff and get what they wanted. Instead, our tedious task was sorting the clothes into small, labelled bags. We would take a large bag and sort it by size. Then a second person would sort that size pile into pants, tops, and dresses. Then the we would take a grocery bag, put 10 shirts or 5 pants in it and label it as such. The idea was to be able to just hand the people a bag and well, they get what they get. Originally, the wanted us to pack a full wardrobe in one bag- 10 shirts and 5 bottoms. Since that was even more complicated, and it wouldn't fit in the bags we had, we were able to talk her out of that. That's three times the labor. When I left, we had a mere 30 little bags ready to go out.

Americans have big hearts and even bigger closets!

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