Disappointed in UW Decision
I am disappointed with the decision of the United Way to cut funding to the Red Deer Clothing Bank and with the comments of Shirley Berry quoted in Robert Mitchell’s letter to the Advocate published on Aug. 29.
In my 20 years with the clothing bank I was involved many times, as president, with the United Way’s application process. Every year we were enthusiastically approved. I was told that we were providing great service with minimum expense. We had no executive salaries and other than rent, all expenses were covered by our Thrift Shop profits. Unfortunately, you need substantial space to house a clothing operation that caters to the entire family. I hope anyone interested in viewing that facility attended the recent open house. I think you will find that this service cannot be duplicated.
Shirley’s comments are a slap in the face to the many women who have spent decades volunteering at the clothing bank believing that they were doing something important. I am also not comfortable with the idea that denying poor people donated used clothing will somehow make them better people.
Those who donate their clothing to the clothing bank often chose us because we were not charging for our clothes. Through the years, we have had a generous supply of donations and some very grateful clientele.
People who donate to the United Way allow them to manage their money. Hopefully some people will now choose to donate money directly to the clothing bank. I believe in the clothing bank and those who still volunteer believe the poor deserve our help.