Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

The crapeteria is quickly becoming just a faded memory, as I immerse myself in my new position, manning the weekend donation center for a non-profit organization. My job is simple. Sit at the desk, waiting for people to bring in donations of unwanted clothes, household items, furniture, etc. When they arrive, I take my cart/bin out to the curb and help them unload, give them a tax donation receipt, then take the unknown goods into the center to sort them.
I usually receive one or two donations an hour, with takes about ten minutes to handle. Saturdays are a little harder because people are cleaning their basements, garages, having yard sales etc. But for the most part, a big portion of my day entails reading/writing/watching t.v.
I had several concerns about taking the job; mainly that it wouldn’t keep me physically active, secondly that it might become boring and not mentally stimulating. I was wrong on both counts. First, throwing 50 pound bags of clothes around has proven to be a great workout, as well as lugging furniture, boxes of books and other goodies around the center.
The biggest surprise has been how mentally stimulating the job is. Every donation that comes in is like unwrapping a present. I never know what I’m going to find at the bottom of the bag, or within the sealed box. Each discovery I make sets my mind wandering; where did this come from? Why were they getting rid of this? Who was the original owner? Where has this traveled from? I also deal with a lot of elderly people, who pull into the parking lot and get out of their car, carrying a small baggie of items, which they have probably been saving all week, fretting about when they could get it to the donation center. Many of them are widowed, and come to the center as much for interaction as they do for the donation.
Several times people have come to donate items they’ve cleared out of their parents’ homes, after either a death or a move into a nursing home. They talk about their donations nostalgically, reminiscing about the board game they’re donating, and the hours of family fun they had playing around the kitchen table. The interaction and their stories fuels my curiosity, and fills my mind with ideas for characters, scenarios or story lines for my stories.

October 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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