Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great Evening Activity

Have y'all ever been to a food bank? Until tonight my answer to that question was a big fatty no. Hard to believe but I just never sought out the opportunity. But at my last Junior League meeting I signed up to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY as a DIAD project tonight. Y'all, it was such a fantastic experience! First of all, the place was immaculate. I expected it to be dirty and chaotic. And it was a lot of fun. A great activity for a family too. There was a little boy there (I'm guessing maybe age six or seven) with his parents helping out.

I also expected to be lifting (so not my strong point in life. I have the wimpiest arms ever.) dirty cans and sorting out boxes of dented pasta. I'm sure there is plenty of that to do at other times. But tonight we started out sorting through boxes of make-up. I think it was donated by a large drug store chain. Some things were dented or torn but almost all of it was in perfect condition. Just older packaging or a brand that they no longer sell or an item that didn't sell well or whatever. All name brands like Maybeline. Just because women are in a down turn, doesn't mean they can't feel pretty. You can't job hunt if you don't present yourself nice. And you need to feel confident too. It astounded me at the amount of stuff though. Thousands of tubes of lipstick, mascara, concealer, nail polish, and hair brushes and much much more. Boxes upon boxes of items that would otherwise be trash.

After we finished sorting make-up (we put together boxes so that each box had a semi-even variety of items), we did the same thing with over the counter medicines. This was a novel idea to me. I am ashamed to say I never before thought about the fact that if a person is deciding between winter boots or Advil, the boots or rent or food will always win out. It's not that I am so dumb that it doesn't make perfect sense, but I just never thought about that particular detail before tonight. Sorting medicine was a lot more tedious. We had to open the packages to make sure they seals were still on and the items were not expiring soon. But there was A LOT of humor in this too. We were directed to throw out items such as anything related to birth control or feminine cleaning. I asked why and was told that people need to know that those items are 100% reliable and we would not be able to guarantee that. So you know when you open up a new box, of course there will be a dozen open boxes of pregnancy tests and um...."feminine cleaning" products! :) The funniest part was reading the return slips that were taped to may of the boxes and bottles of medicine. I should have written them down as I now only remember a few but trust me, they had us giggling a lot tonight.

Return reasons included:
* "Customer Remorse" (on an un-open box of allergy medicine - such a serious statement!)
* "Box Crushed" (on a giant box of Advil. Hilarious because um, did you not notice it was crushed when you put it in your cart? I'm guessing you crushed this puppy yourself. But the seal was still on so it is still able to go to good use.)
* "Too Small" (on an open box of suppositories. I gross! There were lots of ewwww items like that.)
* "Yucky" (on an open bottle of liquid cold medicine)

I am so going to do this again. I really enjoyed myself and it opened my eyes in many ways. If you are like me and have never volunteered at a food bank, give it a try. So easy and fun and a great way to contribute to your community!


AJLinBoston said...

Oh my gosh, those return reasons are hilarious and gross at the same time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such a great post Miss PPC, it was great to read about the experience. We have done that a little bit, but actually spend more time serving dinners at the local Rescue Mission, which has just been heartbreaking the last few times because of the cold weather.

You are a very cool prep unit, yup, that you are.

Happy Friday!

*Pink Preppy Party Girl* said...

There are so many generous companies out there. We have food gatherers which picks up food from grocery stores and rest.,etc. and takes it to homeless shelters, and needy families. Such a great cause. Eye opening experience isn't it. JL exposes you to so much.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Food Bank before and it sounds like a fantastic project - what a good way to reuse all those unwanted products! Good on you for helping out - I am sure so many families will benefit!

Sharon said...

Glad to find your pretty blog!!

Beth Dunn said...

I love your site! So cute. I'm a prep and love all things pink and green too. Come by some time xoxo

Her Preppiness said...

Just wanted to know I tagged you!!!

Anonymous said...

I've volunteered at a few different food pantries in my area & found it to be very rewarding. I like working(helping) the clients mostly, putting together packages for their family, including a little something extra, and trying to make them understand that they are doing me a service by letting me do this for them. ~Mary

Rachel H. said...

That really sounds like so much fun! And what hilarious reasons for returning items! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I have left you an award on my blog!


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