Those at the Vineyard are continuously dealing with people leaving broken televisions and old mattresses overnight and on the weekends in the rain, dew and dust.
Virginia Cherry, with the local charity, said they have tried everything to get people to stop leaving stuff in the parking lot at night and over the weekend.
First they pleaded. Then they put up cameras and threatened citations. Now, they are having to install a six-foot security fence.
“If they bring large items like that and leave it out, the animals and weather are going to destroy it,” she said.
She added that, while they are grateful for the many donations they do receive, they no longer take mattresses.
“We cannot ensure they are clean,” she said.
Cherry isn’t trying to discourage people from donating.
“We are here to help the needy,” she said. “Please just don’t leave large items that are going to get ruined. We appreciate the contributions, but it needs to be done during work hours.”
Those hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-3 p.m.
Since Alfred Kopplin and his crew began putting up the six-foot chain-link fence, the Vineyard has had one plasma television, a smaller television and a mattress and box spring left outside the building.
“Now we have to haul it off,” Cherry said.
What is most irritating, she said, is that the Vineyard is only four blocks from the city dump where these items could have been taken.
Signs will be placed on the fence asking people not to leave things along the curb or leaning against the fence or building.
Hopefully, this will curtail the dumping.
Of course, that was the same hope they had two years ago when they installed security cameras facing the parking lot. They have caught a few people unloading broken and worn-out coaches and loveseats.
So, just what does the Vineyard need?
Well, recent cold snaps have prompted the need for heaters, although this is likely going to be short-lived. Clothing, shoes, baby clothing, furniture, strollers and cribs, along with books, toys and household items, are always welcome.
Cherry did ask that all items be clean and in good shape.
“Our staff is made up of mostly volunteers; we do not have time or the staff to sort through and dispose of items that are of no use or are unusable; your trash is not necessarily anyone else’s treasure,” Cherry wrote in a letter detailing just what the charity needs.