Unwelcome drop-off at Fort Myers Goodwill
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Goodwill is known as a place to donate your used goods but one drop-off there this week was not accepted and hauled away Friday.
Goodwill keeps a list that shows many of the donation bins in Lee County. A surprise came this past week when one of these donations bins landed right on Goodwill's doorstep.
"It takes a lot of nerve," said Goodwill spokeswoman Kirsten O'Donnell.
She's seen a lot of wonderful donations going to and from the organization, but this one struck a nerve.
"We never thought we would see one on our own property," O'Donnell said.
Last week a large metal collection bin appeared overnight at the Goodwill near Colonial and Treeline.
"People had actually already left donations at it and we assume they were donations left for Goodwill and people just thought it was a drop box for us," said O'Donnell.
It was in fact, not a Goodwill donation bin. O'Donnell has had her eye on these bins for months. FOX 4 spoke to her in December about them popping up all over Lee County.
"They spring up overnight like mushrooms on your lawn," she said. "The vast majority of the donation bins that you see like this one and other ones that you see around our area are not operated by non-profit organizations. They are operated by for-profit salvage companies that are not even located in our area."
That means your donations could be making money for someone else.
O'Donnell says only use the ones with names you recognize.
"Donate when there is an actual person there to accept your donation," she said. "You can ask where does this donation go? How does it help this organization?"
After days trying to contact the bin's owner, Goodwill removed it Friday from the store parking lot.
"I think a lot of people give because they believe it is going to help the community, and its going to help people in the community," O'Donnell said. "Unfortunately when you drop things in boxes that isn't happening."
On Goodwill's list of Lee County donation bins there are 65 around the area.
O'Donnell says the numbers show no signs of slowing.
If you'd like to find out more about where your donations go to charities you can check out Charity Navigator. To get the their website, just click on the 'Big Red 4' tab on our website.