Captain Keith Atkinson and manager Salvation Army Family Store Judy Salter with one of the bags from a commercial entity asking for clothing donations. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Captain Keith Atkinson and manager Salvation Army Family Store Judy Salter with one of the bags from a commercial entity asking for clothing donations. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Pink bag donations not so charitable

WHEN the captain of Grafton's Salvation Army, Keith Atkinson, found a pink bag in his letterbox, he threw it in the bin.

While he would never tell people what they should do, he would be pleased if people in the Clarence Valley took the same action.

The pink bags have been dropped in people's mailboxes across the region asking them to donate used clothes, but the difference is the organisation behind the scheme is a private company, not a charity.

Mr Atkinson said it was not the first time the goodwill of people in the area had been targeted.

"They've been doing this for a few years now and I don't know how much they get.

"I think most people give their clothes to local charities," he said.

"But they're obviously making money out of it or they would not be doing it, and any money we make goes back too the local community."

While he said it was up to individuals what they did with unwanted items, he encouraged people to give to local charities.

A company that previously distributed the pink bags said it was in some way charitable because it exported surplus clothing to Papua New Guinea.

But Mr Atkinson said surplus clothing that couldn't be sold in Salvation Army stores was already shipped overseas.

The bags are bright pink and look like a bin liner.

The company responsible for the letterbox drop was contacted by phone multiple times but failed to comment by time of print.

Investigation

A Fairfax media investigation linked one operator distributing pink bags, in the Northern Rivers, to a commercial second-hand clothing export business.



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