Letter: Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

Editor: Regarding the article “Council Clamping Down on Donation Boxes,” an issue highlighted by this newspaper once before over the past year, I believe it is shortsighted for the Leesburg Town Council members and town zoning staff to potentially eliminate or penalize through fees this method of making donations for others in an already financially stressed environment.

The bins depicted in this article—the green Better World Books bin for books and the yellow Planet Aid bins for clothes and shoes —are avenues to help others in need. For years, I have visited this very area three or four times a week to monitor whether either one had overflow and then immediately called the posted telephone number so that they may respond in a timely manner to retrieve donations left there. The photograph showed a lamp and vacuum cleaner, an obvious prohibited dumping situation, not the fault of Planet Aid, but time and time again they retrieve all articles left, even cleaning up the excessive dumping of computers, monitors, an excessive amount of household goods, and, today, a child’s bike and games left outside the bins. We should be paying Planet Aid $250 each month for the cleanup of dumped materials that have nothing to do with clothes or shoes. And, yes, there are other bin organizations that are not so responsive in Leesburg, such as the red box bins and perhaps others that may require attention.

As a resident for many decades, these bins have been most helpful to me to be able to deliver almost new books (yes, I love to read) 24/7 while other potential donation organizations have restricted times and days of acceptance although are equally helpful overall. The potential exists that without these bins people are going to do their unauthorized dumping elsewhere or in other public trash containers, which eventually land in the dump. What is the cost of saving then? I ask that we make every effort to aid these organizations in their service to us.

Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

4 thoughts on “Letter: Rebecca Reeder, Leesburg

  • 2022-02-03 at 11:22 am
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    I totally agree with Ms. Reeder. Rather than hassling Planet Aid & other worthy organizations, we should be extolling their virtues. Years ago, someone complained to me about a homeless person on the sidewalk. I remember thinking: “There but for the grace of God go I.” During these tough times, let’s all do our part to chip in & help the disadvantaged. Happy Valentine’s Day Loudoun!

    • 2022-02-04 at 1:34 pm
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      Planet Aid is not a worthy organization. Look them up- it’s a well known hustle.

      If you want to help out those in need, give locally. If you want to participate in the selling of old clothes by the ton to 3rd world countries put goods in the blue boxes.

      Even worse than masquerading as a charity is that when we ship tons (literally) of use clothes to Africa it decimates local clothing manufactures along with all the jobs that go with it. These companies that sell donated clothes to Africa only further the cycle of poverty.

  • 2022-02-06 at 5:00 pm
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    Please consider recycling all that out of date Redskins clothing and other high quality goods to organizations like Good Shepherd Alliance which houses the homeless in Loudoun or Restore for furniture etc. Nothing wrong with getting a tax receipt and there is no clean up problems with these types of organizations. 🙂

  • 2022-02-15 at 3:55 pm
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    Dear Ms. Reeder:

    On behalf of Planet Aid, thank you for your letter to “Loudoun Now” in response to the article, “Council Clamping Down on Donation Boxes.” We sincerely appreciate your support. Although items, other than clothing and shoes, are sometimes dumped at the bins, it is important to our organization that we are a good neighbor in the areas we serve.

    This year marks our 25th anniversary, and we are extremely proud that the clothing collection program has helped fund development projects in areas like Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, China, and India. These projects include health and nutrition initiatives like Transform Nutrition in Mozambique; farmer’s clubs in Malawi; the training of teachers in India, and capacity building and staff training in all the areas we serve. The projects empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty.

    Our organization started collecting clothes in the greater Boston area in 1997 and steadily added locations throughout the New England area. Planet Aid now collects clothing in 15 states and we depend on passionate donors like you. As we strive to keep usable clothes out of the landfill, our mission is strengthened with every visit to our yellow bins. In 2020, our donors helped us divert 70 million pounds of textiles away from landfills. That is a massive impact on reusability and a sizable decrease of CO₂ contamination in our air and waterways. In addition, the reselling of donated clothes provides economic opportunities for the people in many of the developing countries we serve.

    Thank you, again, for your thoughtful and kindly written letter. Donors like you encourage our work and resolve to do our part in helping people and our planet. If you would like to learn more about Planet Aid, please visit our website at planetaid.org.

    Best regards!

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