The Duncan Banner

March 18, 2013

Local shops say ‘stop’ donating to red boxes

Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Red clothing drop-off boxes around town are causing a stir with some resale shops around town.

The boxes, such as the one in the Stage parking lot, are meant to be convenient donation sites but Re-Run Junction manager Stacy Heare is asking Duncan residents to think twice before placing donations in these boxes.

The boxes are owned by a textile company named American Recyclers, based out of Houston. American Recyclers coordinates efforts with local charities and donates a proceed of the sales to that charity. The boxes in Duncan benefit the Lawton/Fort Sill Habitat for Humanity.

“An outside entity is coming in and taking our donations,” Heare said. “We have got to help ourselves.”

Heare’s concern is that because the proceeds are benefiting an organization in Lawton with contributions received from Duncan residents. Yet, she said there are people in Duncan that are in need of just as much help.

Heare also said the local shop has been suffering to receive enough donations so they may eventually have to consider closing.

Ray Christian, a local thrift shop volunteer, agreed that these boxes may eventually cause financial troubles for the area organizations that seek to benefit local people in need.

Heare said the donation box at the mall will be removed soon but is asking people to donate to the local thrift shops instead of the other donation boxes that send the items out of the community.

Heare’s plea was not to bring in additional donations for Rerun Junction, as she said people should take them also to Goodwill, Women’s Haven or Cory’s Hands of Hope.

All of these shops benefit Duncan and Stephens County directly.

“Even if the red boxes are just empty, that would help,” she said.

According to the label on the donation boxes, American Recyclers does own these boxes and is a “for profit” company.

Although calls to American Recyclers went unanswered, the company claims to donate $12,000 a year to Habitat For Humanity on their bins.