As part of my love of all things secondhand, I have become known as a person who can find just about anything. And, along those lines I am also known for finding a good home for most things. It’s not something I do for money, but rather for sport. I truly believe that there is always someone looking for something that you might want to get rid of…the trick is finding them.
In the Vancouver area there are now many wonderful ways to sell or donate your stuff but where some people get stuck is finding a home for things that matter. For those who are not sentimental, this is not an issue. But for the rest of us who get easily attached to things and the stories that go along with them…letting go is not easy.
If we can find a friend, family member, or even a stranger who might cherish or need that object then letting it go is much easier. My dear friend Mollie’s husband recently passed away, he was 84. They had been married for over 60 years and up until a few months ago, they were both still living in their own apartment. After he died, she went through all his clothing and asked if I could help her find a place to donate everything. Down the street from her there was a donation bin, but she didn’t want to send it to Value Village. She wanted his clothing to make a more personal impact for someone. There was quite a bit of clothing, ranging from casual everyday wear to more formal suits.
I contacted a few charities that I know and was eventually able to drop off all five bags to a drop-in program that is run by the Developmental Disabilities Association here in Vancouver. Many of the people who use their services are often on income assistance and don’t always have the funds to buy good quality clothing…especially suits and ties.
Mollie came with me as it was important to know where it was going. It was somehow comforting for her to know that her husband’s clothing would directly benefit a group of men who could really use it. Sharon, the manager of the facility, came out and personally greeted us and thanked Mollie for the donation. She also later followed up with a Thank You card. This meant the world to Mollie and gave meaning to having to let go of her husband’s clothing.
This was a good match, one that had a huge impact on many levels. But sometimes I am also asked to find homes for things that are kind of fun and even a tad quirky. My latest challenge is to find a home for an older model Hohner Accordion. It comes equipped with the case, stand and how-to books. The owner used to play it but is downsizing. He doesn’t want to sell it but rather find a good home for it. In speaking with a musician friend, looks like we might be able to match it up with a student from the Waldorf school on the North Shore who is keen to learn to play.
And, last but not least my friend Jamie contacted me today to see if I could help him track down a pair of wooden oars 6’6″ or longer…if anyone has any leads let me know!