I’ve always loved the quote “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure” though I’d replace “trash” with “giveaways”. Good, useable items one person no longer needs can be exactly what someone else is looking for. My involvement with the distribution of second-hand items goes back almost 5 DECADES! Let me tell you a story about “The Becky Box”.
When I was a little girl, whenever an item of clothing was outgrown or no longer needed, we put it in a large moving-sized box in the laundry room affectionately called “The Becky Box”. When the box was full, we loaded the contents in the car to give to Auntie Becky. Auntie Becky, was not a blood relative, but one of my grandma’s best buddies of many years.
Auntie Becky was a volunteer at her synagogue’s Hadassah resale shop. At the time, I didn’t understand the concept of “thrifting” or “second-hand” shopping, but at my young age, I knew the items sold made money and people were happy to have a place to buy inexpensive goods. My grandmothers on the other side of the family were active Hadassah members and I knew it had to do with tzedakah (loosely translated as ‘charity’) and mitzvos (‘good deeds’), so I comprehended that putting things in The Becky Box as a good thing.
The value of giving away / freecycling usable items is strongly ingrained in me because of this experience with “The Becky Box”. In addition to helping others, good, usable items are kept out of the landfill. These two reasons explain why I am so passionate about my “clothing shadchan” initiative, which matches donated clothing with families seeking those sizes, as well as the freecycling aspect of my business, where I take clients’ decluttered or downsized items and find new owners.
It all began with a quote and a box. If you don’t already have a “Becky Box”, consider implementing one in your home. When the box is full, donate it to your local gemach or second-hand establishment. No promises, but I can imagine you’ll get a “warm fuzzy” feeling knowing you’re doing something important with your giveaways.
That’s the story. May each donated item give an aliyah neshama to Rebecca “Becky” Rubenstein Pearlman z”l
Thanks for reading.
Karen, The Klutter Koach