Letter to the Editor

Your view: Mission explained

Monday, June 6, 2005

I had to respond to all the complaints I just read in your paper today (May 23). People are criticizing the Rescue Mission because their prices are "so high" or "too high."

I have never shopped at the rescue mission. I don't know anything about them at all. However, I managed a non-profit resale store in Texas. People sometimes would complain about our prices. I had people tell me that since we received it free, we should give it away or sell it cheap.

Let me explain what happens with the money we made, which was a substantial amount:

1. We had a food pantry for low income or in-need people.

2. We had housing for people to live in on a temporary basis until they were able to get a place on their own.

3. We had a prescription drug program and a dental program for low income families.

4. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, we provided groceries for needy families.

5. At Christmas, we had a toy store where the parents could shop for their children with vouchers we provided based on the age and number of children.

6. Most families don't need a couch. They need heat and air conditioning. they need food and medical care. They need gas for their vehicle to get to a job.

7. They need job training and classes on money management.

8. They need classes on how to shop for nutritious food.

We provided all the above and more.

That is where the money goes that you spend at a non-profit store. The person who thinks a low income family wants a couch is wrong. They want the rent paid so they have a roof over their heads, not living on the streets.

Yes, sometimes we overpriced items by mistake, but eventually we would lower the price.

Remember, at a garage sale you have no a/c to shop in. You have no overhead. All non profits have expenses - lots of expenses. They raise money in any way they can.

Don't be so hard on them until you have run a successful, profitable organization yourself. It is very difficult and they need you to volunteer. That way they save money so they can help more families.

Laura Holloway,