HALIFAX – The heavy snow buildup is causing problems for charitable organizations in Halifax. Programs with clothing donations bins in parking lots are having trouble keeping them cleared out, making it tough for willing donors to pass along their used goods.
Two drop-off bins – one belonging to Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the other to the Canadian Diabetes Association – have been pretty much off limits for the past week in the Tantallon area. Mounds of icy snow surround them, making it impossible for donors to access them.
“We have places that are wonderful hosts to our boxes all year and you know they have to clean out lots, so the snow’s the problem, nothing else,” said Carol Goddard, Executive Director of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Goddard says truck drivers usually clear areas in front of the boxes, but the rain and quick freezing last week froze everything, and made it difficult to dig them out.
Goddard is working with Tantallon Canadian Tire, which owns the parking lot. “We don’t have the physical ability to move it (snow),” said Goddard, “If they can help us and we’ll pay to get that cleaned out, but it’s a challenge.”
A nearby Superstore lot has easy access to their donation boxes. At the Young Street Superstore in Halifax, snow around the bins is cleared away. But the box for the Diabetes Society took some work to make it accessible, said Joanna Dunn. “Many of the snow plow operators are very good to us,” said the PEI and Nova Scotia Manager of the Canadian Diabetes Clothesline Programs. Dunn adds, “They’ll help us by clearing as much of the snow as they can in front of the bins, but even still, it always means our drivers will have to shovel somewhat in front of the bins.”
The Salvation Army Thrift Store pays people to clean around their bins. Another one on Young Street in Halifax, owned by an animal rescue organization, is almost buried.
Snow or not, charities don’t get as many donations this time of year. So it’s important they get whatever they can said Dunn. “With 9-million canadians living with diabetes, or pre-diabetes, all the donations go towards helping those people.”
Most charities offer free pickups of donations, so you can contact the charity of your choice to arrange a time.