Friday, June 28, 2013

One Person's Cultter is Another's Treasure

When my sister moved our parents from their first "old age home," where they had a nice big one bedroom apartment to a more caring facility where they had a large "L" shaped room, there were lots of things they no longer needed.  Some things we divided and others were brought to one of the enormous Good Will stores/centers in the Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale area.  Books none of us wanted were donated to the public library, which has receptacles in various convenient places.

I described Good Will to friends in Israel as a "goyish g'mach."  That's what it is.  I wouldn't be surprised if the people who first established Good Will had gotten the idea from what the Jewish community did in the various "g'machim."  A  g'mach is a very necessary sort of charity, that can give/sell/rent services and things to others in need.  The services or things can be anything from money to cars to diapers, pacifiers, clothing, furniture, wedding gowns, decorated pillow cases for a Brit Milah, books, talents and more.  There is no end to the possibilities.

Many people (including myself) I know donate perfectly good, but personally useless, clothing to a g'mach.  It's much easier to clean out unnecessary clutter when you know the items will be used and treasured by other people.  As hard as we try, we still end up with unneeded stuff in our homes and closets.

When I was flying into New York for my mother's funeral, I noticed that the zipper on my good backpack, the one I'd been using the past couple of years to take my books etc when studying in Matan, wouldn't stay closed.  That backpack had been from my son's closet.  He gave it to me when I sent out an alert to the kids asking if they had one they weren't going to use again.  I think it was one of the freebies he had been given when in the army.  There were ads on it; tzanchanim, paratroopers got quite a few of these sorts of sponsored freebies.  It was pretty obvious that the bag hadn't been in use for awhile by all the dust.  I enjoyed it; it was well-made and orthopedic.  But what's the point of a backpack that doesn't stay closed?

A rushed visit to anyplace for a funeral doesn't include time for shopping, so I asked a friend I'd be seeing at the funeral who had offered to help in whatever I needed, to buy me a new one.  She said that she'd first go through her closets.  And she discovered this bag.

It had been her son's.  He's now married and neither needs nor wants it.  It's in too good condition to give away and the g'machim  in her area wouldn't be interested in it.  For me it's perfect, B"H, thank G-d.  And she's overjoyed that it's finally out of her closet.  She knew it was worth saving.


Leora said...

I'm glad you found a backpack to use. I had to clear out my father's apartment in December. My daughter is now using one of his backpacks for her summer programs. My father was a good shopper - he bought high quality stuff at good prices. Sometimes, he would get excited about his good deals, too ...

Why do I think there is a Bnei Akiva emblem on your backpack? Am I imagining that? (my son is about to leave for Mach Hach B'Aretz and I miss him already).

Batya said...

Leora, yes, that is from a Bnai Akiva camp. I took some great things from my mother's closet which aren't my sister's taste or size.