Small charitable act #1: Give old magazines to your local doctor’s surgery

Well this seemed like a good idea anyway.  The HPL set off happily for work on Monday armed with a bunch of magazines to drop off at my local NHS doctor’s surgery.  I imagined the smiles on flu-ridden faces as they realised the latest copy of “Elle” was waiting for them.  However, I walked in, asked if they wanted some magazines for their waiting room and got a resounding “no”.  So that was that.

I wasn’t going to post this story because obviously its pretty rubbish.  However, the important moral is to always call first before you try to donate things – I’ve had the same problem with hostels who were full up with clothes and didn’t want any more.   But I’m pretty sure there must be some local doctor’s surgeries, hospitals or hospices out there who want your spare mags – isn’t a guilty fix of celebrity gossip the only joy of the waiting room experience? 

I’d love some ideas for more small charitable acts (preferably those that aren’t rejected outright by potential beneficiaries) as the charitable side of HPL is sadly lacking.  In December, I donated toiletries to St Mungos and this weekend we’re giving a collection of clothes and toys to the Christian Alliance homeless hostel in Southwark.  I’ve also applied to be a befriender at Lambeth Age Concern, and my application is being considered right now.

But these are quite time-consuming things, and I’m not managing to do something every month.  So,  I’m going to come up with a new idea for a small charitable act every month from now on (with suggestions from you I hope) that may inspire you too!

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6 responses to “Small charitable act #1: Give old magazines to your local doctor’s surgery

  1. Did they say why they were turning down the mags? I noticed recently at my local surgery that there were suddenly no mags or leaflets. I asked why, and apparently it was a temporary measure to reduce the spread of swine flu. So maybe your mag idea will be doable again soon!

    When my kids grown out of their clothes, toys and shoes, I look on freecycle for people who are asking for that stuff. The fact that people have to ask for “boys school shoes, size 113 (or whatever!)” makes me really sad.

    Wendy 🙂

    • Ahhhhhhhhhh very good point Wendy. Hadnt thought about my polluting the surgery. I will hang onto my mags for a less viral time…

      Agree freecycle is great – I tried to give away a bike and a computer free on gumtree, and both were rejected, but had happy people take them on freecycle.

      Definitely good to make a link between people who have too much stuff and need to get rid of it, and people who need stuff but can’t afford it.

  2. Another year and another clear out, of mine and my daughters clothes shoes, toys etc… The burning question I have is what to do with it all.. ??? I sooo desperately want it all, to go to those in need, but not via the charity shops who charge extortionate prices for a greying old teeshirt that probalbly cost one pound from Primark when it was brand new and still its original colour, thats after, the people that work in the charity shops have sifted through the best stuff for themselves and then bagged up a good 60% of the stuff to then sell on to go to countries far far away to pay for the Charity directors christmas bash. I want the clothes and toys that I have which are in very good condition to go direct to those who need them for FREE in the UK. Is there anywhere or anyone who will take these things and give them away free to those in genuine need, perhaps womens refuges, childrens homes, The Church, the homeless, the toys perhaps could be usuefull in outreach centres where familieis go with their children ? surely these things are not just seen as a money making commodity why oh why can’t I find a charity that is not only interested in making money from my unwanted items but simply just give away the items to those famillies where they will of some use. can anyone tell me if such an organiseation in this country exists ??? please post on here if you know of any where I cant take it where it will be given to those in need for free. I know very little about what sort of organisations there are out there for families in need so do not have a clue where to start. Thanks

    • Hi elaine, thanks for the question. And sadly yes it is frustrating because when you have things to give away you often can’t find a charity that wants them! Not sure if you’re in London but my thoughts are:

      1. Call your local shelter (St Mungos?) – they would love toys, clothes and shoes. But they may be full (I found this a lot).

      2. If there is a Refugee Council or soup kitchen near you, they’d love toys and toileteries and maybe clothes and shoes.

      3. Try freecycle – http://www.uk.freecycle.org/ – you can donate to a family that might really need them. Also you could google to see if there is a homeless charity near you that will come and pick up your items. Unfortunately this all takes a while – so frustrating!

      Best of luck, let me know how you get on. Sasha x

  3. opps would appreciate it if you do post my message if you would not post my full name did not relaise it would be displayed thanks

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