Charity Shops - A Bountiful Haven for Project Parts Answered
I've been a member of Instructables for some time now, and browse the site daily, but I have never really engaged in the Community, So this is my First Community Post!
I wanted to share with you a great source of Parts for all you projects, ideas, plans and schemes. Charity Shops! Any decent sized town or city will have at least one, if not several different charity shops which are almost all run by volunteers. These shops get hundreds of items donated to them each week, all of which have to be catalogued, tested, cleaned, priced and sold. Working as a volunteer in one of these shops not only helps a worthy charity, it can also give you experience in fixing/testing electronics and other items. And typically, you can have your pick of any items deemed unsuitable for sale, which would otherwise be binned. These shops are almost always desperate for Volunteers, and will be happy to have new people to help.
Charity Shop - Do's and Don'ts
Help out because you want to help the charity, this is not just for freebies!
Donate any of your old or unwanted items/clothes/books to the shop.
Volunteer as many hours as you can.
Get to know the other Volunteers, these are your coworkers, treat them with respect.
Expect to take things, ask politely and ensure that is is OK with your supervisor.
Take too much, take only what you need, this isn't a free for all.
Be annoyed if nothing turns up in the first few weeks, You're helping a worthy charity, freebies are only an added bonus.
Personally I work in Save the Children which has a local shop in my town. I typically worked for several hours on a Wednesday afternoon, as an initiative within my School. I also worked Saturday mornings, and ran collections whenever they were required. All of the other volunteers are really friendly, it is a great source for components for my projects, they have an extensive book selection, and I can use my two years experience there as Retail Experience for Job Applications.
In my two years of Volunteering, I have been given/salvaged a lot of awesome things, but there are a few highlights:
> Full Size Projector Screen - Almost New Condition, amazing for Movies/Games
> Mini-Television - Given to me because they could not Sell it, Works perfectly, with all Cables
> Numerous broken Electronic Toys - Great source of Components
>Board Game Parts - Scrabble Tiles, Dice, Game Pieces - Great for Craft Projects/Spares
I hope that you have found this information useful, and I hope that you go out and help a worthy charity near you.
Best of Luck,