Donate Used Clothing to BBBSO

donate used clothing

Did you know that who you donate used clothing to has become a competition? Many organizations (charitable and otherwise) have contracts with distributors to make money from your donations of clothing and small household items.  This is not a problem when the proceeds fall into the right hands, to be used for the right reasons. Unfortunately, there are those that prey on the opportunities intended to promote generosity and compassion for the less fortunate.  Donation bins are popping up everywhere, and not always in approved locations.  If not approved and supported by the City of Ottawa, they will be removed.

If you wish to keep reusable items out of our overflowing landfills and support a non-profit organization that provides mentors to at-risk youngsters in our community, check out this option.  The Ottawa branch of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association (BBBSO) is spreading the word and dropping off their distinctive purple bins to collect donations of old clothing. These PURPLE BINS are approved by the City of Ottawa, maintained, and monitored by the BBBSO, with all proceeds going to the BBBSO.

donate used clothing

There are many ways you can support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. You can donate used clothing, money, or your time by mentoring a youngster.  The emergence of the purple bins in Ottawa has now made it even easier for individuals and organizations to provide support in our community.   Businesses can organize a clothing drive or apply to have a purple bin (maintained and monitored by BBBSO) at their location.

The Big Brothers and Big Sisters program has always been somewhat of a tradition in the Sliter (my maiden name) family.  My cousin was the first executive director and co-founder at the Cornwall branch for many years.  My brother, nephew and I have all mentored several youngsters.   My nephew is a past president and member of the board of directors here in Ottawa. When he was living in Ottawa, he even used his truck to drop off purple bins at approved locations.

Check out the purple bin link for details on how you can get involved in this wonderful cause.  You may start a family tradition!

Reconnecting on Facebook

Although I have only recently joined Facebook, I must say it is great for looking up and reconnecting with old friends.  In the past few weeks I have reconnected with two such friends…

I was quite a tomboy growing up in Cornwall, much preferring games of football, road and ice hockey to playing with Barbie dolls and fussing over my clothes.  It didn’t help that there were mostly boys living on our street and that I was closer in age to my three brothers than my two sisters.  I do not remember exactly when it was, but I know I was younger than ten years old, when a new family moved in to the home across the street from us.  I was excited that there was a girl my age in this family, and I know my mother was hoping I would lose some of my tomboy personality with a new girl friend on the street.

This new family was french speaking; the children spoke some english, but the parents very little.  It was my first introduction to french immersion, and in retrospect I learned more french from them than I ever did in school.  I am sure it worked both ways, as the children and their parents had no choice but to learn english as they were the only french speaking family in the neighborhood.

The girl in this family quickly became my best friend, and although we went to different schools, we spent most of our free time together, each learning the rules of the other’s mother language.  She learned that “beurre d’arachide” was not called “butter peanut”, but “peanut butter” in english.  I learned which french words were preceded with “la” as opposed to “le” (most important things have “la” by the way) along with many common household phrases.  I even learned to play cards in french, as most friday or saturday nights the grandmother would come over to visit their family and the cards would come out. Her favorite phrase (at least this is how I remember it) was “je tu avec mon ace”  which translates (loosely) to “i beat you with my ace”   I also remember learning a few french swear words from the father, but those are probably best left unsaid…

Unfortunately, this friend and I drifted apart in our later teen-aged years, and lost contact completely when I went off to school in Kingston and later moved to Ottawa.  We have both since married and have children of our own.  My parents have both passed away, I know her mom died suddenly years ago, but I am not sure if she is fortunate enough to have her dad with her still.

The other friend I have recently reconnected with on Facebook is my  “little sister”.  In my family I have two older sisters, two older brothers and one younger brother, but not a little sister.  Years ago, before I had children of my own, I applied to the “Big Brothers/Big Sisters” association to become a big sister.  This was something I had always wanted to do, since the program was familiar to me in Cornwall where my cousin was the first executive director and co-founder of Big Brothers.  I was matched up with my little sister, an eight year old girl who lived close to my home in Kanata with her mom and younger twin sisters.  My little sister and I spent many hours together over the next eight years; talking, laughing, crying, celebrating and growing up.  Officially our relationship as big and little sister ended when she turned 16, but we remained close for a few more years until life got too hectic for both of us and we drifted apart…

I am grateful to Facebook for the chance to reconnect with these two important women in my life.  I hope to get to know both of them once again!