This was going to be a rant — a full-blown rant about something that happened Saturday afternoon while at Valley Rescue Mission.
That changed Monday when I talked to Rhonda Mobley, the Mission’s executive director.
First, for those who do not know, Valley Rescue Mission serves a void in this community. Here’s the organization’s mission statement: “The purpose of Valley Rescue Mission is to exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through spiritual, educational and charitable means directed toward those in spiritual and economic need.”
Who can argue with that?
“We shelter 154 people every day and serve 300 meals,” Mobley said Monday. “If we can’t pay light and water bills, we can’t take care of people.”
And they use retail stores in which they sell donated items to help generate the revenue to help men, women and children in need. In many ways, it’s the lifeblood of the organization.
For more than two decades, the Valley Rescue Mission on Second Avenue has been my place of choice for donating discarded items. I had a friend who worked there 20 years ago and through her got to know the agency and its critical mission. I probably go there a couple of times a year.
Which brings me to Saturday.
We are trying to eliminate some of the clutter in our life. The first option was a yard sale. Because a lot of what we were discarding included clothes, it made more sense to donate it to one of the various agencies that accept discarded items.
I took three pickup truck loads to Valley Rescue Mission. The donated items ranged from nice women’s sweaters, dresses, kitchen utensils, old suitcases, a couch and a recliner.
The couch and recliner had seen better days — that is why we threw them out. Maybe someone could use them, but I did not want them any more. I was going to let them make that call of what to do. I now know that they do not do major repairs on furniture. If I had known that Saturday, I would have probably tossed the recliner and love seat on the curb.
Many of the clothes will easily sell in the various Valley Rescue Mission stores or can be given to the needy. The only issue with many of them is they no longer fit.
One of the reasons for taking it in bulk was to get rid of it. It was the easiest of the options — and you could feel good about helping out a worthy charity. The couch and recliner were in the first load. When I showed back up with the second load, a man I did not see the first time informed me he would not have taken the furniture. It was as if he was asking me to take it back.
I wasn’t going to do it. He then told me he had a $6,000 per month city dump bill and began to moan about the fact the city would not cut the mission a break. He took a second load and a third. He looked it over, then took it.
I didn’t leave with a good feeling. And that’s my problem, one Mobley helped me work through on Monday.
She told me the cost and information about the dump bill was not accurate.
I know she has a tough and critical job that depends on the generosity of this community.
And I know I will continue to donate to Valley Rescue Mission because I believe in what it does.