Letter: GIRO heading in a positive direction

Monday, September 9 2013

Dear Editor,

A very interesting evening. From my perspective, as a fairly regular user and donor, every time I go it seems to get better and better in terms of organization, presentation and service. Lots of volunteers and we give people rides all the time. The volunteers are happy compared to a year or two ago when they were snarly and confused. When I first came here in 1995, way back, it really was, as someone said, a bit of a dump – true, with lots of free stuff, friendly as all get out, but really not much organization.

Now it’s better organized and busier too! I know some prices have gone up a bit but, from what I see, comparatively, not really so much.

As a result we have a better system developing, along the lines of social enterprise, where a bit of money is spent or collected in exchange for a far better return. One very good example is the metal collection. When I first came here there was no metal collection. I took some leftovers from building our garage and roofing our cabin to the Metal Exchange down toward the Nanaimo Regional District dump. I was told that if the donation was over 500 pounds, they would start paying us. I approached the GIRO with that idea, and back then, they said it was not possible. Yet, here we are with a great metal deposit which makes money (basically for free, apart from the transportation). Another really good example is donations of clothing. There is a “rag” donation element which makes money. There are agencies with which GIRO is affiliated that collect actual rags and make some money from it.

It’s true, lots of people have in the past used the GIRO as a garbage dump, no question, no offence, it is a well-known fact.

Honestly, there may be some anomalies with pricing, and that auction thing is a bit silly, but other than that I am feeling really positive about the way the GIRO is going.

~ Judith Graham