SALVATION ARMY DEALS WITH WASTED DONATIONS

Add this one to the “no good deed goes unpunished” category. 

The Salvation Army staff in Key West returned to its Flagler Avenue thrift store after the New Year holiday to find clothes and other household items strewn across its rear parking lot.

Donors left the items in the parking lot and scavenging residents helped themselves while turning the property lot into a dump site.

“When we are closed and people donate, other people come and go through everything and take what they want and leave us this mess,” said Susan VanDePutte, administrative assistant at the organization. “Would you be able to put something in the Keys Weekly asking people to only donate when we are open? We are the largest recycler of clothing and household goods in the Keys, and when people spread it all over the ground we must throw it away. It’s a heartbreaking waste.”

The Salvation Army, 1924 Flagler Ave., is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. every day but Sunday.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.