It is extremely disappointing that the Salvation Army officers and volunteers last week came into the Deniliquin headquarters to discover its donation bin had been rummaged through.
Clothes and other donations were found strewn across the pavement.
To add insult to injury, the bin had been left open, meaning the heavy rain the region experienced last week found its way into the bin, water-logging the remaining contents.
This means a significant volume of otherwise valuable donations was completely destroyed.
This is not the first time this has happened, with one local Salvos employee estimating that it happens every couple of months.
A frustrated Salvos Captain Sandra Walmsley last week told the Pastoral Times that the cleanup from last week’s theft, including the labour associated with cleaning up, as well as the cost of skip hire and bin collection needed to be covered by the charity’s own resources.
Financial burden aside, perhaps the most significant cost of such an incident is that the valuable and in-demand time of volunteers is being spent cleaning up needlessly.
As Capt Walmsley points out, this may understandably prove dispiriting for volunteers and employees.
She rightly points out that the cost of the incident isn’t just taking from the Salvos, it is furthermore taking from the community.
Acts such as this fly in the face of the good work the service do in the town, undermining the worth of their operation.
Especially when the service goes above and beyond to make its items as affordable as possible.
Dropping off donations during the day may assist in ensuring such incidents don’t cost the Salvos as much, nor compromise as many donations.
But the reality is if we all did the right thing, this wouldn’t be a message that needed to be spread.