FERGUS – A local makeshift donation centre, The Giving Spot, is being dismantled after a three-year run due to regular misuse.
Giving Spot volunteers accepted local donations of books, clothing and furniture, among other belongings.
They’d set them under a tent that stayed up 24 hours a day located on the Bethel Baptist Church field, for anyone to take what they wanted.
The Giving Spot has been open from spring to fall annually, with a group of five running project warmth in the winter months, hanging winter clothing out on the field for anyone to take.
Project Warmth will also not occur this year.
Over the past six months the team has noticed a startling increase in the amount of items that have been taken, presumably to resell, possibly to feed addictions.
“We do not want to be enablers of addiction,” said Giving Spot head administrator Alissa Potts.
While the Giving Spot and Project Warmth are shutting down, the group will still have bread and other donated food items out for the taking at 301 Edinburgh Ave Unit B, which they have been doing for some time.
Potts is also planning to accept donated books at the location and distribute them to little libraries around town.
“It’s so heartwarming to know how much we’ve helped the community,” said Potts, reflecting on the past few years.
“We’re very frustrated and angry. [We’re] heartbroken that people are taking advantage of the kindness of us five [organizers,] and the kindness of the community donators.”
The Giving Spot was dismantled on July 29, with remaining items being donated to local second hand stores.
The team left a table and shelf full of books out when dismantling, with plans to pick them up the next day.
“We just figured we’d leave the books out for the night, and people that still wanted to walk by and grab a book for the cottage and such could,” said Potts.
When they returned the next day they found the table and shelf were taken, with the books left on the ground – and “all the books were destroyed.”
The group has every intention of continuing its efforts in some capacity, and volunteers have plans to sit down with the Bethel Baptist Church community and brainstorm further plans.