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You may ask what in the world does the title of this article have to do with Clean & Beautiful?

It’s right up there with the three R’s; reduce, reuse and recycle.

We have two thrift shops in town, one benefiting the hospital, which is the Auxiliary Thrift Shop at 611 N. First St., and Second Chances, located at 401 W. Quay Ave., which benefits Paws & Claws. Both of these shops are a great outlet to donate your gently used items for resale.

Here is where the etiquette part comes in. If the item you are going to donate is not something that you personally would use or you would give to a friend or relative to use, do not take it to the thrift shop for them to try to sell.

If it is broken, badly soiled, stained, torn, or in general ready for the garbage, reconsider your thoughts about donating it. It’s a lot of work to sort through bags of clothes that are missing buttons, zippers, in need of washing, or checking for holes and huge stains only to find that the whole bag should have been discarded to begin with.

Neither shop has one of those wonderful machines that can cut up great quantities of fabric to make rags for contractors, which is a great idea for recycling.

Please do not take broken, stained, torn or smelly furniture and leave it behind the shops; just truck it on down the road to the Transfer Station.

Also, both shops would appreciate it if you would only bring donations during their business hours.

Both are closed on Monday, so when you bring the last of the yard sale on Saturday after 3 p.m., it will likely be torn into by people who will scatter it all over the alleys, stolen, or meet with adverse weather. After clothes or furniture have been rained on, they are ready for the dump, and no one gets to benefit from them. After all, the purpose of donating is for someone else to be able to use it again and for the shops to make a little bit of money to help out their causes.

The Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop donates money to the hospital earmarked for special projects which benefit the patients who use the hospital. Second Chances Thrift Shop not only benefits the animal shelter, they also reach out to other community organizations with donations such as the veterans, Grammy’s House, fire victims, Workforce Solutions, and the homeless.

Both shops greatly appreciate the generosity of the community. Without your consideration to these wonderful causes, many projects would not be possible. Like many of the nonprofit organizations in town that do so much for the community that you don’t see every day, if they didn’t exist, they would leave such a void.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Linda Stevens is the director of Artesia Clean & Beautiful. Contact her at 748-3192.)