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I'll have a pop-up Kama Sutra and a Kindle, please
A pop-up Kama Sutra book, a working commode, vintage accordion and an urn (complete with ashes) have made the latest list of unusual items donated to PDSA charity stores, closely followed by a used toilet seat and false teeth.
Each year the charity reveals the most outstanding and unexpected goods donated by supporters in its famous pink collection sacks. Among the regular mix of clothing, books and household items, the veterinary charity received some outstanding items in 2011 – from the exotic and highly valuable to the downright strange.
But the eye-opening nature of these donations cannot mask an increasingly serious struggle to acquire enough high-quality goods. PDSA has seen an alarming 25% year-on-year drop in items donated to its UK-wide chain of 170-plus stores. This comes at a time when demand for its veterinary services continues to soar, due to the economic downturn which leads more households to rely on the charity.
“Every year we unveil the most remarkable donations we receive,” said PDSA Retail Operations Manager Jeff Brown. “While quality clothing, books, music and accessories are very much our ‘bread and butter’ we also get some very unusual items. Some are wonderful and very valuable, while some others simply make the mind boggle.”
Jeff added: “But this year we also need to highlight a worrying drop in donations, as people hang on to their goods for longer, or find alternative ways to dispose of them.”
The top ten most unusual items received by PDSA in 2011 were:
1. Pop-up Kama Sutra (Plymouth store)
2. Commode (Barry)
3. False teeth (West Ealing)
4. Used toilet seat (Bridgwater)
5. Rubber pants (Eastleigh)
6. Urn with ashes (Street)
7. Brand new Kindle (Hull)
8. Windsurfing equipment (Bognor Regis)
9. Vintage accordion (Leicester)
10. Double bass (Taunton)
As well as the Kindle, high value highlights of 2011 included a designer handbag and antique silver bowl, which together raised around £1,000 for PDSA.
Throughout the UK, PDSA high street stores help support the charity’s vital veterinary work. Its 50 PetAid hospitals are located in all major towns and cities, where they provide free treatment for the pets of people in need. This service will cost more than £61 million this year to maintain and the charity is funded entirely by public support.
To find your local PDSA store, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/findus.