We’ve all been there: you look at that piece of furniture, that pile of clothes, that unused appliance, just days before the movers are due to arrive, and wonder what on earth you’re going to do. Too often you opt to throw it all out, or ship it and worry about it later.
That’s where Second Chance Bangkok, a grassroots initiative set up by expats Chris and Jodie MacCartney, comes in: they’ll take your unwanted junk off your hands for free. Not that making the lives of hoarders easier is their sole concern – they founded Second Chance back in 2009 to improve the lives of those living in Bangkok’s impoverished Klong Toey slum.
Here’s how it works: all your donations are sold to the Klong Toey community, for the benefit of the Klong Toey community. In other words, items sold at their shop located in the slum go to new homes for a below market price and the proceeds then used to help generate employment, start businesses and fund social projects there. Neat, huh?
It’s an initiative pitched ingeniously between environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
Donate and, as well as easing the pressure on your local landfill, you’ll be helping pay the wages of the Klong Toey residents who man their store, and fund a slew of povertyalleviation projects. These include youth and kids’ clubs, medical assistance programs, support of small business startups, education scholarships and supporting children with special needs.
Business is so brisk that the store recently increased staff to cope with the growing number of customers and donations. And in the last few months, Chris and Jodie have been experimenting with a second shop, complete with its own fresh coffee corner, in another slum community to see how feasible it will be.
They’ve also started ‘upcycling’ some of the good that come in. Jodie explains why: “After running successfully for two years we started to dream about other ways we could engage people in our community with fair employment,” she says. “The result is ‘Creative Wares’: an initiative in which skilled and creative women turn jeans and business shirts into bags, pencil cases, teddy bears, accessories and giftwares. As well as these ‘upcycled’ goods, they also create woolen crocheted toys in beautiful, bright colours, as well as funky and functional sleepwear that we call ‘Fair wear’.”
Whether you’re a business, school, or individual, if you want to get involved – to give both your belongings and a disadvantaged community a ‘second chance’ – get in touch with the Second Chance crew via their website, www.scbkk.org, or by emailing them at [email protected]. To see some of their creations or make orders, follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/creativewares.scbkk
Preferred pick-up times are Monday to Fridays in the mornings or evenings. Items welcomed include the following: clean clothing, baby clothing, kitchenware, children’s toys, furniture, sporting items, musical instruments, household appliances, computers, books, bedding, electrical appliances and office equipment.