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United Way donations bin spark controversy - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

United Way donations bin spark controversy

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Texarkana, Texas -

Some controversial United Way donation bins could soon be dropped.
    
While the bins were meant to be a fundraising opportunity for the United Way, some agencies argue the bins are not helping the Texarkana region.
    
The donation drop bins may read "United Way of Greater Texarkana" but only about 18 percent of the proceeds received from each bin actually go toward the non-profit.

"People who are putting merchandise in those bins think they are helping Texarkana, and it's not," said Connie Sloan, Executive Director Domestic Violence Prevention.

Sloan says their organization is receiving less than half of the clothing donations they need for their resale shop.  

Salvation Army Lt. Jimmy Parrish says 70 percent of the income at their family store is clothing.

He says they expect to lose more than $72,000 in revenue next year because of the United Way bins.

"We really don't want the drop boxes at all in our community because it just cause hindrances," said Lt. Parrish.

The United Way signed a contract with the for-profit organization called Merchandise Pickup Services.

The company handles all 18 clothing donation bins in Texarkana from pickup to sell.

United Way Board President Shawn Vaughn says the board plans to revisit the issue of the bins.

"I think we have a responsibility to take a look at it and find a solution that works for the agencies that we support, said Vaughn. "They are the whole reason United Way exists."
 
The United Way Executive Board will meet on Thursday at noon to discuss whether to keep the donation drop boxes.

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