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messagedrops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by underhillroad 26 October, 2010 19:40

Hello, wondering whether anyone knows of this company/charity who dropped a bag through the letterbox today (unsurprisingly given my username i live on underhill Rd) asking for clothing etc donations to be collected on Thursday. Was just sorting out a pile of stuff to put in the bag when it occurred to me that this might be one of those dodgy companies that just collects clothes to sell to market stalls in developing countries rather than an actual charity. On the bag the written English is slightly dodgy and I can't get anything when I google the name of the collection "drops of hope"... any thoughts?! Clearly I want to donate to a registered and reputable charity who actually gives the stuff to where it is needed and not to line the pockets of some profiteering salesman who is sickly pretending to be a charity??

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by DJKillaQueen 26 October, 2010 19:53

I never give anything to those letterbox fliers. Most of them are companies reselling clothes in Africa for personal profit.

Best to take any unwanted items to a known charity or one of their shops.

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by louisiana 26 October, 2010 20:00

If they have no charity registration number they are not a charity*. You can check the name on the Charity Commission website
[www.charity-commission.gov.uk]
(text box at the top of the page, in the centre)


*except for housing and some education charities

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by savage 26 October, 2010 20:03

Hi

I live on Friern Road and also got one.

It's not actually a flier but a charity bag in a plastic wrapper making it look more like a legitimate charity, but it actually doesn't claim to be one if you read the small print. However i do think this could be quite deceptive for those who do not examine it carefully.

I agree take any items you want to donate to the charity shops to avoid usig these companies inadvertantly.

Kate

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by Alec John Moore 26 October, 2010 20:06

I reckon DJKQ's suspicions are correct. The Drops of Help Ltd is a private limited company registered in January this year:
[wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk]

No accounts have been filed at Companies House.

For future reference the definitive source of information on charities registered in England an Wales is the Charity Commission:

[www.charitycommission.gov.uk]

The larger charities are often also limited companies so need to file information with both organisations.

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by underhillroad 26 October, 2010 20:09

excellent, thanks Louisiana, "your search for The drops of help ltd" has produced no results" acc to website you list. They have a "charity reg number" on their bag which is outrageous since they clearly aren't registered.
And, DJ Killa, yes I hear you, I would like to get to a charity shop ideally but just now I liked the convenience of the door collection; some are genuine (Scope, Age UK and British Heart Foundation for example have door dropped around here and are genuince collections for the registered charities) and so I hope others aren't scammed into donating to people who as you rightly put it, sell for personal profit. It saddens me to think that people do this and it must mean that the genuine charities lose out on donations.

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by louisiana 26 October, 2010 20:10

Small charities will also often be companies (limited by guarantee) and so on the CoHo database. You can't be a chairty without having some legal form (company or whatever).

It's best to check charitable status on the Commission website.

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by underhillroad 26 October, 2010 20:17

just to comment again on the drops of hope thing - they write "registered in England and Wales" (and put a number) but don't acually write charity on it, i guess to absolve themselves of guilt. Also the picture of the child's face with hand in mouth is particularly wrenching... I will keep my stuff till a genuine collection comes round or until I get to a charity shop to drop it off.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by louisiana 26 October, 2010 20:30

That'll be their company registration number.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by wee quinnie 26 October, 2010 21:04

Doesn't the fact that the company is callec Blah Blah LTD mean that they are a limited company and therefore not a charity?

Or am i wrong?

messageRe: drops of help?
Posted by ianr 26 October, 2010 21:09

underhillroad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> excellent, thanks Louisiana, "your search for The drops of help ltd" has produced no results" acc to website you list.

That's because the b*ggers have left spaces out of the name, so it comes in a different place in the collation sequence.

Usual pattern: recent start-up, registered office in a residential area. [wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk]
Click the Order Information link and you'll get a director's name free.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by Alec John Moore 26 October, 2010 21:15

Don't know the proportions so can't say most but a lot of charities are also ltd companies so you can check on both Charity Commission and Companies House websites. Some PTAs for instance may be registered with the Charity Commission but are less likely to have ltd co status.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by Alec John Moore 26 October, 2010 21:15

Don't know the proportions so can't say most but a lot of charities are also ltd companies so you can check on both Charity Commission and Companies House websites. Some PTAs for instance may be registered with the Charity Commission but are less likely to have ltd co status.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by DulwichFox 27 October, 2010 12:31

Drops of Hope do have a Website.

Here

Drops of Hope, Inc.

4851 West Hillsboro Boulevard
Suite A-11
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
Phone: (954) 428-4552
Fax: (954) 428-4553
Email: info@dropsofhope.com

Florida based charity collecting in East Dulwich. ????

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by DJKillaQueen 27 October, 2010 12:57

Makes me think the two are NOT connected.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by DJKillaQueen 27 October, 2010 13:34

I just had a leaflet drop through my door from 'Tree of Hope'. It has a valid charity Reg no. on it that I could check and it is a bona fide charity, along with a bona fide address, website etc and information on what they raise as spend as a not for profit organisation. Took me less than a minute to find out who they are and what they do.

At the bottom of the leaflet it says:

'People operate illegally in this area. DO NOT donate if your leaflet has no contact address, telphone no. and registered charity no.'

Seems like good advice.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by DulwichFox 27 October, 2010 13:40

DJKillaQueen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Makes me think the two are NOT connected.

Thats the point.

People might of heard of the 'genuine' Charity Drops of Hope

The people droping leaflets are claiming to be them when they are not.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by binary_star 27 October, 2010 14:14

DJKillaQueen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I just had a leaflet drop through my door from
> 'Tree of Hope'. It has a valid charity Reg no. on
> it that I could check and it is a bona fide
> charity, along with a bona fide address, website
> etc and information on what they raise as spend as
> a not for profit organisation. Took me less than a
> minute to find out who they are and what they do.
>
> At the bottom of the leaflet it says:
>
> 'People operate illegally in this area. DO NOT
> donate if your leaflet has no contact address,
> telphone no. and registered charity no.'
>
> Seems like good advice.

I actually emailed The Tree of Hope because I thought the flyer looked a bit DIY (the logos were badly pixellated), no bags were provided, and the web address provided for SOS Clothes Ltd (who are collecting the clothes on behalf of the charity) didn't check out. But a contact at the Charity confirmed this is a legitimate collection. Good job as we've donated clothes to them!

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by concita 27 October, 2010 14:28

things you give away for charity in this country are not sold for charity but for profit by the so called charity shops. if your goods are not designer clothes or expensive items, they are thrown away in the rubbish bins. Those expensive items are sold at exhorbitant prices which none of the poor in England can afford anyway. Primark is much cheaper for them and items are new.
When I was living overseas I learnt that USA charity organisations used to sell bales and bales of clothing in harbours, where market sellers/mafia go early in the morning bidding. If they are lucky they get good clothes which they can sell at good prices at the local market, otherwise, they collect buttons, zips and whatever is recyclable and sell separately. The clothes do not go to the poor.
In my opinion, if you wish to do charity and know people who are in needs, help them directly.
Once I had a beautiful coat, which I gave it away at a charity shop in Sydenham. I found the same coat (still having the same overseas dry cleaner badge inside) in a charity shop in Sloane Square, sold for £85. That coat cost me much, much less. If I needed to buy again that coat, I could not have afforded it myself. Do you call this charity?

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by giggirl 27 October, 2010 14:50

Yes I would call that charity, Concita, so long as the £85 raised by the shop by selling your coat went to the named charity that you had donated to.

Everything is supply and demand and sometimes things end up being worth more than we paid for them - obviously this was the case with your coat. It must have been a lovely coat so congratulations.

I give a lot of designer items to charity via the bags put through my door. If the charity can get as much or even more than I paid for the item then I'm happy for them. Why wouldn't I be?

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by DJKillaQueen 27 October, 2010 15:02

I've found many bargains in charity shops, bought a suicase and trolly for a fiver recently and was more than happy knowing it was going to the Red Cross. Clothes, I tend to give the decent ones away or to shops and the rest I put into the recycling bins where they are recycled to make rugs and other scrap based items. There is a way to recycle everything.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by concita 27 October, 2010 15:16

money received from sale of clothes do not go always to the charity you donate to. They are used to pay high wages for their directors and managers.
Yes mine was a lovely coat and I would have been happier if I saw it on someone who was poor, not in a a wealthy area for the rich. It certainly was not sold it in Sydenham where there are many unemployed people.
Like everybody else, I did believe in by giving to charities shops, you help other poor in the area. After what I learnt and seen, I have become sceptical.
Charity begins at home. If you know someone in need, help them directly. If the charity shops want to help poor people in the area, those one who cannot afford to buy clothes, then they should keep prices down, not selling more than their second hand value.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by Moos 27 October, 2010 15:27

The primary function of charity shops is to help the charities they support. If they can make more money for their organisations by selling to a shop in a wealthier area, why wouldn't they?

I don't support the argument that people working for charities should have low wages because they work in the volunteer sector either.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by giggirl 27 October, 2010 15:30

I would say that it is the mandate of, for example, the Red Cross, to raise money for the Red Cross, not to assist the poor in any particular catchment area. Same goes for Cancer Relief, Mind, or any other.

If I was to put a designer item in a charity bag and whoever sorted through that bag on behalf of the charity decided that that item would fetch more money in a different neighbourhood then, more power to them. I give the item freely, hoping that the charity make as much money as possible. I've no desire to see someone walking up Lordship Lane in one of my dresses.

Lots of people who work for charities are volunteers, but there are some paid directors and managers. That's not a bad thing.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by concita 27 October, 2010 16:10

that's why good causes never receive the right money.
This sort of charity is OK for this country, but overseas, people do help local people and do not mind if they see others walking in the same street with their clothes on.
Charities in this country are already supported by tax payers, by the national lottery, raffles etcc...
As you said there are many charity workers, but there are also many highly paid directors, who would not give a penny of their salary to support the charity they represent. It is certainly not a good thing.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by giggirl 27 October, 2010 16:23

concita Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> that's why good causes never receive the right
> money.

How so, I don't understand your point

> This sort of charity is OK for this country, but
> overseas, people do help local people and do not
> mind if they see others walking in the same street
> with their clothes on.

I would not mind either, but I suspect I would find it odd. That's not the same thing as minding.

> Charities in this country are already supported by
> tax payers, by the national lottery, raffles
> etcc...

So what? So they might get some money from the national lottery AND they have the nerve to want to raise more money from other sources. They're fundraisers. That's wht they do. More power to them.

> As you said there are many charity workers, but
> there are also many highly paid directors, who
> would not give a penny of their salary to support
> the charity they represent. It is certainly not a
> good thing.

If somebody works for a wage then it's up to them what they do with their money. It's not my business how they spend their money and it's not YOUR business how they spend their money.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by Alec John Moore 27 October, 2010 18:08

One of the things I find most fascinating working in the sector is the motivations of donors. There are many good people in this country who respond to a disaster overseas by gathering together clothes, knitting blankets etc to send to the victims of the disaster. No matter how much it is put to them that it would be more effective and efficient to sell what they have gathered/made and donate the proceeds to the charity of their choice so that those funds can be used to buy what people need nearer to them, they insist on trying to send stuff at great cost. I think it is important to respect people's personal motivations but professionals know that having enough funds will help people more effectively.

I'm glad the OP raised the question about a dubious collection and I hope more people will be more aware of how they donate to charity as a result.

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by louisiana 27 October, 2010 19:28

concita Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> that's why good causes never receive the right
> money.
> This sort of charity is OK for this country, but
> overseas, people do help local people and do not
> mind if they see others walking in the same street
> with their clothes on.
> Charities in this country are already supported by
> tax payers, by the national lottery, raffles
> etcc...

Most charities receive absolutely nothing from the National Lottery.
Charities will only receive any money from a raffle if they themselves actually operate a raffle, or if some kind soul decides to give the cash from a raffle to that charity.
Charities receive Gift Aid only as a consequence of having raised money themselves from individual donors/taxpayers.


> As you said there are many charity workers, but
> there are also many highly paid directors, who
> would not give a penny of their salary to support
> the charity they represent. It is certainly not a
> good thing.

Concita, you seem to have some pretty strange ideas.

There are paid employees in many charities. After all, those charities have a job to do, and sometimes a very unpleasant or even dangerous one. (Here, I'm thinking of a friend who was working in the field in Rwanda/Burundi during the awful events there.) Most charities (and NGOs) also generally have quite a few volunteers. But it's pretty difficult to do any serious work without some paid full-time employees.

Detail of exactly what money is paid as wages is available for all charities, in their accounts available on the Charity Commission website. Charity trustees cannot receive any payment for services from the charity of which they are a trustee. Charities do not have directors (as in board of directors) unless they are also limited (by guarantee) companies. Charities may have executive director(s) who is paid, but that tends to be a very full-on full-time role, in other words the 'director' bit is just a job label and it's a job like any other.

Would you give money out of your (after-tax) wages to 'support' the company or organisation you work for?

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by pommie 28 October, 2010 08:51

half the stuff probably doesnt get collected as people walking past sometimes take it too. I put a small bag of clothes out for such a charity only to find a woman walking past opening the bag to have a look

messageRe: drops of help? (anyone know of this company/charity?)
Posted by Alec John Moore 28 October, 2010 10:21

It's an important question about where the money goes and who benefits from the donations that people make. Some take the view that they'd rather support a voluntary organisation/charity/NGO that uses their funds effectively and efficiently - having first determined that they share their values to an extent and support the cause. So, if a charity has a system for identifying high value items that come through their shops that are then sold for a good price elsewhere then that is merely maximising the income potential of those donations. It's not really that different from charities urging us to sign up for gift aid so that they can get more from that type of donation.

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