Donator receives dumped bags of trash

By Sadie Beckman -
Mel Halliday runs the Pay It Forward Horowhenua/Kapiti Facebook group. Photo / Ashleigh Collis
Mel Halliday runs the Pay It Forward Horowhenua/Kapiti Facebook group. Photo / Ashleigh Collis

A local woman who regularly collects and distributes donated items to local people in need has had bags of trash dumped at her house and a grocery voucher stolen.

Mel Halliday runs the Pay It Forward Horowhenua/Kapiti Facebook group and spends her own time co-ordinating donations for people who are struggling, offering her house as a drop-off point.

A recent donation drive was for a family with three children who lost all their possessions in a devastating fire at their Bartholomew Rd home.

While Ms Halliday said she had received many kind donations of useful items for the family, some people had been anonymously dropping off rubbish and broken or dangerous items in what were obvious dumpings.

"Since starting the collecting following the fire I have had actual rubbish donated - bags and bags of it," she said.

"[There are] dangerous electronics with frayed cords that no one can think [are] okay to use. I know beggars can't be choosers but gifting that kind of thing to people who have just experienced a fire is ridiculous."

Open black bin bags with used nappies and household rubbish as well as greenwaste from someone weeding the garden had been left at her property on Wednesday.

There were items like a lamp with a broken fitting and exposed wiring, a broken coffee table and "really broken and filthy" kitchen appliances, she said.

Ms Halliday said she didn't have the means to dispose of the rubbish other people couldn't be bothered getting rid of and would now be forced to no longer accept or gift items unless she could pick them up herself from people.

Ms Halliday had also put a grocery voucher, that she had personally received as a Christmas present, up as a prize in a draw to encourage grocery donations for the fire victims.

She left the voucher in an envelope in her mailbox with the winner's name on so they could collect it, but when she returned home, someone had ripped it open and the voucher was gone.

"It's really upsetting for me, as the person was looking forward to using the voucher for a well deserved treat for herself," said Ms Halliday.

While she didn't have the funds to replace the voucher herself, an anonymous donor had since contacted her and offered to do so.

It was the first time in four years of helping others that Ms Halliday had experienced any issues with rubbish dumping and theft, and while she was very disappointed in the actions of a few people, she said it wouldn't put her off.

"I guess I'll just have to ask for people to donate, but will have to pick it up and kind of vet it myself," she said.

"A bit of rubbish isn't going to stop me."

Anyone now wishing to donate items should make contact via the Pay It Forward Horowhenua/Kapiti Facebook page.

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