Red Phone: Thieves taking items from charity

“I am livid! The other day I left several bags of clothing on the sidewalk for Hope Services in San Jose to drive by and pick up (they do it once a month and give the donated clothes to the needy). Well, I was shocked to find out the bags of clothes were stolen from the sidewalk before Hope even got there! I just want to warn other people in my neighborhood (Miller Street) and I will never put out clothes on the sidewalk again. Thanks for getting the message out Red Phone.”


Red Phone: Dear Charitable Giver, Hope Services offers regular pickups of new and used items to benefit needy families. Unfortunately the convenience of a curbside pickup also provides an opportunity for theft. While some items are taken by homeless people, others are actually picked up by companies or non-profits.

“It is a sign of the times,” said Mark Smith, the director of in-kind donations for Hope Services. “It has gotten real competitive out there. Before there were two or three companies accepting items, now there are 10 or 12. We find our receipts torn off and lying on the ground. We tell our drivers not to pick up other stuff with other tags.”

But the risk of theft doesn’t mean you should stop giving. Hope has several drop-off locations throughout the Bay Area including one at 8855 Murray Ave. in Gilroy that is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also if you are afraid someone might steal your items, you can let Hope know if you want to leave them on the porch or somewhere safer, he said.

There is no need to call to schedule a pickup. Just leave your items out for pickup with the tag. Since Hope sometimes makes 100 pickups in a day, some items may be missed. They will come by the next day to pick up any items that are left behind, Smith said.

Hope accepts many types of items including clothes, jewelry, toys, arts and crafts and working and non-working e-waste. They do not accept furniture. The Gilroy location even accepts mattresses and box springs to be recycled. There is a $15 fee.

To schedule a pickup, call 748-2874 or 1-866-636-6283 or email [email protected]

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