If I even think about throwing my kids’ clothes out, I get twitchy.
They grow fast and often there’s nothing wrong with shorts, jumpers or shoes apart from being too small.
How can it be right to consign them to a skip?
It feels like only yesterday I wanted to get one of those sweet paint-prints of my boys’ newborn feet on a mug.
Now I can wear their socks and I’m not far off fitting into their trainers.
I’m not sure what happened to the months and years between.
Giving to charity shops is a great idea. The money raised from their sale funds research and helps people who need it.
But there’s another option – passing on clothes straight to other families who need them – at no cost to them at all.
That’s what Togs for Tots in Dundee does.
It gives to youngsters and teens who have been referred to them.
Some referrals are specific.
A wee girl whose mum can’t afford to buy her ballet shoes.
Or a prom dress for a teen; a pair of school shoes for a wee boy starting school?
People need help for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s temporary; sometimes it lasts for years.
No one wants to feel they can’t afford to keep their kids in warm, clean clothes.
But sometimes it’s just not possible and that’s when the kindness of groups such as Togs – and the likes of the Lochee Community Larder or foodbanks – can mean everything in that moment of need.
Personally touched by work of Togs
I’ve visited Togs many times over the years but a trip last week with my boys to drop off clothes and shoes touched me to the core.
Huge thanks to Pam for taking the time to show us round.
The set-up is streamlined with various rooms for different stages of preparation.
The first I saw had rails full of coats. They were all either new (many people buy new clothes to donate) or in great condition.
Another room had boxes with labels for the clothing type and age – ‘jumpers, girls, 2-3’ or ‘trousers, boys 7-8’.
This allows volunteers to quickly source items needed for each of their care packages.
These packages contain enough clothes for a youngster to wear for a week – so seven changes of clothes, pyjamas and so on.
Nothing goes to waste and they work closely with other Dundee charities.
One Dundonian superhero takes all of the football boots to give to kids he visits in schools.
The best way to follow the group’s news and find out what items they need most is on their Facebook page.
And it’s not just clothes – there are also toys, cots, nappies, high chairs, changing mats, Halloween costumes, a mini library of books and much more.
And all that stuff, once part of the lives of people in homes all over Dundee, is given a second chance to support other families.
If that doesn’t warm the cockles on a chilly October Wednesday, I don’t know what will.
Where are all the workers?
A reader emailed me this week to share a problem.
“Actually,” they wrote, “It’s more of an observation, just a fact I can’t understand.
“You can call me Andy but I’d rather you didn’t use my name as I don’t want to embarrass anyone in my business.”
Intrigued? I was.
Andy used his personal Facebook page – as well as the one for his business – to ask for applicants for a part-time job, which may lead to a full time position.
He also posted the ad on employment websites which specialise in the kind of job on offer.
And do you know how many people applied?
None. Not one. He waited for a day, then a week and a fortnight later, not one single applicant.
“I told this story to a pal with a similar business,” he went on.
“And he said he’s heard of this happening a lot. He’s short-staffed too. Jobs are there but people aren’t going for them.”
We hear similar stories in the news about shortages of workers in businesses nationwide. But hearing about it happening on the ground in Dundee really brings it home.
I told Andy, there’s only one thing for it – he’ll have to take out an ad in the Tele.
Hello darkness my old friend
Anyone else finding it hard to get out of bed now the dark mornings have set in?
Come 7am it still looks like night time and finding the motivation to get up, dressed and out when bed is so cosy, can be hard.
If only the kids were on the same page.