Heartless Driver

| September 2, 2012

Our family routinely donates to Amvets and The Military Order of the Purple Heart. We actually look forward to the monthly calls so we can dispose of our unwanted clothing and household goods. Since these donations go to help support our troops and veteran programs, we are happy to try and contribute each time we are called. This month, both Amvets and Purple Heart were having their pick-up on the same day, August 24. I had three bags out, one for Purple Heart and two bags for Amvets. All the bags were clearly marked  and separated on our front porch. When I returned home, I noticed all the bags were apparently picked up and went to look for the donation slips. However, what I found was rather disturbing. All three bags were gone, but I had two slips stating,  “Sorry, no marked donation found for Amvets” and no donation slip from Purple Heart. Knowing that Susan from Amvets depends on these donations for her paycheck, I immediately called to inform her that I did in fact have the bags out. When she answered, she was practically in tears. She went on to say that 90% of her designated stops had their donations taken; and although I personally did not witness who took it, she could only assume from other calls she received they were taken  by the Purple Heart driver.  He not only took the Purple Heart marked bags, but the Amvets’ bags as well.  Another donator who called Susan said she reported the “thefts” to the police and Susan said that is probably why the end of the Amvets’ route was actually picked up. Unfortunately, the damage was done. Now Susan, who depends on these pick-ups for her paycheck  would be receiving a considerable depleted one.

If the evidence proves correct and the driver of the Purple Heart van did in fact take the Amvets’ donations, it will not only deter people from donating in the future, but will also affect the job of the woman who calls to schedule their pickups. She will ultimately suffer from people saying “no” to a Purple Heart pickup.  Let’s not forget also that Susan depends on these donations as her job. She is a widowed mother, has endured cancer and is disabled with only one hand. She works 60-80 hours per week on her phone calls.  With these thefts from Amvets, they deprived a pleasant and hard-working woman of approximately four hundred dollars. This was wrong in so many ways.

The Purple Heart woman who solicits donations did speak with me and apologized profusely about the incident. She assured me the incident would be reported to the main office and she would recommend the driver be dismissed.  But she also told me that it has happened to her with drivers from Amvets taking Purple Heart donations when both pick-ups are scheduled on the same day. Simple solution – don’t schedule pick-ups on the same day!

I felt absolutely horrible about this and so I sent a donation to Susan to help replace some of her lost wages. She did not ask me to do this, but unless Purple Heart decides to fess up and turn over the stolen donations, she will be struggling to make her bills this month.  If anyone else would like to contribute something to make up her loss, send donations to Susan Gron, 262 Bodega Drive, Romeoville, IL 60446-3762.

This incident was truly heartless on the part of the Purple Heart driver, however, both organizations need to tell their drivers this isn’t a game of give and take.

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Category: Letter By the Editor

About the Author ()

Barbara is the publisher of People and Places Newspaper which she started in August of 2011. A lifelong resident of Schiller Park, she always felt it important that residents needed to be kept informed about their communities. Since newspaper coverage for Schiller Park stopped about twenty years ago, she made it a goal to bring a newspaper back to the area. She tries to include all of Leyden Township in her reporting and wants to keep true with the mission of the paper to "inform, educate and entertain."

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