WAIT to donate - that is the message from charities after donated items potentially worth thousands of dollars left outside charity shops during the New Year's long weekend were ruined in Sunday's storm and will now be dumped.
"We now have the added bill of having these items taken to the dump," The Salvation Army's corp officer Major Warren Parkinson of the Noosa Corp said.
"We are always thankful for donations but we want to do the best with the donations we receive... these can't be used and that's the sad situation.
"Particularly with furniture items, like small tables, they swell up with the rain and can't be used."
The coast-wide problem was clearly evident at Noosaville's Salvation Army Family Store on Monday morning where an overflow of wet donations lay scattered across the front of the charity's op shop.
Resident Desley Macpherson said the wet pile smelled bad and was "the worst I've ever seen it".
"It made me angry," she said.
"When I got close there were some really nice things in there that the thrift shop could have got good money for but the storm's saturated it and it all stunk.
"The people who donated it obviously didn't care about giving it to charity.
"They were just using it as a dump.
"They couldn't hold on a week and hand it in when the place was open?
"I reckon it'll all go in the skip now."
Included in the pile were bedside tables, lounges, a mattress and other pieces of furniture, bags of clothing, a blender and even a forlorn-looking teddy bear.
Major Parkinson said he understands people do a spring clean "when they have time on their hands", such as on a long weekend, but he urged them to wait to donate to ensure their items can be used to help those in need.
"People are donating with the best intentions but I would urge them to phone to arrange to have the items picked up or wait until the store is open... unfortunately we don't have people on site 24/7," he said.
"I wonder if people within the community realise that their donations are also rifled through and often stolen."
To arrange a collection by The Salvation Army, please phone 54424218.
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