City Thrift / AM VETS. AMVETS is an excellent organization that does a lot of good works for our vets. Like any nonprofit group they have to raise funds to do there good work. One way they do this in Florida is to lend the AMVET name out, for a fee, to a vender. In Daytona Beach there is a thrift store called, “Community Thrift” located at Mason Nova Plaza. The thrift store puts clothing donation boxes in shopping plazas, gas stations empty lots and fields for people to put there used clothing in. The store picks up the clothing then takes them back to the store and sells them at a profit to the public. In many cases they DO NOT even bother to ask the owner of the property for permission to do this. The property owner believing that the clothing donation box is AMVETS and since AMVETS is such a good charity they don’t object. The property owner does not know that the box in reality belongs to a FOR profit group. Kind of a deceptive trade practice I think. To make it worse they also drop these boxes at locations that other reputable charities already sit at, thus taking money right off the table of other groups that use clothing collection as a way to raise funds. THIS IS WRONG. Also, in many cases they tell the property owner they will pay rent to put an amvet box on the property then DON’T pay. This does many bad things besides hurting other nonprofit groups. First, it gives a bad name to the clothing collection box business. It also gets enough people upset to the point that they complain to the city, then the city passes laws to outlaw ANY boxes from being placed in that city, thus hurting other charities. The group I work with as well as 2 other worthy charities have complained to AMVETS main office for over a year now. The main office is very polite and agrees this practice is wrong and SAYS they will talk to the vender, Community Thrift, yet, this unfair business practice continues. I personally know of a half a dozen property owners that have called Community Thrift and asked them to move the box off their property and Community Thrift does not remove the box. It’s a shame that such a good organization as AMVETS lends out there good name, for a fee, to a group of people that are so disrespectful to property owners, the general public as well as other charities. It is just is not right. I do not understand why am vets are doing business with people like this. I think the public should be made aware of this. I will do my part to do this starting here. Any questions about this matter or the telemarketers that were arrested in Daytona a few years ago for doing basically the same kind of deceptive business feel free to call me at 386-235-7816, my name is Dan Pray. I’d be more than happy to tell you all about this.
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