Mystery of the ‘nice’ bag


To the Editor:

I’m one of the many volunteers who work a shift at the West Tisbury Dumptique. It can be lots of work, and it can get hectic, but it can also be rewarding. I’d like to share a great story which happened recently. 

Brigette, one of the top two volunteers, came to me because a woman’s husband had mistakenly taken a shopping bag to the Dumptique with nice gifts in it. It was my shift but I didn’t even see the bag, because it was a busy day for the volunteers. It is not unusual to get new things with tags on them, so the person who put out the things from the bags didn’t even think twice about it. Hope was that person, and she noted there were nice things. Brigette came to me because the person who brought the bag of great things came to her to explain the mistake and see if she could help. Brigette asked for a list of things and brought it to me, because she knew I was on the shift when the bag was left. I noticed right away that I had taken one of the nice shirts with tags on it, so I was glad to know I could give something back.
I showed the note to Hope, who said she had also taken something and would happily give it back, but she then went into her “detective mode,” and actually tracked everything down. She called up the person who was trying to track down the bag, and set up a time for her to pick up the goods. All ended well because of Brigette taking on the goal of helping an upset person and Hope being a good tracker. There are several volunteers at the Dumptique, but these two women deserve congratulations on jobs well done.


Rosemary van Ness
West Tisbury


  1. Come on, let’s be honest here. I’ve donated regularly to the Dumptique. This summer I dropped off very “nice” things. In the process of having my items checked in by a volunteer, I was surprised to have her call over a co-worker to grab what I was dropping off, and then watched as she put the nicest, most valuable of my donations in the trunk of her car! Id heard about the practice of Dumptique workers taking the best for themselves, but I’d never before seen it done so blatantly. And for sure, I never thought I’d see it publicly admitted to. Is it really a surprise that the mistakenly donated nice new items described in this letter were easily retrieved? Seriously, how hard is it to ask the volunteers? Lol. At least the unintended donations were given back. But sorry, no medals. Since my experience this summer I now consider other places on-island for future donations.

    • Well, the volunteers are there on their own time sorting through other people’s castaway items, often smelly and gross, so I for one don’t blame them for snagging the odd treasure for themselves. Why on earth not? The dumptique is by Islanders, for Islanders.

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