I realize there's a raging debate about the consumer ethics of shopping on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and so forth. Still, in the interests of our mission - we have info to share with you.
First, please remember your OWN tote bags for your shopping. On the busiest shopping day of the year, imagine what you can do to reduce disposable bags with a few totes?
Second, we have found a list of (reported) freebies on Black Friday. These might be terrific gift items and also terrific items to donate. Walgreens and CVS in particular have a ton of free items that include many groceries you can share. You get the rewards on your in-store cards; your neighbors benefit from the items.
And if you are fortunate enough to receive a modest gift card as your "freebie" - perhaps consider purchasing some totes to donate? Or passing along the card to a project you support - you might be surprised how far we can make a $5 or $10 card stretch.
Are you aware of any other free tote offers? I'm surprised there aren't more of them.
So what to do with your bounty? First, put your totes in your car ...
Here's a list of spots accepting donations. If you donate food or groceries, please be sure to look for an indication that the spot can manage food.
And if you can take a minute around your own Thanksgiving gathering - perhaps suggest the family consider a holiday project? Its never too late to share.
The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project collects new and gently used tote bags for distribution to the region's food pantries. We are a project of the Thomas Merton Center. Visit our website for a list of permanent drop-off spots, information on how to organize your own tote bag drive and details on our partnerships with corporations and promotional products items. You can also follow us on Twitter@Tote4Pgh and Facebook.com/Tote4pgh