Hand grenades and Christmas dinners: the weirdest items donated to charity shops

Written by Lauren Weymouth
17/11/17

A live hand grenade, a stuffed bison, a funeral urn containing ashes and a Christmas dinner are all among some of the weirdest and wackiest items to have been donated to British charity shops, research has revealed.

The survey, which was conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation, took place ahead of this year’s #givingtuesday, which takes place on 28 November and aims to encourage people to give and do more for others. Charities including RSPB, Barnardo’s, Marie Curie and the British Heart Foundation submitted some of the most unusual items ever donated to them.

Among some of the most peculiar items listed by the participating charities were hundreds of pairs of women's tights, which were donated to an RSPB reserve. A warden requested 30 pairs to help stop a weed from invading the reserve's ponds, but the charity was inundated after the local paper covered the story.

A live hand grenade was also among the strangest items donated to a Sense charity shop in South East London, which was subsequently evacuated while the device was "made safe" by the emergency services.

Dog's Trust also revealed some interesting items, with one donor handing over a Christmas dinner in a jiffy bag, claiming they didn't want their sponsored dog to miss out on having a Christmas dinner.

Other wacky items included the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, along with edible nipple tassels and a whip, donated to a branch of Mind; and a full-sized passport photo booth, donated to Sue Ryder.

Commenting on the results, the Charities Aid Foundation director of communications Ben Russell said charity shops are the “ultimate destination” for those hoping to source an unusual Christmas gift.

“From stuffed mammals to your next ride, there really is no limit to what you might find whilst rooting for a bargain,” he said.

“Last year, more than 4.5 million people across the UK took part in #givingtuesday, and we hope that 2017 will be our biggest year yet. One way you can get involved is to donate some money to charity, and what better way than a visit to the local charity shop.”

The full list of the weirdest items donated to charity:

• A stuffed adult bison, donated to Barnardo’s
• A funeral urn, containing ashes, donated to a branch of Marie Curie
• A live hand grenade, donated to a Sense charity shop
• The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, along with edible nipple tassels and a whip, donated to a branch of Mind
• A Christmas dinner, donated to Dog’s Trust. A supporter didn’t want their sponsored dog missing out at Christmas, so sent a full Christmas dinner, in a jiffy bag.
• Hundreds of pairs of women’s tights, donated to an RSPB reserve. A warden requested
30 pairs to help stop a weed from invading the reserve’s ponds, but the charity was
inundated after the local paper covered the story.
• A full-sized passport photo booth, donated to Sue Ryder
• A Mercedes-Benz C180 Elegance, donated to a branch of Tenovus Cancer Care, in
Southampton
• An antique purse carved in the shape of a samurai, donated to the British Heart
Foundation’s eBay shop. The rare purse sold for £1154 in an online auction

#givingtuesday is designed to promote people giving and doing good things for other people, whether it be donating money to charity, volunteering, or something as simple as donating goods to a charity shop.



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