Fish, false teeth and glass eyes: the weirdest items donated to charity shops

Written by Charity Times

The annual list of the craziest items donated to charity has been released, with dentures, a toilet seat and a large, raw fish among this year’s most absurd.

This year's survey, conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation, took place ahead of #givingtuesday, which takes place on 27 November and aims to encourage people to give and do more for others. Charities including Age UK, Marie Curie, Mind and Oxfam submitted the most unusual items donated to them.

Among some of the most peculiar items listed by the participating charities was a rare book of 52 etchings by the Italian artist Piranesi, which was missing its front cover and in disrepair, but eventually raised £30,000 when sold at auction in August this year.

Waging Peace said it had received a large, raw fish in a plastic bag, while Birmingham Dogs Home received a “huge pair of ‘doggie wheels’ for disabled dogs”.

Elsewhere, Marie Curie said it has been fortunate enough to receive a second-hand toilet seat, half-eaten black forest gateau, false teeth, glass eyes and dog nappies, all to their charity shops.

“As unusual as these donations are, they show the many ways people can support the charities they care about. And they show how important charity shops are, helping to raise millions of pounds annually for the good causes they represent,” CAF director of communications, Ben Russell said.

Last year, a live hand grenade, a stuffed bison, a funeral urn containing ashes and a Christmas dinner were among some of the more unique items to have passed through charity shop doors.

Mind Retail director, Andrew Vale added: “We’re always very grateful to those who make donations to Mind shops. There have been some more unusual items donated in the past, such as a live hand grenade and a voodoo kit, which are impossible or inappropriate to put on sale. Although the saying goes ‘It’s the thought that counts’, we have a much better chance of benefitting from donations when they are practical and in good condition.”

The weirdest items donated to charity

• A large, raw fish in a plastic bag (Waging Peace)
• The funds raised from an eBay auction that featured Elton John’s black leather, knee high, signed platform boots (Amnesty International)
• A commemorative bottle of whisky to celebrate the royal wedding of Charles and Diana and £73 in old sixpences (Age UK)
• A huge pair of “doggie wheels” for disabled dogs (Birmingham Dogs Home)
• Dentures in a handbag and a live hedgehog – christened Harry – in a duffel bag (Salvation Army)
• A stuffed tarantula in a cage and a voodoo kit containing real human hair (Mind)
• A rare book of 52 etchings by the Italian artist Piranesi, missing its front cover and in disrepair that eventually raised £30,000 when sold at auction in August this year (Oxfam)

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