Thursday, January 22, 2009

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Kids Exchange Discriminates

This is an email I received earlier today as part of an online mother's group post I'm a member.

Let me know what you think.

Greetings Triangle Families~

I just had to send a post after a negative experience with the Kids
Exchange sale in Raleigh today. For those of you who don't know
about the Kids Exchange, it's an event that takes place twice a year
at the raleigh fairgrounds where people can consign and buy used
baby/kid stuff. I've gone twice a year for the past six years for
great bargains and to consign so it is with GREAT disappointment that
I send out this email.

My partner was a part of the super volunteer exchange for this sale
(which works 3 shifts -total of 11-12 hours) in exchange for being
able to shop early at the sale. If you are a super volunteer you can
bring your kids and your 'spouse' to shop early with you, but not
friends or others. The thought behind that (per the website) is that
they only want people shopping for their children (one family) not
shopping for kids of people who were not volunteers. So as we entered
for the super volunteer sale today we were questioned at the door
going in...and I said we were partners...that the 2 children are
ours...we were their parents. They started to not let us in, but then
one of the ladies knew my partner and waved us in...amongst some ill
looks. It was when we paid that i got pissed.

As I handed the check to Doris (remember this name...she's the head
honcho....write to her/call her...PLEASE! ) She looked at us and said
that the early volunteer sale was for spouses only. I explained that
we are domestic partners...the 2 children with us are OURS, we are the
parents. She again said in a snotty voice, that it was for spouses
ONLY, but since we had already gotten in, she'd 'let us pay for our
stuff' this time but that it would not be permitted again. My partner
then said, 'you mean husband and wife only? Man and woman
only?'...and Doris continued with her snotty voice and said yes.

So, please keep in mind that no 'proof' of marriage is required when a
man and a woman go into the sale together. No questions asked. It's
just one man and one woman....and that is acceptable as long as one of
them was a volunteer. It seems that gay parent volunteer hours aren't
the same as straight parent volunteer hours....any man and woman can
enter the sale early if one is a volunteer..for all they know they can
even be strangers. But as a gay parent, we are NOT ALLOWED the same
benefit of shopping early with our partners since we're the same

Please take a moment to send an email to Doris and the others who
'run' the Kids Exchange to let them know that this type of
discrimination against our families is not fair. If we are
volunteering our time and resources we should be entitled to the same
privilledges as straight families (or even a man/woman non-related or
strangers) for that matter. If they want to enforce the sale as being
for married couples only...then require a marriage certificate. What
about non-married parents? THIS IS DISCRIMINATION OF OUR FAMILIES!!!!

Please feel free to circulate this e-mail to anyone you know who will
spread the word and contact the Kids Exchange, Media or other outlets.
This type of treatment of our families in 2009 is not acceptable and
unless we make our voices heard incidents like this will continue. I
appreciate you taking the time to read this, and please follow up with
an email to Doris and the Kids Exchange organizers listed below to let
them know this is discrimination.

Doris@KidsExchange. net

Julie@KidsExchange. net

Amy@KidsExchange. net

Amanda C.P. Lenhart


Amy said...

Wow. That is disappointing. It seems like they need to require proof of marriage or place no restrictions.

Laura said...

I support you 100%!!

I have been a Super Volunteer/Work Exchanger for 2+ years, and a loyal customer. I feel as though their "policies" are out of place, and biased towards one family structure. I think each volunteer should be able to have one guest (with no restrictions) OR No guests-for any volunteer; you shop only if you volunteer.

I am a mother, who is currently going through a divorce. I have asked if "Grandma" could come with me to shop and they have given me the same speech re: "spouses only."

This year will be my last year of volunteering. While I was shopping on Wednesday, Jan. 22, I talked with a shopper who was buying for a Preschool!! (I want the children at the Preschool to have their needed equipment...but, it should be bought during the public sale!!)

Seems unfair- and Totally Contradictory to their "policy"- to let the Preschool TEAM of shoppers (I then observed, and saw 4+ folks shopping for this preschool)shop for a GROUP of children, than are not theirs!!

Yet, partners, and Grandmas are unable to shop for their own child/grandchild.

I have been told by those that "run" the Kids exchange, that their "policy" is intended to "protect" the volunteer and spouse from having to compete-shop with a volunteer who brings a friend, who will then shop for her children. Or a volunteer who brings a grandma who will shop for her 8 grandkids. Yet, the Preschool was shopping...for lots of kids that are not theirs.

I can not cooperate with unjust practices. Therefore, I will no volunteer in future years and I plan to write a formal letter of complaint to the Kids Exchange.

Trice said...

You've got my support since I've been there too with the Kids Exchange. This is a definite disservice to military moms, single moms, and lifelong partners.

Let's look at this from a realistic viewpoint. What if they lost their spouse? I'm sure they wouldn't run out and marry the next thing coming just to enter a consignment sale! Or maybe they would!

This is an unfair yet common practice of the Kids Exchange and I thank you for posting so that everyone can be aware of their biased business practices. I received the same lack of professionalism in 2006 from Amy Winstead and was not allowed to shop as a single mother with a guest (yes, Grandma) after waiting several hours in line. I wasn't even offered to uphold a reason (husband deceased, divorced, etc.). They simply didn't care and Amy stated, "This is our policy, you have to be married!" Well, let me tell you that there were couples that were allowed to enter that day, but many of them were not married. After words were exchanged on both ends, eventually we were let in when one of the family members recognized me as a dedicated Super Volunteer for NUMEROUS years.

Yes, this is the reason that I stopped volunteering with the Kids Exchange as a Super Volunteer. To believe I even traveled from Charlotte (read about it in the Newspaper here today) to participate was amazing and to be treated this way was appalling. Thank you for taking a stand and sharing your experience with all of us! Always stand up for what you believe and know that EVERYONE deserves to be treated fairly!

Anonymous said...

Why whine? When you blog and get the media involved you only give the exchange alot of free advertising that it otherwise would not have gotten. Since the policy is not to your liking start your own consignment sale and have no rules.

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