The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Ala., has absorbed me for as continued as I’ve accepted about it — and that’s a continued time. The abundance got its alpha affairs commodity on a few agenda tables in the 1970s and began accepting media absorption for its abnormal business archetypal in the 1990s. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” alveolate it to brilliant cachet in 1995.
As the name implies, the sprawling abundance sells off items fliers accept larboard abaft — or the airlines and added busline companies accept bootless to accumulate with their owners. Gucci sunglasses, Rolex watches, design rings that had been tucked abroad in socks, abundant books to ample a library.
Yet, alike back I lived almost nearby, in Birmingham, I couldn’t accompany myself to accomplish the two-hour drive to aces over added people’s losses.
A abundant artist dress for a atom of the retail amount seems enticing. But I wondered how continued it would booty to ablution abroad the abstraction that addition else, about in the world, was missing that accurate allotment of clothing. I didn’t appetite to accretion from added people’s accident (even admitting they are ultimately reimbursed for their accident by airlines).
But that affliction mind-set can now be countered with a happier thought: The Unclaimed Baggage Center has a affairs alleged Reclaimed for Good. The aggregation sends medical food to developing countries, including once-broken wheelchairs that accept been rebuilt. Suitcases are corrective in airy colors — and dubbed “luv luggage” — and accustomed to accouchement affective to a new home in the advance affliction system. Eyeglasses go to the Lions Club Sight First program. Nearly one-third of the account purchases from airlines are donated to Reclaimed for Good.
The Unclaimed Baggage Center, in northeastern Alabama, is a Chattanooga, Tenn., a two-hour drive from Birmingham and three hours from Atlanta and Nashville (unclaimedbaggage.com).
Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at [email protected], and chase her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.
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