Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy sustainable new year

Where do I start? Since my last post, I have been upgraded to "first class" with a new computer so that I can better communicate on blogs, facebook and beyond. The keyboard is quite different, so bear with me for while, so that I can familiarize myself with this new fangled contraption and get up to speed with how it works. I am sure it will make me sound smarter and if it can help me figure out how to make one car satisfy the transportation/social needs of two teenage boys, this contraption would be my hero. Fortunately, our oldest son is away at college for the most part, but this summer should be interesting.

I have enjoyed blogging and observing on facebook, but it is time to see what social networking is capable of when it comes to reaching my goals of feeding 100 families, clothing 200 children and educating 400 students annually.

With limited marketing effort - basically word of mouth advertising, distributing a few 3 color brochures and handing out a couple of hundred business cards - Donation Staion was able to recycle 25 ton of metal, 15 ton of paper, a half ton of plastic and 1 ton of cardboard. That activity level was able to support the feeding of 25 families, clothing 15 families and the donation of 3,000 paper rolls to schools, churches, day cares and, libraries; which more than helps in the education of 400 students.

SO as you can see, I am top heavy on the education portion of my annual goals. I can live with that, sort of. But I also have a plan for feeding more families and clothing more children utilizing the current level of resources at my disposal.

The general idea is called Resource Exchange and the specific program is named On A Roll - Paper Exchange. In its most basic form, paper rolls (worth approximately $30.00 per roll) are exchanged for food, clothing, school supplies, even cash; which is in turn donated to food pantries and other non profits for distribution to those in need.

Donation Station partnered with Hair Crafters hair salon during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to raise $220.00 dollars and enough food to feed five families by giving away 45 paper rolls in exchange. The paper has obvious uses, but some not so obvious as well - like weed control for community gardens, table coverings for end of year gatherings for your volunteer staff, making student of the month life size posters etc.

Hair Crafters is a perfect example of what local businesses can do to assist the needy all year long. If you own a business, work for a company that looks for opportunities to pay forward or a church, school or day care that would like an opportunity to serve the less fortunate, then Donation Station wants to talk to you. There is plenty of paper to go around and since hunger does not take a day off, we should talk about how a sustainable partnership might work for you the way it did for Hair Crafters.

Please post this anywhere that you think it will reach caring and sharing individuals that are willing to think outside of the box for ways to exchange useful resources (that otherwise ends up in a landfill)for food, clothing, school supplies and even cash.

The hungry, the homeless and the poverty stricken individuals in every community across this great land are counting on us to help. Even if you are not living in the South Bend area, it is not entirely impossible for Donation Station to get you a delivery of paper rolls. Towne Air Freight is willing to deliver paper to outlying areas for a nominal fee or no fee at all.

Three thousand rolls a year are at my disposal! Consider the possibilities - $1 per roll would raise enough money to feed hundreds of hungry children and adults, 2 canned goods per roll would go a long way toward reducing food insecurity for thousands of hungry families.

As you can see, Donation Station has a valuable resource, that has been rescued from being thrown in a landfill, but now it is time to use the paper to rescue children and families from hunger, poverty and illiteracy.

Finally, in order for Donation Station to run the charitable programs like On A Roll - Paper Exchange, we need your scrap metal. The scrap metal is turned into cash to pay for transportation, marketing and income taxes. Aluminum cans, appliances, automobiles, agricultural equipment, lawn and garden equipment, even coffee cans full of nuts and bolts all add up and allow me to continue to provide a sustainable future for hundreds of families throughout Michiana.

Give it some thought, but do not stop there - take the next step like Hair Crafters did. Pick up the phone, click the mouse or reach out to me on facebook so that together we can make an impact on the lives of those less fortunate.

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