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Surplus goods get second chance through Good360

Published December 30, 2011 5:52 pm

Charity • Donation clearinghouse helps corporate cast-offs find new homes.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A change in logo meant that uniforms worn by heating and air conditioning technicians working for any of Service Experts's 110 offices nationwide and in Canada had suddenly become obsolete.

But rather than discarding the clothing in Dumpsters and landfills, the company contacted Good360, an online donation clearinghouse based in Alexandria, Va., that will help collect like-new items and distribute them to those in need.

Close to 1,500 items — including men's and women's work shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, jackets, knit caps, sweatshirts and pants — have been gathered from all over the country, said Service Experts spokeswoman Karla Neely.

"The western region was number one in terms of contributions," Neely said, noting that $11,000 of the total $45,000 in clothing donations came from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota and Utah.

In the past, each Service Experts office had its own "legacy" name, said Kevin Perkins, manager of the branch in Midvale that was formerly called Thompson and Sons. "This year we gave up our legacy names so that there is only one brand," Perkins said, adding that "we had a lot of good clothes and didn't want them to go to waste."

The Midvale office, one of three in Utah, is gathering donations for several branches, Perkins added, and plans to ship them next week to a hub where Good360 can pick them up.

"We found Good360 through the Internet and interviewed them to see if they could work with our logistics," Neely said. "The experience so far has been excellent."

Good360 launched its product philanthropy venture in 1983 under the name Gifts In Kind.

According to its website, in its first three years the nonprofit distributed $44 million in surplus goods to qualified organizations, including 80,000 vacuum cleaners that were put to use in after-school programs and senior centers.

In April 2011, Gifts In Kind became Good360 and continues to distribute a variety of donated goods to many diverse groups, including job-training programs, homeless shelters, hospitals, churches, schools in need of technological equipment, foster care agencies, organizations that help communities rebuild after disasters, YMCAs, Head Start groups and Boys & Girls clubs. Ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 best-managed charities, Good360 has distributed more than $7 billion worth of goods since the network began almost three decades ago.

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Quick facts about Good360

1983 • The nonprofit philanthropic organization gets its start

More than $7 billion • Value of distributed donations since its inception

Among the Top 10 • Forbes magazine's ranking for best-managed charities

Less than 1.8 percent • Organization's operating costs in terms of products donated

Thousands of pre-qualified charities • 23,141 receive the goods

Hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations • 2,934 donate the goods

Source: http://www.Good360.org