Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pass it on.

So I have just a bit more to say about ARC.

There's really so much to say. ARC's a big operation. There's the advocacy arm, which is ARC's mission. Advocacy alone is a pretty big deal. ARC people have their hands in so many advocacy pies, from lobbying and legislation to hiring people with disabilities at their thrifty thrift stores.

Then there's the recycling. It starts with donations that find their way to either the warehouse or a store, and if they don't sell, those donations are packed up in shipping containers and sent all over the world.

Some of the items you used to own may have done more traveling than you have.

Recycling is the cornerstone of thrift, although I'm sure lots of people who thrift don't necessarily consider themselves environmentalists.

Using things more than once just makes sense.

As a case in point, let's look at an example from the ARC Pecos location.

Lovely Shelly manages the store, and during our tour of the back room, she showed me where they store their stuff. And here's a shot of Shelly in the back room, where the magic happens.

In addition to meticulously managing seasonal and incoming merchandise, Shelly told me about how ARC acquired the shelving from a DAV location that closed, and ARC opened a new store using all the old shelving, with pieces to spare. Here's what they have left from the DAV, and they intend to use it again.

I like Shelly's passion. And she knows what she's doing. She explained how her store prices, merchandises and organizes.

She and Kathy told me about what they find in the pockets of donated clothing. Jewelry, money, gift cards, so much more.

And much of what's found in pockets is once again recycled, included as perks in gift baskets that are sold to the highest bidder at fundraising silent auctions.

Isn't that cool?

And wouldn't it be great if every store had that level of consciousness when it came to giving back?

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