Last night a few of my co-workers and I were talking about the incident that happened of a mother who killed her 2 children. Well the mother herself had mental issues and from what we were all reading she was off her meds due to the fact that funding for mental help was cut and she could no longer afford them. Anyway, this conversation led us into the conversation of how you can`t trust anyone and how basically the government doesn`t usually help those who need it and continues to let those abusing the system do it, etc.
From that conversation we got into the topic that got me thinking and wanted to get your thoughts: Why don`t companies donate products they`re just going to throw away anyway?
Now by that, I do not mean expired and old stuff. As many of you know I work at a local Walgreens
. We have what we call a 1506 table which is kept in the back warehouse where we place unsellable goods, expired foods, etc. These items then get recorded for whichever purpose and put in the trash bag and brought to the dumpster outback. Of course, we have expired foods on it, but not all the time, and I was thinking... what about rather than throwing things out all this product, why not donate it to people who would be grateful to have it?
Let me share a few examples: We check for expired products every month. Depending on the product you pull it between 30-90 days before it expires. What if when we pulled it, the stuff that still has time prior to expiring get donated to a local food bank? Sure, candy may not be a necessity, but it would bring a little joy to that family receiving their donation box am I wrong? Even vitamins and such.
Then what about other products such as ones we have to pull because it doesn`t look presentable to sell due to beat up packaging? Or maybe one part is broken out of a set of toys or gift set or something? One may be damaged, but the rest of it is perfectly good. Couldn`t these items be given to shelters in need? Or sent off to disaster relief? Local charity? Even that homeless man that wonders around out front of the store from time to time.
I know I don`t have a perfectly mapped out plan here. I`m not a business major. I`m just an employee that would love to see a happier and better community. I would LOVE to see if Walgreens could start something like this as well as other companies. Still write the products off, but give to those in need. If EVERY company/store did this and donated these products only locally, I believe the community would be a better place.
Why do I say only locally? Well, how many Walgreens do we have on every corner? Or Walmarts? So those stores would donate to the shelters, food banks, etc closest to them, which if every store did, I believe quite a bit of donations would be going around for those in need, and less waste would be made. Another idea we thought of was also allowing for employees who may be in need access to items before sent off to a final donation spot. Maybe an employee was a victim of a natural disaster or experienced an unexpected loss or debt. Maybe the employee simply fell on some hard times. Of course, precautions would be taken to try to avoid those who may try to abuse the system such as keeping a record of the items they are receiving and when.
As I said, I`m not 100% sure of the details, just trying to throw these ideas out there. I believe this would reduce people stealing. Thieves are everywhere, but sometimes people steal because they actually need a product and don`t have a way of paying for it. Maybe if they knew they had somewhere to turn to for help getting an item without having to shamelessly try and beg the store manager or something, just maybe it`d make a difference. Not to mention in a community where all we hear about is the negative things happening -- people killing each other, funding being cut for those who need it, robberies, etc., a little kindness to show "hey we want to do our part to make the world a better place" can go a long way.
Let's stop trying to rely on the government and forget about politics for a minute and help each other as a community. Times are tough for people in various classes of life. Any business owners and large companies who are willing to take these ideas into consideration or even give it a try and see how it goes would be making a huge impact on their community. While I understand we collect for various charities already, let`s take a look into our surrounding areas and our neighborhoods. Lets take care of each other, right here, right now; not just the nationwide cash collections. I`d love to see my home store #12557 at Walgreens be the first to jump in on this and get the ball rolling!
I`d love to hear some feedback. What do y`all think? Good idea? Epic fail waiting to happen?