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GiveNKind connects companies with excess goods to Carlisle nonprofits

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Carla Maranto-Arnold recently picked up $18,000 worth of backpacks from a distributor who didn't want them. GiveNKind will make sure they get to nonprofit organizations that can pass them along to their clients.

Manufacturers, distributors and other businesses have misruns, trial runs, canceled orders and surplus goods of which they need to dispose.

Nonprofits serve members of the community who need those products.

GiveNKind is partnering with Serve the City-Carlisle to connect the two.

Carla Maranto-Arnold, director of GiveNKind’s Carlisle-Bethlehem chapter, said she first heard about the organization through a random post on her Facebook newsfeed.

“I had no affiliation with them whatsoever,” she said.

GiveNKind, which is based in the Chicago area, takes new items that were often destined for the trash from businesses and gives them to nonprofits. Items are placed in virtual hubs across the country wherever GiveNKind can find a distributor willing to work with them.

“We’re doing the distributors a favor. Their warehouse space is money for them. They don’t want the stuff there either,” Maranto-Arnold said. “If we have volunteers that come in and move it quickly, we’re saving them time and money.”

Maranto-Arnold reached out to GiveNKind to propose replicating the idea in the Carlisle area.

“Carlisle has a ton of distributors. Why can’t we do that here?” she asked.

GiveNKind already had a virtual hub in Bethlehem so Maranto-Arnold became the coordinator of the Carlisle-Bethlehem chapter, the first in the country outside of Chicago.

The Carlisle center is located in warehouse space along Morris Avenue, the alley between Union Fire Company and Sadler Health Center. Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority owns the space and is allowing the group to use it.

The goal of the center is to handle both large corporate donations and smaller, individual donations. GiveNKind will accept donations of new and gently used items from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the center.

Items that will be accepted include new underwear and socks; shoes and belts; kitchenware, plate sets, utensils, small appliances, bakeware, pots and pans, small appliances; backpacks, duffel bags and suitcases; outerwear; toiletries and feminine hygiene products; cleaning supplies; paper products (paper towels, tissues, toilet paper); linens (blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, curtains); clothing; new or gently used bras; office, school, crafting supplies and children’s books.

Those wishing to donate may sign up online, but drop-offs may also be made without an appointment. Items donated are quarantined for 72 hours, and volunteers will follow all guidelines for social distancing and masking.

GiveNKind partnered with Serve the City-Carlisle whose mission is to connect people with meaningful opportunities to get involved. Serve the City will help coordinate GiveNKind Center volunteers to retrieve pallets of goods from local distributors, sort items in the GiveNKind Center or assist nonprofits that come to the center to select donations.

Tanis Monroy, executive director of Serve the City, is confident that people will donate to the organization even during the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“I still see people collecting stuff and helping one another, so there’s been a silver lining in all of this,” Monroy said.

Maranto-Arnold said having a physical location allows the group to store donated items, then allow nonprofits to come in to “shop” on their own.

“That makes it a lot easier because we do intake very large lots and not every nonprofit needs 1,500 of one item,” she said.

GiveNKind works only with the nonprofits, not with the individuals they serve.

“Our goal is not to duplicate what those nonprofits are already doing and doing very well,” Maranto-Arnold said. “We call ourselves the nonprofit to the nonprofits.”

Monroy believes this is just the beginning for GiveNKind and Serve the City, with potential to expand into other centers as the program grows.

“We do think that having the center is going to expand things pretty rapidly,” Maranto-Arnold said.

Email Tammie at Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.


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