I’m a proud dad, and with Father’s Day making its annual round, it makes me think about the welfare of my children.
Like many parents, I only want the best for my kids. I want them happy and healthy.
But what if something major happens to them regarding their health?
Unfortunately, last year I witnessed a family in my Indian Land, S.C. neighborhood deal with the loss of their child to a brain tumor and it spurred me into action in choosing Trash & Stash’s community partner and deciding on ways to make this business a responsible addition to the community.
We recently announced that our 2nd Life Program will benefit local nonprofit organization the Isabella Santos Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing survival rates of kids with cancer. See the press release here.
Why the Isabella Santos Foundation? It goes back to the neighborhood family I mentioned.
To watch a family have a healthy, thriving child and within a span of a year see him get ill, go through treatments and ultimately die; it’s heartbreaking. It’s terrifying.
We weren’t directly touched by this family’s circumstances, but we were certainly empathetic and affected by it.
I think this experience drove my interest in finding a group that helps sick children and their families in our community.
COMMUNITY, TRANSPARENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY
When Trash & Stash launched in April and began removing and hauling stuff for people, we came to a figurative crossroads: what do we do with this stuff that’s too good to let go? How can we sell it?
The problem was, how could we pull this off operationally? We can’t load up our storage room with all this stuff because then WE’D have a junk problem. Through these conversations we came up with the idea for a donation partner.
The idea behind the donation model was threefold:
Community – It was important for me to find ways to give back to the community. I consider us to be a hyper-local business. The only way to do that it is to be active in the community in whatever ways we can.
Transparency – So we had this stuff that we picked up from somebody’s house and it was all rather good, and I thought, “let’s see if we can sell it.” But I also began to feel funny because this woman just paid us to take this stuff out of her house and she found me on Facebook. And now if I list this stuff on Facebook Marketplace, she’s going to see that she paid me and now I’m turning around and selling her stuff. There’s nothing that says we can’t do that, but I felt that would be potentially awkward, unless I addressed it in a very direct way. Here’s what I wanted to do: We’re not going to get a ton of money from the sale of this stuff, so let’s donate it and that way we could deal with the “hey, you’re selling my stuff!” backlash. Yes, we’re selling your stuff but it’s not going into my pocket, it’s going to someone who can use it.
Sustainability – By reselling items we’re also diverting materials from the landfill, which is part of Trash & Stash’s mission of being good stewards to the environment.
We’re calling this donation program 2nd Life. Fifty percent of the profits from items that we resell on Facebook Marketplace are going to the Isabella Santos Foundation in monthly installments (the other 50% goes into an employee pool. This rewards them for properly sorting & taking care of the items we haul off). Decluttering your lives can also help save young lives.
Give & Save
MAKING THE EMOTIOANAL CONNECTION
I joined our local BNI Network, a chapter of the world’s leading business referral organization, and at my first meeting a representative from the Isabella Santos Foundation did a presentation about who they are what they do, and it was a compelling story she told.
Isabella Santos was a toddler when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (Neuroblastoma). She began complaining of back pain, and an MRI revealed that she had a Stage 4 tumor in her stomach. Isabella was determined to grow her hair back, beat cancer and live out her dreams, but advanced treatments didn’t come in time for her to attain those dreams. She succumbed to cancer at age 7.
For much more about her story, click here.
The Isabella Santos Foundation was established to honor her legacy and, I’m going to quote straight from the organization’s press kit, “is dedicated to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase survival rates of kids with cancer. Over the course of thirteen years, ISF has funded nearly $5 million toward expanding the scope of research and treatment, and supporting families dealing with cancer in a variety of ways.”
I approached the foundation after seeing its presentation at the BNI meeting and a partnership with Trash & Stash was formed.
We hope that our contributions will grow over time and that our donations make a difference in supporting families dealing with pediatric cancer.