Are you drowning in boxes after the Christmas rush? If so, don’t toss them in the recycling bin just yet.
In fact, if you have a bunch of boxes hanging around, you might be able to turn them around for a good cause, as Amazon and Goodwill are among the partners working together to “give your … boxes new life.”
But conserving boxes isn’t the only aim of the coalition, as the hope is that people will also donate some of their unused items to charity. Here’s how it works: Amazon and Goodwill have launched a partnership through the “Give Back Box” platform, a free shipping service that allows people to donate the items they no longer need to their local Goodwill store.
But before diving a bit deeper into how you can unload some of your boxes — and your stuff — let’s take a brief look at how the “Give Back Box” program began. The organization started after a woman named Monika Wiela, who was running an online shoe store, noticed a homeless man in Chicago back in 2012, and started pondering how she could help.
Watch Wiela discuss her charity effort below:
“The idea was inspired by a homeless man she encountered in Chicago, who was holding up a sign saying he needed a pair of shoes,” reads a description of the organization. “Wiela returned later that day with shoes for him, but he was gone.”
The text continued, “She spent that night thinking about what she could do with all the empty boxes in her warehouse and also help people like that man, and a new social enterprise was born.”
After diving into some research, Wiela learned that an estimated 11 million tons of shoes, clothing, bedding, towels and drapes, among other elements, end up in U.S. landfills. Plus, millions of tons of boxes are also disposed of each year, as online shopping becomes more prevalent. So, she launched the “Give Back Box” effort to help alleviate both issues.
In 2015, she approached Goodwill Industries International, which has more than 3,200 retail locations, after the idea was crafted to connect people and their items with an organization that could help turn around and sell them — all for a good cause. Read more about “Give Back Box” here.
It’s a pretty nifty way to give back. Plus, you kill three birds with one stone: You get rid of your leftover boxes, get to clear out the unneeded clutter in your home — and help those in need. Here’s how the simple process works, according to Amazon (pending you choose to use an Amazon box, though other boxes work as well):
– Open Your Box: Unpack your merchandise from your Amazon shipping box.
– Pack Your Box: Fill the box with clothing, accessories and household goods you no longer need and print your free shipping label from GiveBackBox.com.
– Send Your Box: Let UPS or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliver your box of donations to Goodwill for you.
Donations will automatically be shipped to the closest Goodwill store free-of-charge, with the funds that are generated from the sale of the items being used to help enrich the local community.
“Goodwill sells the donated goods, and the revenues help support employment placement, job training and other community-based services to create strong families and communities,” a descriptions reads. “When you donate to Goodwill through Give Back Box, you enable Goodwill to help people find work, strengthen their families, and enrich the local community.”
Find out more about the Amazon and Goodwill partnership here.
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