A principle of Gratitude is that we like saving waste and prefer to reuse rather than recycle. A great opportunity came up in recent weeks with the company Canon EMEA as they are moving offices. Due to the resize and restructure of their office space, many office cupboards were retired. Valeria spotted the potential and got things moving through her husband, who arranged with the people in charge in the office, that collection can take place in the following weeks. John spent hours driving the van back and forth to collect them, whilst volunteers at the Hub unloaded and moved them around. Our space started to look very tidy and organized.
Canon is a business, committed to ensuring zero percent of waste goes to landfills. As they move to a new building, alongside recycling items that cannot be reused in their new home, their sustainability team was very happy with this opportunity where items can be donated to local charities or organizations, supporting them with their efforts.
Over 70 furniture items and many electrical items in need of a new home have now been gratefully received by the charity. Some of the furniture has even been expertly upcycled making a real difference to how we can run our daily operations, in turn supporting Canon’s Kyosei philosophy.
Here are some of the ways the donations have helped get our hub more organized:
Baby and children’s corner – built using upcycled furniture by Valeria.
Images are showing the progress of getting the place in ship shape.
At peak times the facility can support 50 families a day. Families are offered free nappies, wipes, baby food, toys, clothes, car seats, uniforms and more. Thanks to the donated cabinets and drawers, all of these items are now better organised, helping volunteers to quickly locate items which young families may need. Click here to read a story about this part of the charity.
- Charity shop – Donated cabinets and drawer units have been used to set up a charity shop at the centre, where adult clothes and other wearables are given away during opening hours.
- The ‘Grocery Giveaway’ area has been reimagined using Canon’s donated furniture. Previously, fresh grocery products had to be distributed from plastic folding tables and crates as they arrived.
- The kitchen at the charity hub is currently being rebuilt. We are planning to use many of the retired Canon cabinets and drawers, which will make the kitchen tidier and better organised. Once the kitchen has been completed, Gratitude will be able to provide fresh meals to local people in need.
- Supporting local schools with used electrical equipment – eleven Canon projectors have already been given to the charity. Most of these were checked and upgraded, ahead of being donated to schools in need (Yavneh College, Cowley Hill Primary School). Similarly, a number of computer screens have been donated by a local hospital. Additionally, roughly 50 printing and handheld calculators have also been donated to support local schools and Gratitude’s charity shop.
- A Creative/Craft Corner has been put together using donated furniture. The furniture has helped us organise the craft tools and materials in a structured way.
The creative area is used for a number of activities including knitting, crocheting, origami card making and wrapping, benefiting a number of people. This includes elderly visitors to the centre, or those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Click here to read the most recent update from the charity, covering where their knitted and crocheted baby items went.
Well done to Valeria, her husband, John the CEO of the charity, who undertook multiple trips to transport the cabinets, together with everyone else at Canon Europe Ltd. who supported with the donation of these products. The Gratitude Team is extremely grateful for the furniture that helped to make the charity hub even more organized, supporting operations now and into the future.
So big shout to all who were involved and thank you Canon for a great example in being very sustainable!