Archive for the ‘Donation Resources’ Category

Washington, DC Professional Organizer Gives NonProfit Organization a Makeover

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The Before Picture

The makeover recently continued at the Dress for Success Boutique in Washington. DC.  Solutions by Scott joined forces with multiple local organizers, all volunteers and members of The Washington, DC – Metro Chapter of The National Association of Professional Organizers to complete this phase of the makeover. The makeover team included: Andrea Hancock, Professional Organizer and owner of B Dexterous, LLC ; Denise Sintetos, Professional Organizer and owner of Declutter, DeStress; Helena Alkhas, Professional Organizer; Janice Rasmussen, Professional Organizer and owner of Executive Order; Katie Mazzocco, Professional Organizer and owner of Visions Organizing, Julie Langsdorf, Professional Organizer and owner of The Pick-up Artist; and Nina Muscato, Professional Organizer and team member of Solutions by Scott & Company.

New Paint, New Carpet, No Broken Cabinets

The three-phase makeover of the Dress for Success boutique began in December 2010. Scott Roewer of Solutions by Scott & Company is orchestrating the design and layout of the new Boutique giving each room its own feel and providing an organized shopping experience for Dress for Success clientele. Scott and several stylists from Style for Hire performed clothing edits on December 9th and January 28th. In mid-January, the boutique was freshly painted and new carpet was installed. Once the studio is completly reorganized, Scott and his colleagues from Style for Hire  will return and give the Dress for Success clients a personalized styling experience, readying them for interviews and career success.  In the photos posted in this post, you can see the makeover from the beginning to the end in one of the five rooms they organized.

Two Volunteer Organizers Hard at Work

This portion of the makeover was made possible by the generous support and donations of elfa® the awesome organization systems from The Container Store.   The Container Store sent two of their awesome employees to help install the shelving.

Solutions by Scott & Company firmly believes in giving back to the community which is why we have volunteered our time, expertise and care to provide the boutique at Dress for Success a complete makeover, enabling the organization to better serve the individuals in the community.

Professionally Organized & Ready to Go!

If you ever have any professional business attire that is  current fashion, and in great condition, please consider donating to Dress for Success.  Men can donate their dress clothing to Career Gear.  Find a location near you.

Do you have a favorite place to donate your gently used clothing?  We’d love to hear about it.

I’m Hoarding Shoes for Charity and I Need Your Help!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Many of you know that I traveled to Haiti in January with the amazing non-profit charity Soles4Souls to help distribute shoes to children.  Experiencing life in Haiti with these beautiful people was truly heartbreaking.

It was also a life changing experience.  Upon returning to DC, I started collecting shoes for Soles4Souls.  It was my hope to do a city wide shoe collection and involve schools, churches and neighborhood groups.  However, my massive  shoe collection has come to a screeching halt because neither myself or Soles4Souls were able to secure a storage location where  community groups could drop off the shoes they collected.

Wait, where's my living room?


WUSA9
digital correspondent, Linsdey Mastis did a story on the evening news on March 7th.  Although the news story didn’t help secure a storage location, many people brought me more shoes.  I now have over 6,000 pairs of shoes in my condo.  That’s why the news called me a hoarder.  I guess if I’m going to hoard it might as well be for a good cause.

Please watch the news video and leave a comment if you have any last minute connections that can help secure a drop off location.  If not, I’ll be shipping the shoes off to the Soles4Souls warehouse before the end of March.

To see the full news story, please visit WUSA9

I was featured on 9NEWS NOW in August 2010 when I collected more than 650 pair of blue jeans to make insulation for Habitat for Humanity.

So much for a dining room table!

Changing Lives With Shoes and Soles4Souls

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Dear friends and clients,

As many of you know, tomorrow (January 5, 2011) I am headed to Haiti, forgoing a typical winter vacation, so I can distribute shoes to orphans.  I’m traveling with the amazing organization, Soles4Souls, an international shoe charity that collects, recycles and reuses shoes from footwear companies and the general public.

While in Haiti, we will be staying at the Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) compound in Port-au-Prince (PAP).   We will visit Cite Soleil, a suburb of PAP, noted as the poorest slum in the entire Western Hemisphere.  Poverty here is indescribable.  There are no public services, and the roads are barely passable.

Nearly 300,000 people live in the area of approximately 2 square miles.  The area is viewed as a difficult place to work; hence few non-government organizations, or other services are available here.

This is a typical street in Blanchard

Next we’ll visit Blachard (“New Land”), another suburb of PAP, located directly north of Cite Soleil closest to the PAP airport.  It is the home to about 200,000 and is growing.  We’ll also visit Ibo Beach, a small rural community of about 15,000 people, located 25km northwest of PAP.   Finally, we’ll visit Repatriote, the newest community being built on former cropland, with the primary intention to house Haitians returning (displaced) from the Dominican Republic.

While at HOM, we’ll have about eight hours of electricity each day, powered by 23 solar panels.  There is no refrigeration, air conditioning, indoor bathroom, or hot water.  We will stay in the second floor of the school building, which was not damaged in the earthquake, which occurred on Jan 12, 2009.  Although the conditions will be different than what I’m used to, I’ll have no room to complain.

Our itinerary will be as follows:

Day 1 – I leave DC at around 7 AM, fly to Miami where I’ll meet the other volunteers.  Together we’ll board a flight to Haiti, arriving at 4 PM.  We’ll board a bus, travel to HOM, eat dinner, gather for a team meeting and crawl into our bunks for bed.

Day 2 – After breakfast, we’ll have our first distribution in Blanchard for school-aged children.  Following lunch we’ll have a second shoe distribution, but this one will be for infants.  We’ll board a ‘tap-taps’ for a ride through downtown PAP and to view the Presidential Place.  Following dinner and a team meeting, I’m sure our volunteer team will pass out from exhaustion.

Tap-taps are basically, local public transportation on four wheels.  It might be a former school bus, or a pick up truck.  They can be painted with beautiful exteriors, religious slogans, or have loud sound systems inside.  I wonder what we’ll be riding on.

Day 3 – Following a breakfast of muffins, fruit and coffee, we’ll travel to Cite Soleil for our third shoe distribution.  We’ll be working with kids in first – third grade.  After lunch, we’ll give shoes to adults in Cite Soleil.  Following the distributions we’ll take a bus trip through the mountains and have the opportunity to buy some gifts.

Day 4 – We’ll actually visit the beach community where we will have lunch and spend time playing with the orphans.  I’m taking several toys I can leave for the children.  I’ve heard from many people the beaches in Haiti are breathtaking.  This will be the first time I’ve been to a beach other then one in Florida, California, or Delaware.

Day 5 – We’ll conclude our trip early in the morning and depart for the airport around 8 AM.  I’ll be back in DC about 12 hours later.

I look forward to sharing more of my experience with you.  It’s through the generous donations of friends, family and my clients that I am able to take this trip and provide shoes to so many people in need.

Shoes stored in the Soles4Souls Warehouse

If you’ve not donated you can still help. First, a simple click here will take you online where you can donate any tax-deductible amount you see fit.  For every $1 donated = 1 person will receive a pair of shoes.  Maybe if you have 10 pairs of shoes, you donate $10.  Or perhaps you donate the amount of your most expensive pair of shoes in your closet?  Visit this fund-raising page to help me reach my goal of touching thousands of souls.

Shoes stored in my condo - You might think I was a hoarder.

Finally, I officially kick off a Soles4Souls shoe drive in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area in late January. I’ve started collecting from clients and friends, and as you can see my condo is overrun with shoes. I hope you’ll donate your unwanted footwear to my collection and volunteer if you’re able to assist.

Thank you for your support of this mission. I couldn’t do it without you.

Warm regards,

Scott

Soles4Souls distributes usable shoes to people in need around the world. Since being founded in 2005 by Wayne Elsey (CEO), Soles4Souls has given away more than 12 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 7 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Haiti, Kenya, Nepal and the United States.

Recycle Event: Arlington Virginia E-Care

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Our friends at Diana’s Books let us know that Arlington E-Care is happening October 16th, 2010 from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM at  Thomas Jefferson Middle School at 125 S. Old Glebe Rd.  The school is one block east of Glebe Rd. and one block south of Rt. 50.  The entrance will be marked.

Arlington County continues to set the standard for the ultimate reuse/recycling event with Arlington E-Care. Arlington residents can bring the following items and they will either be reused or recycled properly.  Items marked with an * have a nominal fee.

hazardous household materials
bicycles* $10 donation and the bikes go to Bikes for the World
small metal items
computers* $15
electronics*
televisions* $20
clothing, linens, shoes
microwaves
air conditioners
eye glasses (for South Arlington Lyons Club)
medical equipment (Being shipped to remote locations by Virginia Hospital Center Medical Brigade)

Diana’s Books will be on hand accepting books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books.

For full information on Arlington E-Care download this brochure.

Donate Your Bike and Make a Difference

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Donate your unwanted bike and make a difference to someone in need.   Bikes for the World works to provide affordable transportation to individuals in developing countries.  The bikes help these individuals get to work and school, or in providing health and education services to low-income rural people. 

I’m impressed that in the first five years (January 2005 – December 2009) of their charity work.  They have donated over 40,000 bicycles to 11 different countries.  I have no doubt that Bikes for the World is the largest bike reuse program in the country.  Visit their benefits page to view their amazing statistics.

Bikes for the World is holding two bike collection drives at local REI stores in September. Future donation locations can be found here.

REI – Rockville, 1701 Rockville Pike
September 18 from 12 PM – 4 PM

REI – Bailey’s Crossroads, 3509 Carlin Springs Rd.
September 19 from 12 PM – 4 PM

A tax-deductible doantion of $10 covers shipping and handling of your bike, your donation will also reduce future landfill waste.

Hoarding of Denim Continues for Charity

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Last week, I wrote about a professional organizer in Washington, DC who happened to also be a hoarder – a hoarder of denim.  I’ve been collecting denim for Habitat for Humanity since April.  I wanted to share this update with you.  As of May 17, 2010, I’ve collected 376 pairs of jeans.  In my last post, I mentioned my goal is to collect 5oo pairs total.  It takes 500 pairs to insulate one entire Habitat Home.

If you live in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County or Prince Georges County in Maryland and you have jeans to donate, please leave a comment below.  I’ll make arrangements to pick up the jeans or provide you my postal address for delivery or mail. You can also drop off jeans before May 23 at Vastu located at 1829 14th ST NW, Washington, DC.

Thanks for supporting this worth while adventure.

Special thanks to Steve Oatmeyer, a friend and talented graphic artist who created the denim graphic for this Declutter Your Denim Drive.

Professional Organizer in Washington, DC is a Hoarder. Can You Help?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Many of my Facebook Fanpage followers are already aware that I’m a hoarder.  That’s right!  I’m a  professional organizer and I’m a hoarder!  Wait – don’t get the wrong idea.  I’m not living among piles of stuff like you would see on A&E TV’s hit series Hoarders, I’m only hoarding denim.  I’m collecting jeans for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, Maryland and I’m trying to collect 500 pairs of your used denim.

Habitat for Humanity is collecting denim for the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN® denim drive.  All donated denim will be recycled into UltraTouch™ Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation for Habitat for Humanity homes.  What I love is that UltraTouch™ contains no chemical irritants and requires no warning labels compared to other traditional products. There are no VOC concerns when using UltraTouch™, as it is safe for you and the environment.  This makes it very easy for the volunteer Habitat home builders to install the insulation.

What recycled denim insulation looks like.

So why am I trying to collect 500 pairs of jeans you ask?  It takes 500 pairs of jeans to insulate one Habitat for Humanity home.  As a professional organizer who encourages people to declutter their closet, I thought, why not turn the unwanted denim of my clients into something good.  I began telling clients and friends about my idea right before Earth Day.  I started my efforts by posting notes on Facebook, on my Twitter profile, and emailed other members of the National Association of Professional Organizers asking everyone to donate jeans and to help me spread the word.  Now I’m taking it to you, my readers.

I’ve been blessed so far with my collection efforts, but still need help to reach my goal of 500 pairs of jeans.  One client donated over 50 pairs from her family. Real Estate Agent, Hub Krack told his friends and clients and dropped off 18 pairs of jeans. At the NAPO Conference in Columbus, Ohio, 67 pairs of jeans were donated by numerous organizers attending the conference.  Professional Organizer Tanna Clark of Nashville, TN wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity for $125.00 to help cover the cost of shipping of the jeans and many others donated cash.  One of my favorite local furniture stores, Vastu is currently accepting donations of jeans on my behalf until Sunday, May 23rd.  Read more about that on their blog post, Declutter Your Denim.

Currently I have 338 pairs of jeans, but it is not enough.  Can you help spread the word?  Please announce it on your Facebook status.  ReTweet this blog post on Twitter.  Clear out your closet and donate your denim to Habitat.  Comment here about recycling efforts in your community.  Or, if you’re a fan of Habitat for Humanity, tell us why.  If you have jeans to donate, tell me how I can reach you and I’ll schedule a pick up date or you can drop them off at Vastu.

The current denim collection in my kitchen.

I will be collecting denim until I reach 500 pairs or until August 20th, which ever comes first.  Officially denim is being collected through August 20th at the following locations:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore
9100 Gaither Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301-947-3304

Amicus Green Building Center
4080 Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895-2465
301-571-8590

Self Storage Plus
851 E. Gude Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
301-637-2598

Learn more about the recycle process in this past blog post on denim recycling.

Fashion Meets Eco-Friendly Shopping in DC

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’m a huge fan of Goodwill for many reasons.  Mainly because it’s a convenient way for my clients to donate items that have outgrown their home.  And by doing so, they support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ and place people with disabilities and disadvantages.  By supporting Goodwill of Greater DC, we’re assisting people right here in our own area.

Goodwill will be hosting a Trunk Show in DC and is calling all fashionistas, designers, and eco-friendly shoppers to attend and shop ’til they drop! Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Travelin’ Trunk Show will be returning to Greater Goods on Saturday, June 27th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM.

Greater Goods is located at 1626 U Street NW in Washington, DC 20009. If you’ve not had the chance to visit this very cool, eco-friendly store, now you have two reasons to check out the Trunk Show!  While at the store, be sure to checkout and register for one of their ‘Green Living’ classes.

Goodwill will have racks and racks of contemporary and vintage fashions along with donated fabrics and buttons. So, if you’re in the market for some vintage fashion or some fabric to make your own creations, please check out this event on June 27th.

Goodwill also will be accepting donations from your home or closet. All proceeds from this event will support Goodwill’s mission to educate, train, employ, and place people with disabilities and disadvantages throughout the greater DC area.  For more information on Goodwill’s mission and fashion events, visit this website, or read their fashion blog.

Montgomery County Electronic Recycling Events for 2009

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

As a professional organizer, I often find
that my clients have dead electronic equipment cluttering their closets or their garages.  The e-waste is there because they do not know what to do with it.  I appreciate they don’t want to simply toss the TV, computer, or microwave in the trash!  Most would agree, that our landfills are full enough.

I spoke with Peter Karasik who is the Section Chief of the Division of Solid Waste Services of Montgomery County.  We spoke about the upcoming electronic recycling events in Montgomery County.  He recommends to residents they stay in their vehicles as they approach the unloading zone.  They have staff who will unload the cars. This keeps the traffic moving and makes the process faster for everyone.

For the drop-off, electronics should not be in boxes or bags unless you have multiple small electronics or if want to keep cables or power supplies together.   Karasik estimated they could collect 20 – 40 tons of electronics during each collection date.   The e-waste is shipped off to a processing plant in Elkridge, Maryland called E-Structors.  E-Structors does all the data destruction, separates the glass, pulls the copper from wires, and cuts up circuit boards into 1″ squares.  Their process is EPA-approved and results in the materials being 100% separated and recycled. Nothing from their process ever enters the nation’s waste stream.  That’s incredible!

In my opinion, Montgomery County continues to lead the way promoting their recycling efforts.  They’ve published a calendar on their blog of the upcoming recycling events and you can subscribe to receive future dates via email.  You can also follow the recycling events on Twitter by following @GoGreenMC Here’s the full list for the my faithful readers of Declutteryou.com!

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling Event at Poolesville High School
17501 Willard Road, Poolesville, MD 20837

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center
16 Chestnut St Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Sunday, April 26, 2009
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at Baker Middle School
25400 Oak Drive, Damascus 20872

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Electronics Recycling at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda 20814

Note the program for electronics is open to all Montgomery County residents and businesses.

Accepted items include:

  • Small Electronic Appliances, Calculators, & Camcorders
  • CDs and Floppy Disks, CD Players, & Cell Phones
  • Computers & Computer-Related Products
  • Consumer Electronics, Copiers,Cords & Cables (including chargers)
  • Digital Cameras,  & Electronic Typewriters
  • Fax Machines, Microwave Overs, & Personal Digital Assistant Equipment
  • Printers, Projection Equipment, & Scanners
  • Telephones, Small Electronic Toys, Televisions, & VCRs,

I love that every single item collected is recycled!  Did you notice they do not accept videotapes?  I’m looking for a local resource for people to recycle VCR tapes.

If you live in Montgomery County or know someone who does, tell them to clear out their closets, garages, attics and basements.  It’s time to recycle all their electronics in Montgomery County, Maryland!


Old Denim? Put It To Use for Habitat!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Recently I worked with a client who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. We’ve been clearing out her basement in order to create a home office and exercise area. In the process we discovered a box full of jeans. No, the box wasn’t full of Earnest Sewn, 7 For All ManKind, or Diesel. We had the wide leg kind, short-short cut-offs, painter jeans, and even the classic overalls. Holly explained “my accumulation of jeans was inspired by a quilt my mother made when I was in high school.”

Holly found numerous things to donate (which really helped move the basement project along). I left her with the assignment to find a new home for the donations before I returned one week later. Today, Holly emailed me to say she found the perfect place for the denim. “Since I recognize that I will never get around to making a quilt for myself, and that I can put the jeans to a good use, I was able to let go of them.”

An eighth grade student in Montgomery County, Christa Guild, is collecting jeans for a denim drive sponsored by Cotton Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore in Gaithersburg.

All the jeans collected will be shipped to California. There the jeans begin their transformation into Cotton Fiber Insulation. California-based Allen Company donates their resources to bale the denim. Next, the material is sent to JBM Fibers in Texas. JBM converts the denim back into cotton fiber. Eventually, the cotton fiber will be sent to Arizona, where Bonded Logic Inc. makes it into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation. It’s lots of work for a cool product, which Habitat for Humanity will use in new houses built in New Orleans and the Gulf region.

As noted in the May 7th edition of the Montgomery County Gazette, Guild has already collected 114 pairs of jeans. She said, ‘‘we’re trying to get 500 because that’s how much it takes to insulate one house.”

The denim insulation is not created with harsh chemicals, is 30% more sound proof then fiberglass insulation, is hypo-allergenic, and it is not itchy like other insulation. The UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation can be installed without gloves or masks. Wouldn’t that make every insulation installer happier?

Cotton Inc. partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore to bring the drive to Montgomery County for the first time this year, said Adeela Abbasi, marketing and communications manager with Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The goal for the county is to collect 2,500 pairs of jeans and insulate five homes.

Deadline for donations is September 2, 2008!
Be sure to donate before Labor Day. Take your jeans to: