Back to top Jump to featured resources
Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development

Saint Vincent de Paul Continues to Expand Re-Use Partnerships

| Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/saint-vincent-de-paul-continues-to-expand-re-use-partnerships/
cascadealliance

Saint Vincent De Paul of Lane County, OR, continues to increase the number of partnerships with social service organizations across the US, adding 68 new jobs to the Cascade Alliance network of enterprises.

Thanks to generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul is helping other nonprofits develop retail thrift stores, mattress recycling projects and online used book sales all across the country. We call this growing network the Cascade Alliance and in the past year St. Vinnie’s staff was on hand for grand openings and pop-up shops in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and at mattress recycling facilities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Longtime staffers Dave Tussing,

Curtis Bowser, Velvet Sanders, Bethany Rockwell and, of course, Terry McDonald have visited these locations and shared their expertise and their passion.  The results: 68 new jobs created!

St. Vinnie's stores coordinator Velvet Sanders, plays around in the warehouse at Opportunity House in Reading PA. Velvet was instrumental in helping Opportunity House open its own thrift store, OppShop.

St. Vinnie’s stores coordinator Velvet Sanders, plays around in the warehouse at Opportunity House in Reading PA. Velvet was instrumental in helping Opportunity House open its own thrift store, OppShop.

Finger Lakes Reuse in Ithaca, New York, opened a second store, created seven new jobs and diverted 178 tons of materials from the waste stream.

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Park City Green created 13 jobs in their mattress recycling and online book sales projects with revenue of $225,000 and diversion of 590 tons of material.

The Scrap Exchange in Durham, North Carolina, saw the revenue from their thrift store grow steadily over the course of our year of mentoring. February 2015, for example they grossed $23,000. February 2016, they grossed more than $53,000, and are exploring adding a second store in their community.

Scrap Exchange store manager Madeline James and Cascade Alliance member liaison Bethany Rockwell at the retail thrift popup shop in Durham NC. They were ready for the customers that lined up an hour before the shop opened. Sales that day were brisk.

Scrap Exchange store manager Madeline James and Cascade Alliance member liaison Bethany Rockwell at the retail thrift popup shop in Durham NC.

UTEC in Lowell, Massachusetts, continues to grow its mattress recycling operation, more than doubling processing over the previous year and more than doubling revenue.

 Cascade Alliance Director Sue Palmer emoting enough joy to cover all the guys working at mattress recycling at UTEC in Lowell, MA.

Cascade Alliance Director Sue Palmer emoting enough joy to cover all the guys working at mattress recycling at UTEC in Lowell, MA.

We’re excited to welcome the Union Rescue Mission to the Cascade Alliance. The Wichita, Kansas, agency, which provides shelter and transitional housing, is preparing to launch an online book business and we’re excited to support them.

Entrepreneurs know that 80 percent of new businesses fail in their first few years, and it’s just as challenging for nonprofits that want to generate their own revenue and create jobs in their communities. Having St. Vincent de Paul’s staff available to help them through the many challenges is key. We’re honored to help them grow and thrive. For more on this project, visit the website www.cascadealliance.org.

About Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and serves as Senior Staff of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and counties recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy  through new processing and manufacturing facilities.  Neil also serves on ILSR’s Board of Directors.

Contact Neil   |   View all articles by Neil Seldman