Connecting with people is a great thing. Ask Tom Cleaver, the founder of We Are Here Foundation. His group is looking to donate office furniture to school districts and nonprofit groups in Oakland and Macomb counties.
Working together for a cause
According to Cleaver, he founded the nonprofit organization in 1998 in order to clean up polluted rivers and lakes in southeastern Michigan, which includes the Clinton River. During the past twenty years, WAHF’s volunteers have eliminated nearly nine million pounds of debris.
This is what Cleaver’s late brother-in-law shared to a Staples’ state manager in a business conference for Michigan Business Professional’s Association. Unexpectedly, Staples was also in search of a nonprofit organization to assist them with finding new homes for the office furniture it is no longer able to sell. The two have been jointly working ever since, with help from Cleaver’s brother-in-law.
Cleaver mentioned that they met the people at Staples four years back. Ever since, they have already given away around $400,000 worth of furniture to school districts and non-profits.
The Staples locations in Michigan and Ohio keep a stock of misfit merchandise throughout the year. These include products which have small damages – a dent in a file cabinet or a crack on a desk’s corner – along with other items that have been returned. These are collections of furniture which were created for executive office rooms to Office Filing Cabinets, chairs and hutches. They also gather used furniture from customers who are remodeling – those that might just get thrown in landfills.
All of this become donations to the nonprofit organization.
The WAHF recently gave out 2,400 desks to school districts through their redistribution program. Cleaver recalled that in Harper Woods Academy, one of the schools they gave desks to, a teacher got a new desk and almost cried. They have also distributed to schools in Romulus, Pontiac, Mount Clemens and St. Clair Shores.
Many furniture still available
They still have a lot of furniture available.
They hear a lot of school superintendents and teachers say that they need office furniture. However, Cleaver said that they never got any calls.
Any school district or nonprofit group that needs office equipment or slightly-used cubicles need to get in touch with the WAHF, call 586-463-9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.