Senior executive and moving company staff mobilize to help clean up illegal garbage dumping around clothing donation bins
Toronto’s Denis Cordick, Vice President of Brand Marketing and Partnerships at AMJ Campbell responded to a social media post by friend, Reena Chawla, Director of Marketing at National Diabetes Trust the social enterprise which raises funds for Diabetes Canada, who was pleading for friends to spread the word that the charity’s clothing collection operations were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 and that dumping garbage around their clothing donation bins was wreaking havoc for the organization and communities.
Diabetes Canada suspended its operations on March 23 and temporarily laid of its staff because of COVID-19, and soon after, piles of garbage began to form around the charity’s clothing donation bins. Although the organization quickly launched a widespread campaign in signage, social media and website updates, advising people of the bin closures and urging them not to drop off garbage or clothing, soon debris was spilling into streets. The charity also reached out directly to municipalities, asking for help in cleaning up the growing and potentially harmful mess and preventing further dumping.
Thankfully, Cordick got in touch with Chawla as soon as he read her post, offering his fleet of AMJ Campbell moving trucks in an effort to clean up the sites, seal the donation bins, and in some cases, remove and store the product collected from the bins until Diabetes Canada is able to resume its clothing collection operations – all at no cost. Unlike Diabetes Canada, AMJ Campbell is continuing to operate during COVID-19.
To date, the team of unexpected heroes has already cleaned up 400 Diabetes Canada donation bin sites in Ontario resulting in the removal of 10 tonnes of garbage and soiled bags of donated textiles that unfortunately had to go to landfill but over 13 tonnes of donations was saved and diverted from landfill thanks to AMJ Campbell.
Cordick has type 1 diabetes, but says that is not the reason why he offered to help. “AMJ is always seeking to assist the communities in which we work,” he explained. “We give back where we can. I read my friend’s post on LinkedIN and realized we could help, so I didn’t hesitate to offer. Diabetes Canada does such great work raising funds to help people with diabetes and communities to reduce waste going to landfills. It was our turn to help them.”
“I’m especially proud that the AMJ Campbell teams across Ontario stepped up to meet this challenge,” Cordick says. “Even during a pandemic, their commitment to helping people and communities is as strong as ever.” Cordick from AMJ Campbell’s Flagship Mississauga office reached out to AMJ Campbell franchisees in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Kitchener, London, Oakville/Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa, Markham and Pembroke to ask if they would pitch in. Everyone said yes and mobilized quickly.
Chawla and National Diabetes Trust President and CEO, Sean Shannon, are amazed by Cordick and his company’s actions. “We can’t thank AMJ Campbell, Denis, his franchisees across the province and staff enough for their willingness to help,” said Shannon. “We never expected this amount of generosity and selfless dedication of this company and their staff.”
Diabetes Canada’s clothing donation operations generate about $6 million annually. Having to shut down temporarily has had a huge impact on the funds raised through the donation bins. Add the costs of having to clean up to the revenue loss and this situation could have been devastating for this national charity that serves the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes Canada further diverts 100 million pounds of clothing and small household items from landfill annually.
AMJ is still helping Diabetes Canada and may continue to help with other programs as they attempt to resume operations.
For more information, please visit declutter.diabetes.ca or contact:
Kathleen Powderley, Responsible Communications, 416-803-5597
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