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Do it Best vendors give record donation

Habitat for Humanity received $232,900 in product donations from Do it Best vendors following the 2007 Do it Best May market, held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best gave vendors the opportunity to donate all or part of their booth displays to Habitat for Humanity at the conclusion of the market, and 130 vendors participated, donating everything from pallets of paper towels and tools to large single objects like bathtubs and vanities.

“We just had carpet pieces leaning up against an ugly old brick wall before Do it Best Corp. gave us these beautiful gondola display systems,” says Bill Koen, store manager at Muncie Habitat for Humanity Home Discount Center in Muncie, Ind., which received part of the largest donation Do it Best vendors have ever made following the spring market.

Representatives from 15 Indiana, Ohio and Michigan Habitat affiliates were invited to the May market to receive the merchandise, which was divided into lots of equal dollar value, based on the resale market. Most affiliates use the donated goods to help stock their Re-Stores, which are Habitat for Humanity’s thrift stores that sell items to Habitat and other families and whose sales help fund more projects.

“Our Re-Store has been open about a year, and the donations from Do it Best Corp. have been some of the main reasons we’ve been able to make money,” said Bob Schaad, a board member of the Clinton County Habitat for Humanity, part of the Wilmington, Ohio, chapter. “They give us new items, which means people have even more reason to shop here. Their donations are helping us build three houses this year.”

This May market donation was 60 percent larger than the one following the October 2006 market, with 25 percent more vendors participating. In addition to the product donations, Penske Trucks, a partner with Do it Best for other retail programs, donated 10 24-foot trucks for a week to help the Habitat staff get product back to their locations.

“I think the vendors responded to seeing the signage on the booths of past participants and wanted to show their commitment, too,” said Dustin Kaehr, retail programs coordinator for Do it Best. “We had vendors donating all kinds of items, and the Habitat chapters were just overwhelmed with their generosity.”

In 2004, Do it Best named Habitat for Humanity its corporate cause of choice and partners with Habitat for Humanity throughout the year in many different ways and locations. In this fiscal year, Do it Best and its vendors have given more than $800,000 in cash and product to Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the country.

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