I don’t know about you, but I have more stuff than I know what to do with. What if we could take all of our excess “stuff” and use it for the good of others?

By Steve Moran

I don’t know about you, but I have more stuff than I know what to do with. My three car garage just barely holds one car and it is not likely to get better. Both my parents are alive and at some point they will have stuff they can’t use anymore and I have no room for it . . . even the good stuff.

This is a huge problem for boomers and a huge problem for prospective residents and their families. While often the scale is smaller, it is a problem when residents die.   

A Hot Idea

While at NIC I was hanging out at the Blue Willow Systems (A Senior Housing Forum partner) launch party talking to Joel Goldman and Cindy Senke. We were telling stories and this topic came up. Cindy had this inspired idea. Imagine what it would be like if you set up a thrift store to sell all that stuff with 100% of the proceeds going to residents who ran out of funds; team members who were in need, or to provide educational scholarships. 

Screaming Good Benefits

Here is why this is such a brilliant idea:

  1. It solves a very real problem.

  2. Families and residents will be able to feel good about dealing with their stuff. It is much better than sending their stuff to the dump, Salvation Army or Goodwill. (Both are good organizations but it is always better when you are directly connected to the good you are doing.)

  3. It will provide you more resources to help team members and needy residents.

  4. It is hugely newsworthy.

  5. It will help low income individuals in your marketplace save money.

  6. It provides great volunteer opportunities for residents and families. It is a fantastic way to provide purpose for residents.

Big Profits

It turns out that thrift shops are amazingly profitable. It is not unusual for thrift shops to cover all of their expenses and yield a great profit. Think about what it would mean to have $50,000 to $100,000 net to improve the lives of your team members.   

I do know there is one community that is already doing this . . . with a twist. It is a story that I will be telling in a few weeks.

It might even be something a cluster of communities could do together.