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Philanthropy Thought Leader Uncategorized

What’s a 5-hug delivery?

After returning to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Gifts In Kind warehouse from a delivery, United Way employee “Mr. Paul” Young said, “That was a 5-hug delivery.” Mr. Paul’s heartfelt delivery was providing brand new goods to one of our nonprofit partners.

For more than a decade, United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Gifts In Kind warehouse has been providing donated excess inventory and products from companies across Greater Atlanta to nonprofit agencies. Unlike other nonprofits that provide used products, United Way’s Gifts In Kind provides new products to be distributed to agencies. This year, it’s been estimated that the warehouse is holding more than $2.7 million in goods.

Any 501(c) 3 organization in Greater Atlanta’s 13-county footprint is eligible for Gifts In Kind donations. Interested nonprofits do not have to be a funded partner, but their work must align with United Way’s mission. Last month alone, we received more than $288,000 in goods that included disposable gloves, gourmet food, file cabinets, spray sunscreen, office supplies, work clothes, bathroom fixtures, trash cans, china/pottery, wall art, cosmetics and a conference table. One day we could receive grape jelly and the next day it could be ceramic butterflies. With Atlanta’s booming film industry, movie producers are even giving back to Greater Atlanta’s nonprofits. The movie “What to Expect When Expecting” donated props including food, diapers, formula and cribs.

In June, goods were provided to nonprofit partners including Gateway Center, Easter Seals, Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, CHRIS 180, Fountain of Hope, Atlanta Masjid and Lifecycle Building Center, among others. Because of the donations, organizations can now spend more of their donated dollars on programs and services for clients.

Bringing donations to our nonprofit partners is truly one of the best jobs in Greater Atlanta. Like Mr. Paul highlighted, these deliveries can be emotional – greeted with smiles, hugs and even tears. It means a lot to be able to help provide resources for our partners who work so hard in difficult times. Especially when it comes with a “5-hug” delivery.


Ann Daane is the Facility Manager at United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Gifts In Kind. She can be reached at [email protected]

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