Monday, August 11, 2014

292nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Win-Win Situation Helps Feed
More Hungry Folks

When American Express introduced gift cheques in 1988 that was the genesis of the gift card phenomenon. Six years later—to deter counterfeit gift certificates—Blockbuster and Neiman Marcus issued plastic gift cards. Then in 1999 Visa initiated open-loop gift cards in the form of a credit card. This lead to closed-loop or specific retailer gift cards. These gift cards are incredibly popular today and for good reason. Consumers can buy exactly what they want without having to faux-smile when they open a gift box stuffed with a reindeer sweater

Businesses like the gift card, too. When donating to a favorite charity they can take full advantage of the charitable deduction. For instance, if a charity needs to up update its computer department, it might ask a local electronics retailer to donate 12 new computers. Instead of just giving the computers to the charity and then taking the tax write-off that only covers the wholesale price, the retailer issues a gift card for the charity to use to purchase all 12 computers at retail.

In this intelligent transaction, the retailer gets a full write-off for the cash value of the closed-loop gift card and then benefits from a 12-computer sale where the normal margin is made. The best part, the charity gets the computers it needs to serve its clients better. This is what is meant by a win-win situation.

Let’s look at this same scenario in a proactive light. A refrigerator company wants to sell a local supermarket a new freezer but the supermarket management isn’t looking to add any debt right now. The refrigerator company gets creative and gets others involved. They buy a closed-end gift card from the supermarket and give it to the local food bank which in turn buys much need food for its clients. The supermarket then buys the freezer from the profits it just made. Everybody is happy including the economy because money is really moving around and making things happen.

Of course it all starts with people who are committed to helping the needy with the tools they have. The refrigerator company has cash but just doesn’t want to donate it. They really want to do sophisticated business and be a good corporate citizen at the same time. Closed-end gift cards give them control meaning they can give a gift that creates more sales and write-offs for them. The supermarket can avoid new debt and increase sales with an up to date freezer. The food bank gets more financially involved in the local economy while feeding more clients higher quality food. Win-win is the order of the day.

Yes, helping folks while doing business is more thought provoking but fun in the long run.  In addition there are a ton of residual benefits. Employees love the company they work for if community service is part of the mix. They become more loyal, happier and more productive which reduces turnover costs, health care costs and training costs. Customers also love and choose retailers who support causes. Again the money keeps moving around when community service is involved.

Or we can table all this talk about business solving many of our social ills and stick with the status quo. What’s wrong with investing in derivatives and just going to lunch? Well, a lot of kids and parents will go hungry and like last time, you’ll probably loose your ass.      

Sprouts Farmers Market

Rincon Market

29th Truck Load – 2014

With vacations and light summertime shopping we still managed to collect a lot of food … 200 lbs. over the truck load cut off, in fact.

This week’s donations amounted to 700 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 236 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 172 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 64 lbs; Rincon Market, 48 lbs.; Shiva Vista, 92 and Miles Neighborhood, 88 lbs.

Time for the Hunger Walk 2014September 20th is the date so mark your calendars. You can pitch in by joining a team, sponsoring a team or just writing a check.

And the walk in Tucson couldn’t be more convenient. It starts at the Kino Sports North Grandstand at 9 am. For those with hardy legs, the long walk is 3.1 miles. The one mile short walk ends at the Community Food Bank followed by a free tour in a cool warehouse. Just click on the Hunger Walk 2014 link to view all of the particulars.

We collected a total of 88 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $29.00, a $25.00 check and $4.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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