The Crosby Group is an active supporter of charitable causes, demonstrated by partnerships with Bridges to Prosperity and the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. At the company’s site in Arlington, Texas, employee Charles (Chuck) Harper is a volunteer at ShareFest-Texas and immediately thought of a good cause for surplus racking.
The racking, which spanned an entire row of The Crosby Group’s warehouse, was in perfect working order, but it could not store the new-style crates that have been recently adopted as part of everyday storage practice at the facility.
Harper, who helps ShareFest-Texas’s warehouse operations team deliver requested items, said: “I saw value in the racking, where others might have seen scrap. I knew that the racking could be repurposed and extend its useful life. This is also how I view people in general. I have lived a long time and acquired many skills along the way, which I use to help other people who lack the resources to help themselves. Basically, I have adopted a pay-it-forward mentality. As I told Mr. Thielman [John Thielman, aka ‘Papa John’, ShareFest-Texas’s founder], it feels good to do good. I would hope that if someone in my family needs help in the future, someone like me will be there to provide that assistance.”
The standard commercial racking will be more than adequate for ShareFest-Texas’s requirements for many years to come. Previously, ShareFest-Texas items were stored on the floor and stacked on top of one another, often damaging them, and making the non-profit’s warehouse operations difficult and time-consuming. The new racking will also enable safer working conditions for ShareFest-Texas’s many volunteers.
Michael Gill, Senior Director, Distribution & Logistics at Arlington, said: “When I heard Chuck’s idea and his involvement with the charity, I was excited to get involved and help. Like everyone here at The Crosby Group, I’m passionate about community work and good causes, and this was a perfect, local campaign that we could help with a practical solution. Any time we have excess product or material, we look for a better cause for it, and this was an impactful opportunity.”
ShareFest-Texas – provides hope for the under-served
ShareFest-Texas’s mission is to provide hope where none exists while creating opportunities for the community to come together in service. There are many unmet needs within Arlington and through alliances with many different organizations, the charity identifies and works to close those gaps. These projects provide an opportunity for neighbors to come together to create real and lasting improvements within the community and in the lives of others.
Harper pointed to the five pillars of ShareFest-Texas’s work:
- Domestic violence victims: providing relocation and safe housing for the victims and families of violence or abuse.
- Sheltered and unsheltered homeless: providing for the homeless with necessities and opportunities.
- Foster children: offering access to resources, like new suitcases and hygiene kits.
- At-risk teens: creating opportunities to perform community service with multiple youth groups from churches, schools, clubs, etc.
- Senior citizens: volunteer opportunities to enrich the youth within their communities.
ShareFest-Texas’s Thielman explained that the operation has outgrown both 10 ft. by 20 ft. and 20 ft. by 45 ft. spaces before moving to the 30 ft. by 50 ft. high-ceiling warehouse with two loading docks that it occupies today.
He said: “Previously, we had to reach out for donated furniture and household items, whereas today donors are more proactive calling us for pick-ups and bringing items to our doorstep. In 2020, we fully furnished a dozen apartments; in 2021, over 60 apartments; and this year we hope to furnish more than 80. The donated shelving will allow us to efficiently see, store, pick, and distribute what we call ‘hope items’ on a grand scale. Safety is of paramount importance and more than 30 volunteers were placed at unnecessary risk by previous storage methods.”
- ShareFest-Texas was recently recognized with the 2021-2022 Fred and Dottie Seals Circle of Service Award, for efforts to engage the youth in Arlington Independent School District and the University of Texas at Arlington in the important work it does for the community.