*More than 50,000 merchant ships carry cargo internationally every day. With that many carriers and so many packages and parcels, the shipping costs add up. Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers in the world, usually gains a lot of money from shipping costs. But this year, the e-commerce giant is giving back.
With so many shipping boxes left over from the holiday rush, the company has decided to partner with Give Back Box. Give Back Box allows anyone who ships a donation to Goodwill with a sticker from the organization’s website to qualify for free shipping.
Give Back Box was founded in 2011 after Monika Wiela, who ran an online shoe store, encountered a homeless man in need of shoes. She later returned with a pair of shoes for the man, but he had left.
She later thought about how the empty boxes in her warehouse could be used. The EPA reports that four million tons of corrugated cardboard are put into landfills annually. Touched by both the homeless epidemic as well as environmental sustainability, Wiela formed the Give Back Box.
Amazon has vetted the company and has integrated its efforts as part of a sustainability program. Partners of the organization, including Amazon, will pay the shipping charges.
Other partners of Give Back Box include Newegg, Asics, Overstock, Ann Taylor, Loft, and Levi’s. However, Amazon is the largest partnership so far.
Amazon says that the boxes do not have to be Amazon boxes specifically. Any cardboard box will do as long as the Give Back Box label is properly attached to the parcel. The packages can be dropped off at any USPS or UPS location for free shipping. In turn, the packages must meet both USPS and UPS regulations.
After the package arrives to Goodwill, the sender will receive a tax receipt via email to include when they file their charitable donations.
Once Goodwill receives the donated clothing and home good items, the organization will send the items to its retailers nationwide.
Goodwill sells these items at discounted prices to benefit impoverished and low-income individuals. The proceeds then go to support job placement, employment training, and other community-based initiatives to better the lives of struggling individuals.