During the recent International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., I had the pleasure of attending the annual Crystal Vision award breakfast of World Vision, a humanitarian organization with a unique connection to and opportunity for the building products industry.

Founded in 1950, World Vision is dedicated to “working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.” One of the ways in which it accomplishes this mission is through its Storehouse program.  This program originated in Chicago when a builder with excess materials left over from projects wanted to find a way to get those products into the hands of less fortunate members of the community. A small warehouse was procured and, today, the World Vision Storehouse program operates six Storehouses in Chicago, West Virginia, New York City, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma and Los Angeles.

Building products manufacturers are encouraged to donate overstocks, returned goods, excess or obsolete building products that are otherwise fit for use in improving homes in low-income areas.  Each year, the Storehouse distributes building materials, school supplies, personal care items and clothing to 2.2 million people in low-income areas. Thus, the program is a unique way for door and window manufacturers to deal with excess or obsolete inventory.

While services like Craig’s List offer another avenue of liquidation, many companies wish to avoid the stigma of offering their high-quality branded products at deeply discounted prices in a public venue. By donating goods to the World Vision Storehouse instead, companies can capture a tax deduction that is probably as valuable, if not more so, than the value at which obsolete goods could be sold online. Also, companies that donate goods to the Storehouse can choose to share that in a press release, as is common when companies donate projects for Habitat for Humanity and similar community-focused programs. The program helps families in need, there are economic benefits to participating and it gives your company a chance to show you are helping the community – a true triple win.

More information about the World Vision Storehouse program can be found by following this link at or by contacting Mary Garcia, corporate engagement director, at megarcia@worldvision.org.

WV_GIK_Building_Supply_Invitation_720p from Laurie Humphreys on Vimeo.

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