Making an Impact

How Delivering Good harnesses the apparel industry to help fight poverty while keeping excess new merchandise out of landfills and into welcoming hands.

One of the thousands of volunteers who help deliver new product to families in need.

One of the thousands of volunteers who
help deliver new product to families in need.

Last month, more than 500 guests gathered in New York City for the annual gala for Delivering Good (DG). The event recognized three outstanding women: Mindy Grossman, partner at Consello Group for the Lifetime Achievement Award; Jennifer Foyle, President and Executive Creative Director at American Eagle and Aerie, for the Vanguard Award; and Carmen Bauza, board member of Claire’s Stores, Destination XL Group, Zumiez, and OneWaterMarine for the Impact Award.

It was night of inspiring and emotional speeches, not just from the honorees, but also from recipients of DG’s donations and social services programs—who have been able to lead successful lives and break the cycle of poverty.

On a daily basis, without glam or floral centerpieces or a three-course meal, DG’s Director of Procurement Merrie Keller is securing thousands of units of new product that will make their journey through DG’s national network of 800 social service agencies to children and families in need. After many years in the fashion and licensing industries along with her seven years at DG, Keller’s quest for donor partnerships comes naturally and provides her with a deep connection to social responsibility.

We spoke with Keller to get a refresher on the organization’s mission, how companies can donate product and the multiple ways in which DG positively affects all the individuals and businesses involved in this unique model of giving and receiving.

Earnshaw’s: What is the mission and impact of Delivering Good?

Merrie Keller: Delivering Good unites retailers, manufacturers, foundations, and individuals to provide children and families impacted by poverty and tragedy, such as natural disasters, with new merchandise offering hope, dignity and self-esteem. Our mission provides a platform to make a difference both socially and environmentally by ensuring excess new merchandise ends up in the hands of people in need instead of landfills. We are providing companies with a simple, one-stop solution to meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing goals.

ER: What does your role entail?

Keller: I work with brands and companies to secure donated new product and develop larger strategic partnerships with some of our product donors. As part of the organization’s leadership, I work with the team to make sure we are meeting our mission and engaging our partners, so they understand the impact of their generosity. It is rewarding to help people dealing with a wide range of social issues like poverty, homelessness, foster care, and workforce reentry.

ER: How much product is donated to DG each year?

Keller: It varies and depends on trends including retail sales, production and sustainability. Last year we provided more than 15 million units of new merchandise valued at more than $154 million.

Earnshaw’s: What are the needs for children’s products?

Keller: Socks and underwear are always needed as well as basic tees, hoodies and backpacks. Many children go without during the holidays and other celebrations, so toys are always needed. Our only rule around donated merchandise is that we only accept new product.

ER: How can companies donate their excess product to DG?

Keller: Simply complete and submit a donation form on our website, and we connect them with the shipping information of the partner who will distribute their donation to individuals and families in their community. In some instances, we can match a donation to a specific geographic or issued-focused distribution partner.

ER: How might companies who donate learn about how their product has helped people in need?

Keller: We can provide feedback in the form of photos or testimonials from the partner that distributed the product. Delivering Good also posts impact stories to our social media channels and via our e-newsletter where donor companies are highlighted.


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