Behind the Scenes at the Recycling, Transportation, & Logistics Center
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is committed to helping friends in need in a variety of ways, not the least of which is through providing clothing and furniture to many. But that all happens because of an elaborate system of donations, sorting and selecting, transportation and distribution that is centered at our warehouse in Penn Hills.
Director of Business Operations Bryan Engel and his assistant Dawn Dietz work tirelessly in coordinating this effort that relies on, not only the kindness of those donating items and funding, but also on the work of many employees. These workers serve in both the Penn Hills warehouse as well as the four thrift stores located throughout Allegheny County.
Bryan has been working in various capacities managing St. Vincent de Paul’s business operations for five years and Dawn has been at this and several thrift store sites for nine years. Together, they help to ensure that warehouse operations run smoothly, that coordination exists within the processes used, and that local stores get the materials they need to serve the many who shop there.
Donations are made at local stores and at many parishes and then are either used immediately at the stores or are picked up from churches and stores to be processed at the warehouse. There, clothing and household items are sorted and may be either sold individually or in bulk. Some items are sold via the e-commerce program through eBay to help the overall mission of SVdP. However, just as important is the program in which the bulk clothing items that aren’t needed or don’t make it to the thrift stores are sold to third party entities. Those companies and organizations then ship them to other countries that have extreme levels of poverty and can desperately use them.
Furniture items sometimes remain at the stores if they are donated there, but most often are picked up and then stored in the warehouse until a voucher is submitted through a conference for a friend in need.
Thanks, again, and a big kudos to Bryan, Dawn and all the store staffs as well as to employees at the warehouse, without whom, none of this would happen. It’s quite frankly an impressive amount of planning, organizing and just plain old hard work within this whole system that enables us to generate the kind of help that the Society is able to give. And it’s these things that help us be one of the most efficient and effective SVdP Councils in the state and even the nation!