When it comes to finding ways to support its impoverished clients, one nonprofit is leaving no corner unturned.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society, an organization that feeds and houses the poor, is the world leader in mattress recycling, a task that creates jobs and brings in critical dollars to fund the nonprofit’s programs, NPR reports. The organization's outposts in California and Oregon recycle more than 120,000 mattresses and boxsprings a year.
“The model is that if there's an opportunity to add value to something, let's do it," Terry McDonald, executive director of the organization, told the news source.
The mattress endeavor, coupled with the funds brought in from the nonprofit's thrift stores and furniture recycling projects, brings in enough money to pay for half of the Oregon arm's $24-million budget, according to NPR.
Mattress recyclers are able to extract cotton, foam, wood and steal, according to St. Vincent's website. Often, ex-offenders and others who are struggling to find work are the ones who are hired to take on this eco-friendly job.
After recently receiving a $200,000 grant from the Department of Labor, St. Vincent's Oregon base will be able to add more veterans to its payroll, according to the Portland Business Journal.
The organization got another boost earlier this year when it moved out of its cramped (less than 7,000-square-foot) space into a larger facility that will allow for it to employ even more people in need, KMTR reports.
"The focus on this is really about jobs and job creation and the opportunity for economic development," McDonald told KMTR of the expansion. "In a time when there's a need for jobs and job development this kind of a facility gives us that opportunity to serve this part of town better but really the community better."