The Power of Goods
Two or three times a week, a 53-foot tractor trailer pulls up to one of two South Florida warehouses operated by Morningday Community Solutions. If Kasia Maslanka is there when a truck arrives, she can practically feel her heart leap.
“It’s like Santa coming to the door. We don’t know what it’s going to be, but we know it’s going to be good,” says Maslanka, who co-founded the organization that makes life better for tens of thousands of people, most of whom she’ll never meet.
The merchandise, mostly still in boxes, is stacked on dozens of pallets—items like laptops, running shoes, school supplies, toasters and bedsheets.
All the “stuff” has the power to change lives as MCS redirects it to nearly 700 Florida nonprofits that support anyone from disadvantaged youth to homeless people, as well as schools, churches and synagogues. The items are donated by mega-sized online retailers and local mom-and-pop shops that find themselves with burdensome amounts of unsold or returned merchandise. MCS sells to nonprofits for 20% to 30% of its retail price.
The truckloads underscore another mission: diverting tons of perfectly good items that would otherwise be treated as garbage. “It’s unbelievable how much good stuff would be thrown away,” Maslanka says. Every year, MCS’s efforts keep more than 400 tons of “waste” out of landfills.
Maslanka’s vision was formed by her childhood in communist-era Poland, a period marked by a scarcity of goods. “I’m now in this world of abundance and tremendous waste,” she adds. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be part of something where we can pass things on to people who really need them.”