Our franchise partners are always finding ways to give back to their communities. Brian Gibson, owner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Salt Lake City, is no exception. His franchise recently collected gently used wheelchairs, walkers and crutches for a charity in Northern Mexico. This small act of kindness provided much needed supplies to a community in need.
It started in early 2017 when Brian’s aunt, Terrie Gibson, asked if his truck teams ever pick up medical equipment. Terrie lives in Southern Arizona, a half hour from the Mexico border, and she knew of a charity that needed help. Brian’s franchise had occasionally hauled these things away over the years, so he promised they’d keep an eye out.
For a year, Brian’s team collected lightly used crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, adding them to an ever-growing pile at their office. When Brian called his aunt at the end of the year, she was overjoyed to hear the news. Terrie drove up to Salt Lake City to collect the items and headed down to Mexico with a fully loaded truck.
“It’s easy for us to do this kind of thing because we’re already handling these items every day,” Brian says. “There’s a huge untapped potential in this business to give back to the community.”
Brian has created strong systems at his franchise to ensure they recycle or donate as much as possible. In 2008, he opened a warehouse where his team sorts materials in order to divert junk from the landfill. Brian’s franchise has been a role model for waste diversion efforts for our entire system.
The warehouse, managed by Brian’s sister, has also become a sort of charity in its own right. The team has held charity yard sales and donated items to local organizations. Once, they helped a single mother furnish her entire apartment with used furniture and household items they had collected from customers.
While most of Brian’s charity efforts are on home soil, Mexico is near to his family’s heart: his grandmother was born in Northern Mexico and her family lived there for 20 years as ranchers. Brian and his wife also lived there for three years as expats in his previous career.
“There’s a family connection there,” Brian says. “The whole team really came together to make this happen. Everyone felt great about it and was happy to help.”