Housewares Show Gives Back to Five Chicago-based Charities
When the International Home + Housewares Show packed up at the end of their show, held March 15-18 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, they encouraged their exhibitors to donate products to five local charities.
At this year’s show, 225 exhibitors took part in the donation program, a 29 percent increase, compared with donations the previous year.
The charities use the products for various activities, ranging from auction items at their annual fundraising galas to merchandise in their resale shops.
Charities participating in the product donation program this year were: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Greater Illinois Chapter, Family Shelter Service, Marklund Children’s Home, Sertoma Centre, Inc. and The Salvation Army.
The product donation program is open to all show exhibitors. Companies wanting to donate all or part of their merchandise after the show closes contact the charities before the show to indicate their interest in donating to the organization.
The charities also are allowed to solicit exhibitors on the last day of the show only and must submit to show management a list of exhibitors whose product they are receiving.
Charity volunteers pack up and remove product donated to them after the very end of the last day.
“The product donation program is a convenient way for exhibitors to remove the booth product they don’t want to pack and ship back to their offices, while offering the charities a wonderful opportunity to acquire merchandise they can use for fundraisers and galas. It is a win-win for everyone,” said Mia Rampersad, vice president of the show.
She added, “We are very happy the program is growing each year as more exhibitors sign up with the charities.”
Both exhibitors and the charities have processes they must follow to help prevent theft and ensure a smooth donation process, Rampersad said
Several of the charities used the donated product within a month after the show.
Family Shelter Service held a gala April 11, which included housewares products as auction items and a warehouse sale April 27 with famous brands of cookware, kitchen utensils, storage items and “As Seen on TV” products; the Sertoma Centre held a Housewares Super Sale in early April; and Marklund Children’s Home Resale Shop featured the housewares items in its spring stock.
For companies interested in donating product at the close of the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show, further information and instructions will be provided in the Exhibitor Services Manual on www.housewares.org in November.