In late 2014, we had the opportunity to connect community partners Shell and Cenikor Foundation by repurposing no-longer-needed furniture from Shell’s corporate offices in Houston, Texas. Green Standards’ project managers worked with Shell’s Social Performance team to align donations from our program with their ongoing outreach efforts in the local community.
We contacted Cenikor – the fast-growing non-profit focused on behavioral health issues and addiction – to inform them that they were recommended by one of Shell’s employees, Social Performance Advisor, Julie Pascoe. After hearing about the Green Standards program, Julie recognized the mutual benefit of channeling some of the furniture donations to existing partners in the Houston area.
“In addition to our financial grant and volunteer program in 2014, we wanted to provide a material donation of office furnishings to Cenikor and other non-profit agencies,” explained Julie. “Partnering with a company like Green Standards, with professional knowledge of sustainable solutions for surplus office furniture, has provided a win-win situation for us and many agencies in need.”
Delighted by the opportunity to refurnish numerous facilities, Cenikor’s staff requested over 35 items, including numerous tables and shelving units used to improve workspaces for budding programs.
“The donation has really improved our Career Service Center, which helps our clients become the best people they can be through their education,” said Eric Goins, Director of Marketing and Communications at Cenikor. “Furniture also went to our Academic Learning Center’s Adolescent Program, which allows us to properly store and display books for these kids. We think the improvement will help pique their interest, make it easier to find topics they like, and encourage them to enjoy learning. ”
In-kind donations, volunteering, and other resources are all crucial to Cenikor’s operations and services. While the impact isn’t as direct as financial donations, office goods allow the organization to focus more of its budget on core programming.
“When we have desks that aren’t holding up as well as they should, it’s really helpful to get new items donated instead of spending to replace them. That’s money we can use elsewhere to provide proper treatment for our clients,” said Erik. “We really appreciate Shell and Green Standards for reaching out to us and helping us with a donation of furniture.”
Shell chose to partner with Green Standards to keep as much of its office surplus out of local landfills as possible while benefiting numerous community organizations. Its commitment to environmental and social sustainability made this and many other projects across the US possible.
Cenikor’s Lasting Impact in the Community
Cenikor was founded in 1967 by a group of inmates at Colorado State Penitentiary that wanted to end the cycle of substance abuse and crime that affected so many of their peers. From this humble beginning came nearly 50 years of progress and service including a variety of in-patient and out-patient programs used by over 1000 people each week across Texas and Louisiana.
The organization has improved their impact in a variety of communities by expanding their capacity and programs with the help of private and corporate donors.
Over the past 10 years, they’ve extended their services to better accommodate patients’ lifestyles, financial limitations, and other difficult circumstances. Education and employment programs have been introduced to help patients transition back into a healthy lifestyle, detoxification programs have been setup in previously underserved areas and resources are now offered to a wider geographic range than ever before.
Cenikor is also one of the few non-profit organizations in the health sector to implement an organization-wide Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) platform. The financial and organizational challenge of shifting to a digital record system has proven invaluable now that patient records and progress can be properly tracked anywhere that Cenikor is active.
Cenikor has come a long way since 1967 and shows no sign of slowing down. The organization was named in the Houston Business Journal’s 2014 “Fast 100,” a list of the fastest growing businesses and organizations in the city.