‘We’re so blessed with it’ — When Along Side Ministries needed a truck, Global Electronic Recycling stepped up to assist with a donation

Did you know a single box truck can make a big difference? Just ask Ken Sheets, executive director of Along Side Ministries in Phoenix, Ariz. 

“It’s a beast! It’s a great truck,” he says. “We’re so blessed with it.”

The story begins about a month ago when the men’s director of Along Side Ministries, a faith-based organization that helps incarcerated men and women successfully transition into the community, came into Sheets’ office. He shared that he had started up a conversation with “someone at a recycling group.” 

That recycling group turned out to be Global Electronic Recycling and that someone was our own Compliance Officer Kyli Herb. During the conversation, Herb realized he was working for a charity.

“His passion for it was inspiring and so I thought about how we could help,” Herb recalls. 

She said GER had a box truck it no longer needed. Perhaps Along Side could use it? The answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

“Oh, man, we really needed it,” Sheets says. 

Striving to be a positive force

The donation happened in the spirit that guides the way we do business at GER. Our commitment to being a positive force goes beyond client relationships. For the late Gary Kirkpatrick, who founded GER in 1998, business was a tool for social and environmental responsibility. We continually build on his legacy by supporting local charities and with our pledge to donate $500 to the Clean Earth Foundation if you don’t receive five-star service. 

So, when an upgrade made our box truck obsolete, Herb looked for an opportunity to make a difference in the community. Now, Sheets is steering the truck among the organization’s 17 properties, transporting beds, couches, dishware, and everything else that clients need to rebuild their lives after incarceration. Compared to the open-ended trailer that Along Side used before, the box truck has made logistics so much easier, Sheets says. 

“We can fit more things in there, and it’s easier to pack and haul things around.”

Expanding services

The truck has even made Ken Sheets think the realization of a long-term goal may be within reach — the opening of a thrift store to support the organization. Based on the number of success stories, Along Side provides a formula — a three-step solution — that effectively helps graduates stay out of prison for good. As many as 92% of the men and women who have worked with Along Side never return to prison, compared to only 33% of all released inmates in Arizona. 

“We’re looking forward to a future with this truck,” says Sheets. “Perhaps we’ll even put our logo on it. It gives us a chance to do good.”

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