Happy Holidays, Reuse Fans!
We are also waiting as patiently as possible to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. (We actually had a few cases of those donated recently. I keep checking in all of them.) As challenging as 2020 has been, Construction Junction has experienced a stocking load of good things that I wish to unpack as the year comes to an end.
First, the Pittsburgh community continued to support reuse throughout this entire year. You took advantage of the time at home to put together your building material/furniture donations and dropped your stuff off. (Boy, did you drop your stuff off!) You also kept our truck crews busy with picks ups once they were able to resume regular operations. When the truck crew wasn’t picking up your building materials, they were dropping off food donations for 412 Food Rescue!
It took a little longer, but you also shopped. Sales for September, October and November were better than we projected before the shut down even though our store hours and customer purchases were reduced. Thanks for your patience with our shifting schedule.
We have also had more financial donations this year than ever before. This was especially significant because we had to cancel the Steel City Big Pour. That put a $150,000 hole in our 2020 revenue projections. While individual donations did not make up that amount, the support was truly inspiring and helpful. An appreciative shout out to the Big Pour sponsors who told us to keep their sponsorship dollars even though we could not all get together for a few craft beers and some great food! Our Board of Directors continued their strong financial support through the year as well.
We also completed our largest total deconstruction project in the organization’s history, the United Mine Workers Union training mine in Washington, Pa. Among the materials salvaged from the complete disassembly of a fully constructed simulated mine, that project brought in over 1600 pieces of reclaimed dimensional lumber for sale and we did it with job trainees from the South Hilltop Group! Thanks to everyone who chose and continues to buy salvaged 2 x 10’s from this job instead of going to that big box store down the street.
Finally, what I have taken away from this year is how passionately people believe in reuse and recycling. I think this issue has taken on an even greater urgency during the pandemic, as the economy has relied more heavily on the consumption of stuff because services have been so dramatically reduced. Reuse and recycling are essential to reduce the related negative environmental impacts of production and all the packaging that consumption tends to be wrapped up in. Reuse and recycling will be essential to any economic strategy to build back better, hopefully with the focus on more sustainable, circular models.
So here we are. We’ve made it through 2020, and CJ is here with a fully masked, dedicated staff and a revamped, more racially diverse management team. We are ready to continue the work of reuse and drive our mission forward in 2021!