The Give Back Crew (GBC) is AK Material Handling System’s nonprofit organization that donates and volunteers with many different organizations in and around the Maple Grove, MN area. We recently had the unique opportunity to volunteer for AND provide warehouse design support for the same organization.
MATTER is a nonprofit organization with two warehouses in St. Louis Park, MN. This company’s global mission is to “help people launch projects that improve communities.” The three primary sectors revolve around providing education, healthy food, and medical supplies and equipment to those in need.
MATTER began in 2002 after founders Dennis and Megan Doyle recognized an opportunity to recycle and re-home valuable corporate surplus that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Life-saving supplies like hospital beds, gloves, masks, and other medical equipment are regularly replaced or discarded despite being fully functional or fixable.
Many communities around the globe are desperate for such equipment. In places of scarcity where medical supplies are difficult or impossible to come by, such equipment (even outdated equipment) dramatically increases the number of people they can help.
Since its founding, MATTER has evolved into a large-scale operation, providing diverse care through the plentiful resources of Minnesota healthcare, education, and agriculture.
MATTER works to provide educational access for individuals and communities in need. The organization has planted many schools in global communities. Some international sports players, including Derrick Rose and Gorgi Dieng, have partnered with MATTER to build schools in their home communities.
Apart from building physical schools, MATTER partners with Jamf to offer their Innovation Hub – a student-centered program providing access to critical skills and education. This program aims to lead students to full-time careers in technology using a STEM/STEAM curriculum.
The MATTERbox provides equal access to healthy, shelf-stable foods in food deserts around the nation.
MATTER regularly hosts volunteer-based packing events to package and prep these boxes of healthy snacks for distribution to schools and communities in need. Get involved today by signing up for a virtual or in-person MATTERbox packing event!
MATTER prepares additional meals for local and global distribution to fight against hunger.
Plant a Chaya Tree
Chaya leaves are one of the best sources of nutrients on the planet. MATTER is working to plant groves of these trees in impoverished areas to:
- Feed and nourish the community
- Empower women by providing lasting jobs
- Help the environment
Learn more about this project and plant a chaya tree.
Medical Supplies & Equipment
By taking in surplus or unwanted medical equipment, MATTER can save usable supplies from landfill and re-home them in hospitals and global communities that need them.
This is how MATTER began and they continue to have a large flow of medical equipment in and out of their doors. Some of the supplies they regularly receive are hospital beds, wheelchairs, NICU beds and materials, gloves, masks, and other smaller medical devices. All of these are incredibly valuable to communities in need around the globe.
GBC and AK Involvement With MATTER
We have had the privilege of partnering with MATTER for several years now. Through warehouse design, donations, and GBC volunteering at MATTER’s packing events, we have partnered with this fantastic organization’s causes.
GBC Volunteer Work With MATTER
The GBC has volunteered at multiple MATTERbox packing events throughout the years. These events are a positive, team-bonding experience and an opportunity to touch lives worldwide.
In a single packing event, we reached an estimated 19,000 people with healthy food and essential medical equipment. Learn more about past GBC involvement with this organization in our blog post from 2016.
Pallet Rack Table Donations
During MATTERbox packing events, volunteers gather around heavy-duty workstations made from pallet racking. The workstations were designed and built by AK’s very own design expert – Pete Brandon.
What makes these stations unique?
Not only are they made from pallet racking, but they fit into the colorful, industrial office space at MATTER and serve a unique and important purpose.
We donated multiple sets of these pallet rack workstations to MATTER. They have a set in their main office space and warehouse for daily use, sorting, and packaging purposes. AK was honored to provide a unique solution to this organization’s needs so they could continue their work for a good cause.
AK was able to donate a surplus item of our own to the organization. Our company had a surplus of heavy-duty storage bins that we chose to donate to MATTER. The organization informed us that the containers were re-homed to a business needing storage.
If you have surplus materials at your organization, consider donating to MATTER rather than throwing usable materials away. Someone else might appreciate what you no longer need.
Finally, AK Material Handling Systems worked to provide pallet racking and warehouse design for this organization. Our warehouse design experts worked with MATTER employees to craft a personalized storage solution for this unique, fast-paced application.
To meet the company’s storage needs, we set up rows of pallet racking in their main warehouse for incoming medical equipment, food, and other surplus materials. They needed high-density storage for sorting boxes (see below: left and bottom right images). We were able to design and rack this entire warehouse to optimize its day-to-day handling and sorting operations.
A single row of pallet racking sufficed for their second warehouse with the particular purpose of storing hospital beds (see below: top right image).