Monday, July 15, 2013

A Happy Ending for Obsolete Promotional T-Shirts

While many election year promotional products end up in trash cans at the end of campaign season, one group defied the easy route and is putting those old items to good use.

The Daily Caller reports that the Knox County Romney Campaign of Tennessee has donated its leftover Romney-Ryan 2012 promotional t-shirts to a needy school in Kenya.

Courtesy of Orbit Village.The campaign managers donated the unused promotional shirts to The Orbit Village Project, a nonprofit organization that runs a school, medical clinic, orphanage and Baptist Church in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 200 of the school's students received their own t-shirt.

"We were thinking, 'What's the best use for these shirts?' And it was very organic in how it came together," said Alexander Waters, campaign director for the Knox Country Romney Campaign. He explained that he became aware of The Orbit Village Project through his aunt, Cyndy Waters, founder and director of the charity organization.

This was indeed a happy ending with promotional items being put to good use instead of ending up in a landfill. So, what else can you do with leftover promotional or logoed marketing products?

1. Give employees first pick. Your employees are your best salespeople and the living representation of your brand. Why not reward them for their hard work with some free promotional items? Everyone loves free stuff and sharing extra promotional items, especially if they are useful, creates a lot of goodwill.

2. Have a "garage sale" and donate the proceeds to charity. Set up a table in the lobby one day and tell your employees or other office workers that all donations for the items will go to a charity. Even if people only pay $1 for each item, you're supply closet will be empty and the charity will be grateful for any help you can give them. Some charity retail stores will take the promotional items, as well. Give them a call to see if they are interested.

3. Donate them to a local school. Kids love free stuff and school PTAs are always looking for prizes to give out to students for contests or motivation. As long as your promotional item is kid-friendly, let the kids take them home and show off their winnings.

What have you done with your leftover promotional items?

If you have the opposite problem and need to create some promotional products or get your logo printed on some trade show giveaways, give me a call at 847-398-5500 or email me at