Volunteer service isn’t new to KPMG recruiter Judson Kinnucan. But, his efforts took an environment turn when he realized how many hotel hygiene products were discarded.
In 2009, at 35, he cashed in his 401(k) and launched Bin Donated, an organization committed to bringing much-needed hygiene products to Chicago-area charities.
“I wanted to provide the logistics between the donors and non-profits,” Kinnucan said. “I try to make donating easy for people. If it’s difficult, things end up in the garbage.”
Currently, Kinnucan works with nearly two dozen Chicago hotels, including Sheraton, Hyatt, Drake, Sofitel, and Swisotel to collect un-used or partly-used products, including shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Housekeeping staff deposit collected bottles into 55-gallon tubs he places in each hotel. Each tub, rescued from a candy manufacturer, can hold roughly 1,000 bottles, weighing approximately 200 pounds.
Every four-to-six weeks, Kinnucan collects the tubs and distributes bottles to charities. Some combine bottles, others put many together in packages.
“The products are still good. They’re just not full bottles,” he said. “But, people who need showers don’t care. They just need shampoo.”
Alongside hotel donations, Kinnucan has collected between 8,000-to-10,000 pounds of skin and beauty products from manufacturers. All total, through Bin Donated, he’s transferred more than $2 million of hygiene products to Chicago-area charities, many serving women and children.
In the past, Kinnucan also conducted book drives twice annually, collecting at least 10,000 books each time. Via toy drives, he gathered up to 5,000 toys, and he’s also gathered school supplies in July for students heading back to school.
Ultimately, he wants to work with tracking and shipping companies to collect damaged, but usable, packages to expand his volunteer service.
“I’ve collected countless things and distributed them to touch the lives of people I’ll never met,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words what that means.”