In the beginning...Loanables started out as two families living in Austin, TX who realized the untapped power of neighborly connections. More specifically, we observed a couple of trends that we felt needed to be changed:
1) Neighbors tend to be strangers.
We enjoy our neighbors and our neighborhoods, and we welcome the opportunity to meet more of the folks who live in our area. The trend today is towards less neighborly interaction. Many people communicate more with folks halfway around the world than with the families living just a couple of doors away. That seems odd to us.
2) People have a lot of unused stuff.
We realize how much "stuff" the average family accumulates, and more specifically, how much dust this stuff collects from not being used most of the time.
So we said "hey, why not put these together in a way that benefits everyone!" And Loanables was born.
But wait, there's more
The idea quickly expanded. You see, we also believe in charitable giving. The borrowing idea seemed like a perfect way to benefit non-profits, schools, and other groups and individuals who often need to borrow things that they cannot afford to buy or rent from conventional stores. Donating money is great, but why not also donate items you aren't using? Thus we added a new role at Loanables, that of the CCO -- Chief Charitable Officer. We now let Loaners offer up their items to schools & non-profits at no charge, and are always looking for other ways to benefit those in our community who are in need of help. We have a couple of programs in the works, including one to provide baby clothes/items to parents who cannot afford to buy stuff that their children will outgrow every 3 months.
We also realized that the flip side of borrowing is not purchasing. In addition to saving money, our community is helping to save the earth by reducing the consumerism that seems to be rampant these days. We gave our Chief Charitable Officer another hat to wear, that of CEO -- Chief Environmental Officer. (She is now the CCEO, and is always on the lookout for more letters to add to her title.)
Most importantly, what do you think?
We love talking to like-minded folks, in Austin and around the world. Do you like what we're doing? Do you have ideas for how we can do even more with this community? Please share your comments with us!
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