Working with IRN: How Six New Mexico Schools Made a Difference in Thousands of Lives

Over three weeks starting May 30, IRN completed reuse projects with three elementary, one middle, and two high schools in Las Cruces and Santa Fe, NM.  Under an ongoing asset management and replacement program, the districts regularly survey and grade the condition of their furnishings.  After accounting for pieces damaged or worn beyond further use, in early 2017 the two districts identified some 11,000 items suitable for reuse, but due for replacement or otherwise no longer needed in their schools.  In addition to items still in place in the schools, the Santa Fe school district used this opportunity to eliminate items sitting in a warehouse, accumulating dust and storage charges, but unlikely ever to be used again.

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The major issue with this group of projects was the tight schedule combined with the large number of pieces that had to be moved, packed, and shipped.  Between May 30 and June 17, IRN coordinated the arrival and dispatch of 45 tractor trailers from seven project sites.  There was far more inventory than any one of our charitable partners could absorb, so IRN partnered with four different charities.  The charities, in turn, distributed the furnishings to fifteen separate locations, including independent schools in South Carolina, California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, and Ontario (Canada), and international development projects in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guyana, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Kenya, Zambia, and Somalia.  The nearly 7,000 items that were shipped to U.S., Mexico, and Canada destinations traveled in fourteen 53-foot tractor trailers.  The 4,000-plus items destined for other international destinations traveled in 31 overseas shipping containers.

Easy?  No, this wasn’t an easy project.  It took dozens of hours of coordination, near-constant communication with charities, international freight forwarders, and trucking companies, organization of multiple moving crews – on some days, three different moving crews working simultaneously at three different schools.  And plenty of troubleshooting on the fly – when a truck broke down, or a charity requested a last-minute change in destination.

Worth it?  Heck, yes.  Nearly 2,000 desks, over 1,000 classroom tables, nearly 1,300 bookshelves and storage cabinets, nearly 5,300 student chairs, and some 2,000 other items including teachers desks, lounge and reception area furniture, music stands, cafeteria tables and chairs, and much more.  All taken away from American landfills, all now being put to use, helping kids and communities where buying new school furniture isn’t an option.  Worth it?  Heck, yes.

From May 30 thru June 17, 2017, IRN shipped more than 11,000 items from New Mexico schools to recipients in five U.S. states and eleven countries on four continents.

Please get in touch if you’d like further information about working with IRN, or look us up on our website,

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