MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Boxes and bags of brand-new merchandise were wheeled out of Mount Airy Casino Resort near Mount Pocono and into the vehicles of local nonprofits. All the items were donated by the casino as part of their community giveback.
"We were doing an inventory of our warehouse, and we found all these gifts from guest giveaways. We realized they could be repurposed for the community," said Ben Koff, the resort's general manager.
Nearly 20 local nonprofits in the Poconos were able to pick items such as kitchenware, gardening tools, first aid supplies, and luggage.
"Sometimes we get some donations we don't necessarily need, and we don't have a lot of storage space. Being able to pick and choose and see the actual pictures of the items and say we only need five baskets, but we could use ten storage containers. So that is really helpful," said Lauren Peterson from Women's Resources of Monroe County.
Monroe County Habitat for Humanity received over 100 items that will be used for their warehouse store sales.
"That will go to help purchase more supplies for us. We do operate on grants as well, but this will help buy more things to be able to put the houses together for the people. Where they need a new roof, they need new windows," said Angela Schinzel from Monroe County Habitat for Humanity.
The nonprofits tell say are all things their clients will be able to use.
"A good number of this is going to be utilized in our shelter for people who are staying in the shelter or for people who are exiting the shelter and maybe need some sort of houseware or storage containers, things like that, when they move into their own place, transitioning out," Peterson said.
"We struggle financially, and for us to be able to receive high-end gifts of this sort, that saves us from taking out of pocket which we'd have to take from something else," said James Ellison from Big Brothers/Big Sisters Monroe County.
Mount Airy Casino Resort donated nearly $80,000 in new merchandise.
Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.