In developed nations the world over, garages and basements are hiding treasure troves of unused house paint. Until now, recycling or disposing of that paint was a challenge. “We created Global Paint for Charity to bring beautiful color to underserved countries that have little or no access to paint,” says Rony Delgarde, founder and CEO of the award-winning Global Paint for Charity, a 501©3 nonprofit organization based near Atlanta. Named a 2020 Milestone Maker by NASDAQ, Delgarde is committed to sustainable paint reclamation.
Delgarde poses an important question. “Did you know that the United States Environmental Protection Agency points out that one gallon of improperly disposed paint can pollute up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water, which can endanger species and destroy our fresh vegetables, fruits and drinking water?”
Global Paint for Charity is committed to changing that unfortunate reality. Working in 44 countries and reaching an estimated 13 million people, “Since 2010, we have saved more than 320,000 tons of latex and water-based paint from improper disposal and landfills,” Delgarde says proudly. “Not only do our efforts help protect the environment, create jobs, brighten people’s future, and spur creativity, but paint also has a real health benefit in an age of uncertainty surrounding global outbreaks. Paint can protect against mold, bacteria, and germs, the presence of which have a disproportionately negative effect on health outcomes in poorer communities.”
Global Social Impact, Block-Chain Technology and Awards
When Haitian-born Delgarde worked for CARE International efforts in East Africa and Sudan, his job was to deliver medical supplies and hygiene materials to families. “Soap, food, clothes, and shoes are all important, but when the organization leaves the supplies are often gone,” he recalls. “An idea came to me. In Haiti where I grew up, we did not have beautiful buildings. Everything looked the same. But color has the power to change people’s mood and affect how they feel.”
Entrepreneur Delgarde saw an opportunity and began his research. “I was so happy to find out in the United States that more than 150 million gallons of paint were being wasted every year. People did not know how to safely dispose of it,” he explains. “I also learned that more than 170 million children globally attend schools that are not painted. By recycling and reclaiming our waste paint, my business could immediately make a difference.”
“This year we made a goal to increase global logistics operations by 35%,” Delgarde says. “A milestone for Global Paint has been to use block chain technology to improve and leverage our logistics operations for collecting, recycling, possessing, shipping, and delivery to Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, war-torn areas of the Middle East, and in the United States.”
Since its inception, Global Paint for Charity has not only removed paint from the waste cycle, but also uses technology to provide savings analysis of potential donations to corporations and paint manufacturers to track quantities of donations and evaluate long-term storage savings on discontinued products. Delgarde explains, “We show them how they can save money and track the social impact of a donation at the same time.”
Delgarde is in inspiring leader. With previous career experience in Distribution Center Management and logistics operations for NCR, AVON, and Fleetpride, Delgarde established a clear vision of “Coloring the world with color, happiness, hope and peace.” He and his expanding team pursue grants and private funding to increase impact of the charity. Volunteers have donated more than 600,000 hours of service. “We use paint to change people’s lives.”
Global Paint won many prestigious awards including the 2017 Energy Globe Award for the United States for outstanding environmental solutions. “We were up against entrants from MIT and so many other wonderful organizations,” Delgarde says. “It was the most rewarding experience to know that our work was valuable.”
Investing Joy in Underserved Communities
Now, as communities around the world try to make sense of the coronavirus pandemic and other recent events that have brought to light racial disparity, one suggested solution to improve race relations has been for individuals, organizations, and governments to invest time and money into neighborhoods that have typically been underserved by funding initiatives.
Global Paint for Charity suggests easy ways to start. “Your business can become our partner. An individual or group can host a paint drive in your community. A painter may host a painting project. Or, give us your paint, and we can bring joy to these people in underserved neighborhoods through housing rehabilitation projects. We have seen the transformation of a community’s spirit through use of brightly colored paint and recent public art murals that portray both COVID-19 and George Floyd. Donating your unneeded paints today will make an impact in healing our communities.”
Calling all Amazon Shoppers – Support Global Paint for Charity
Are you an Amazon shopper? Visit smile.amazon.com and select Global Paint for Charity as your designated charitable organization. “AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.” To date, Amazon Smile shoppers have donated more than $170 million.