How undeliverables become school supplies

How undeliverables become school supplies

The Hague, 9th December 2015 - For a number of years Spring has been responsible for the postal distribution of National Pen mailings to 21 counties all over the world. National Pen is a worldwide promotional products supplier which, in 2015 only, has sent over 50 million free promotional pen samples around the globe.

The handling and distribution of return items and undeliverables is also part of the contract Spring has with National Pen. This process is done in Spring’s sorting centre in Mechelen (Belgium). The envelopes contain personalised pens or other gadgets. Normally undeliverables are disposed as old paper, but as pens or gadgets are inside this isn’t possible.

From undeliverable to unforgettable

The idea for the solution started in 2011, when a Dutch teacher went on a study trip to Kenya for Edukans. She experienced how extremely happy children are with a simple notebook or a pen. Her story became the start of the idea to donate the undelivered pens and gadgets to Edukans as part of their “shoe box project”. Children in the Netherlands and in Belgium fill a shoe box with school supplies, toilet articles and small toys to donate to children of their own age in development countries. A simple shoe box can then become an unforgettable present. From the start Edukans has been very enthusiastic about receiving large volumes of undeliverable pens and gadgets from National Pen and Spring.

Working together for Edukans

Spring and National Pen then had the challenge on how to get those undeliverables to Edukans, and how to get these thousands of pens and gadgets out of the envelopes. VN Logistics, the transport company which arranges National Pen’s transport from Mexico, agreed to transport the pallets for free from Mechelen (Belgium) to the sheltered workshop “Werkdag” in Cruquius (the Netherlands). Labour in sheltered workshops are sponsored by the Dutch government. This meant that also the handling of the envelopes could be done for free. Four different parties who all dedicate time and money to support Edukans.

1 million pens and counting

On 2 October 2012 the first 20 pallets were handed over, and earlier this month we donated the 1 millionth pen to Edukans. This called for a celebration. Again all the different parties came together to arrange the celebration. National Pen even created an unique pen for this festive occasion, which we symbolically handed over on that date. Today we are still donating pens and gadgets to Edukans, and will continue to do so for many more years.

The power of a gift

Spring are happy to contribute to the cause of Edukans. And are touched to learn that this “simple” shoebox filled with pens and notebooks can make the difference. Johan van der Pols of Edukans: “When I was in Malawi and handed out the shoeboxes, one of the children said to me that he wanted to become a teacher. Years later he confirmed that he indeed started his teacher’s education.”

If you want to learn more about Edukans then visit their website