CHARITABLE PRINTING — LENDING A PRESS
“Since our employees have put so much into creating Mimeo, we want to give back to them and the communities where they live,” he notes. “It’s a very small cost to Mimeo, using excess capacity at a time of day when we’re not as busy.”
Elbridge estimates the company donates between $100,000 and $150,000 in gratis and reduced printing services. Virtually every worthwhile cause is supported, including the Tennessee Technical Center, to which Mimeo also donated a Xerox DocuTech.
Not every printer has the resources to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars in print services per year, but many enjoy providing discounted jobs and arranging trades in exchange for future good will considerations. A2Z Printing, of Pacheco, CA, has aided causes such as the Taylor Family Foundation—which provides aid and comfort to children in northern California with life-threatening diseases and disabilities.
According to Dennis Arsenault, A2Z president, his company also donates printing to local schools and churches. Last summer it sponsored a Fourth of July celebration called “The Singing Flag.” A2Z has sponsored a holiday basketball tournament at De La Salle High in Concord, CA, for about 10 years.
Arsenault tends to support only very local organizations that make their request in person. “When I look back at some of the donation requests we’ve received, I bristle at the ones where someone already has a printer lined up, but wants us to take out a paid ad,” Arsenault says. “That hurts!”
Community Printers, another California-based company out of Santa Cruz, was founded in 1977 as a way to provide community organizations with affordable printing for their social change projects. But while Community Printers also services for-profit businesses today, it has still maintained its activist roots.
Among the many local causes Community Printers has supported with either free or reduced cost printing: Child Abuse Prevention Network; Community Resources for the Disabled; Doran Center for the Blind; Grey Bears; Habitat for Humanity; and Santa Cruz AIDS project.