At a Crossroad
I was at a crossroad in my professional career. Even though I had accomplished a great number of personal goals, I was looking to make a larger impact on the world as we know it. Now that may seem conceited and unreasonable to some, but I thought it was something worth pursuing. As they say, you don’t know until you’ve tried, and that was the attitude and approach that led me to being a Manager in Training (MIT) with Planet Aid.
My name is Jonathan Benson and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I work out of the Planet Aid office located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. As a branch, we cover almost the entire state and are constantly looking to expand. We have even crossed the border into South Carolina and hope to eventually canvas that entire state also. We are hoping to recycle over 2 million lbs of clothes and shoes this year alone!
The MIT program is an 18 month program that involves 12 months of working and learning all there is to know about running a Planet Aid clothes collection operation, a 3 month work experience in Malawi, and then 3 months of outreach and presentation work back in the United States. In this process we will learn about what I like to call “Follow the T-shirt”. It involves the entire journey of where the recycled clothing originates, gets processed, and eventually ends up. This recycling process serves multiple benefits. Locally, it reduces waste and landfill space, while globally, it serves as a way to raise funds for development projects in impoverished countries.
Personally, being able to make an impact locally and globally was a big reason that I chose this position. I am hoping that what I learn during this process will not only affect me, but those that I live my life with. That’s my story.