It all started in 1997, when Lisa Craig Gautier was given a new livingroom rug and wanted to donate her old rug because it was still perfectly good. She found a school, John Muir Elementary in San Francisco, California. The school could use the carpet in its library for a story-time area. While there, Lisa asked if the school needed anything else and she was given her first "wish list". She was amazed by how many generous businesses and households wanted to donate surplus that was about to be dumped. Everyone prefers to pass on items to those who can use them, they are just stumped about how to find them conveniently.
In 1998, Lisa founded Matter Of Trust in San Francisco with the help of her husband, Patrice Olivier Gautier (now Apple, Inc. VP of Engineering Internet Services - iTunes Store, iCloud, iBooks, Apps Store & Maps), and the support of 35 friends and relatives. Matter of Trust is an ecological 501 (c)(3) public charity that concentrates on manmade surplus, natural abundance and eco-educational programs. The charity's first manmade surplus project was Excess Access which developed this online matching database system for linking surplus with needs.
We've seen the flush times of the dot coms and the harsh effects of budget cuts and scarcity of supplies in schools, nonprofits, small buisinesses and households both here in the US and Internationally.
Together, you and Excess Access form a system that is professional with businesses, respects the ideals of nonprofits and the privacy of inidivuals. It's a website made friendly for schools, with real people on the phone for seniors. Our service is free, fast and continually upgrades and incorporates our members' suggestions.
We have always been staffed by a wise, loyal and dynamic group of seniors, part-time, work-from-home moms, and student interns. We believe that this is an excellent model for now and the future. Above all, we are thrilled to be able to spend our work weeks meeting you and providing a site that is vital to society and healthy for the environment. It doesn't get much better than this! Everybody wins!