Didlake’s Business Manager for The UPS Stores, April Chervenka, is interviewed by Rebecca Barnes, Publisher of Prince William Living Magazine to talk about Didlake’s two The UPS Stores including what services are offered at the stores and how they create opportunities for people with disabilities in our community.
Source: Prince William Living You Tube
Channel Published: June 2021
Original story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHjFycoTd6Q&t=3s
Rebecca: Hi, friends, Rebecca Barnes, “Prince William Living” magazine. And we are here today with April Chervenka of UPS Store. She is the business manager of The UPS Store, which is owned by Didlake. Welcome, April.
April: Thank you, Rebecca.
Rebecca: Tell us a little bit about…I think that a lot of people may or may not have heard of Didlake. But just give us a brief synopsis what Didlake does in our community.
April: Didlake is a nonprofit based in Manassas, and it’s been there for over 50 years, and their mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities. And that’s how we do that through our UPS Stores is mainly through employment and working with our job coaches in doing situational assessments so that somebody could come in, and they may not wanna work at a UPS Store, but they can come in, it’s a safe space, a good environment for them to assess their skills and abilities that would eventually lead them into a career down the road, whether it be in a store or retail environment. But it’s that good, safe environment for the job coaches to support their clients.
Rebecca: Excellent. So, I think a lot of people know what UPS is, and they may or may not know what a UPS Store is. So, tell us a little bit about The UPS Store.
April: I think most people are very familiar with the big brown trucks that leave your beautiful Amazon boxes on your front porch. So, The UPS Store is kind of a retail arm, they’re an independent subsidiary of the United Parcel Service, which is UPS. But each UPS Store is typically independently owned and operated. We have our unique situation with Didlake as a nonprofit and a corporation has invested into UPS Stores. So, as that retail arm, it’s just your friendly neighborhood kind of go-to for your small business needs, your individual shipping needs, your print needs. So, we’re really lucky that we’re part of such a big network of stores and we have this opportunity.
Rebecca: So, again, with the stores, it’s not just packing and shipping. Tell us a little bit about all the services that you offer.
April: So many. I think you kind of hit the nail on the head with packing and shipping. Everybody knows this for shipping services. But there’s so many things that a UPS Store can offer their neighborhood clients from shipping, packing, free shipping. We’ve actually gone to people’s houses and packed up their belongings and freighted them across the country with UPS carriers. Our mailbox services are very well-known. Notary, this time of pandemic has created such an unknown end result that I think a lot of people really got their affairs in order, and we saw a huge increase in notary services over the past year. With that also goes shredding, document shredding. So, stuck at home for a year, you kind of realize you got all this surplus of stuff you may not need anymore, we have secure shredding bins in our stores that we can get rid of all that for you. Along the lines of printing, we also offer wide format printing, whether it’s banners, stickers, decals. Everybody kind of had to pivot over the pandemic, so we can help with those social distancing signs. Now we’re into the “Now we’re open” signs, which is such a great thing to be able to produce for our customers. Moving boxes, supplies, you name it, anything that you need, we can probably locate for you or provide it for you at one of our locations.
Rebecca: Let’s go back to the packing and shipping because I know that for some people, they like the money savings of doing things themselves. Some people time is their priority. Why would someone wanna use The UPS Store to pack and ship their goods?
April: So, I know we all probably have a surplus of Amazon boxes laying around our house over this past year. But what we don’t wanna do is put grandma’s fine china or something very valuable in that used box. So, when you come into a UPS Store, we pack and ship based off of a guarantee. When we utilize our service, our trained expertise, and our materials, whatever the declared value is of that item that we’re packing and shipping for our customer, if there was any loss or damage to that item, you would get the full reimbursed value of that back including the packing material and the shipping costs. If we happen to pack it in a used box or an inadequate box and something happens that may not always be the case. So, we always wanna use our expertise and help our clients make the right decision in protecting their valuable items that they’re shipping.
Rebecca: Okay. Now, one of the other services that you named, I happen to be a customer, I have a mailbox at one of your stores and I love it. But I think that you can tell more about it than even I could. So, what are some situations where people might wanna use a mailbox, and what are the benefits of that?
April: So, our mailbox services are definitely a service line that stand us out from other shipping providers in that it’s a physical street address. So, it’s not necessarily just a box number in an unknown location, it’s an actual physical street address. And what that means is that we can accept packages from all carriers. So, whether it’s coming from a UPS shipper, whether it’s coming from FedEx, DHL, we can accept all of those packages. They go into a secure location, and you as our mailbox customer, you’ll immediately get a text message or an email letting you know that your mail has arrived, or that your package has arrived. So that you don’t have your package sitting on your front porch, it’s not sitting in the lobby of an apartment building, it’s secure, and it’s locked up with our staff. And then you digitally sign for that package when you come to pick it up. Another service that we offer through our mailboxes is, you do get a discount on shipping and printing in our stores and also packing as well. It’s called our key savings card. So, as a mailbox customer, those discounts are extended to you to kind of create that one-stop-shop and getting everything in and out of the store pretty quickly for small businesses.
Rebecca: Excellent. Well, for me, personally, there’s a safety issue. If you work from home, or if you work in an office even there are times where you may be in a business where you don’t take people in. And by using a box, you can give them that address to mail to, you don’t have random people showing up at your office asking to meet the queen or something like that. That never happens around here. So, it’s a little more secure, especially for small businesses that work from home and don’t want people just randomly showing up at their home.
Rebecca: That’s one reason I love it. Let’s go back to Didlake itself because I think that that’s really key in why to do business, specifically at a Didlake-owned UPS Store. Tell us a little bit about all the things that Didlake does and the kinds of people that they employ and help keep employed in the county.
April: So, as I said earlier, Didlake has been in Prince William County supporting individuals with disabilities for over 50 years. And that has evolved into where we were really focused on our contract operations sites, they realized that we could also look at a more commercial and retail operation. So, when you do business in one of our UPS Stores or with our document imaging, 100% of the proceeds go back to Didlake into service areas that may not necessarily have revenue. It creates those jobs within Prince William County, so you have somebody that’s now contributing as, you know, a paid asset in our community, they’re paying taxes, they’re part of our society, they’re integrated in a work setting. And then there’s just the career exploration and that somebody may not wanna work at a UPS Store or document imaging, but we have these spaces now where our job coaches can come in and do those assessments on their clients that eventually do lead them to other opportunities in other career areas. So, it’s all full circle, from just getting introduced to the job setting and actually being placed in an integrated job setting. We kind of have all of that at our fingertips now with our stores.
Rebecca: Excellent. So, it’s really good for folks that need to use the services of the UPS Stores, you know that you’re supporting a nonprofit, you’re putting people to work, and you’re still getting all of the same excellent value and services that the UPS Store is known for.
Rebecca: What locations are the Didlake-owned locations?
April: That probably would have been very good in the beginning. We actually are in two great locations. Our first location that we opened almost five years ago is down in Potomac Town Center in the same shopping center where the Wegmans is. And then our second location we’ve owned for about two years now is right off of Centerville Road on 28, near the Super Target and that’s in Sowder Village Square Center at Innovation. So two great locations, serving both ends of the county. Again, one-stop-shop getting in, getting out, and getting everything done for our all of our small business owners.
Rebecca: We think that’s great. So, basically, our readers need to keep you in mind for packaging and shipping services, printing services, digital imaging services that is done through Didlake itself. Shredding, mailboxes, there’s just so many things. And if people aren’t sure, they can call you at either location and ask if it’s a service you offer. We’ll put all the information on both of your locations under this video for people to check out. If they’ve got questions, they can visit your website, they can email you, or give you a call directly in the store. We appreciate you coming in today. We love The UPS Store, and everything that Didlake is doing, so thank you for all you do in the community.
April: All right. Thank you, Rebecca.