February 2008 Issue
The Gift of Giving
Like many of us, Nicole Gross believes in giving back to society. But her dilemma was a common one: Which charity should be the recipient? The Solon mother of two fervently believes in spreading global literacy, stopping domestic violence and helping the environment. But her father has diabetes. And a friend’s child grapples with Asperger’s syndrome.
“You start to think of all the different people in your life,” she says. “There are so many choices to make, it’s mind-boggling.”
The answer came in the form of a blanket Gross received when her daughter was born a year and a half ago. The accompanying gift card announced that 10 percent of the sale went to a nonprofit organization working to combat autism.
|A variety of worthy causes benefit from sales of items available from The Giving Store.
Photo Courtesy of The Giving Store.
“I thought, ‘What a great idea.’ So many people think about making donations around the holidays,” she says. “But here was a way that people could buy a gift throughout the year and make a difference at the same time.”
Gross put her marketing background to work and launched The Giving Store, an online gift shop, last fall. Products include environmentally friendly soy candles, recycled license plates that have been transformed into photo albums, handcrafted jewelry made by Ohio artisans and stationery containing wildflower seeds that sprout when planted. And, true to Gross’ mission, 10 percent of every sale goes to one of 12 nonprofit organizations selected by the customer: the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, March of Dimes, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Nature Conservancy, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Organic Consumers Association, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, Room to Read and Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse Inc. She plans to add more charities to choose from this year.
“I hope that The Giving Store will eventually become a one-stop shop people think of first as a place to find unique specialty items,” Gross says. “My goal is to promote the theme of continually giving back.”