CHANGE
v. to make radically different
n. a fresh set of clothing; money

Change t-shirts 52 times in 2010 to raise awareness and funds for 52 world changers.

What do you change for?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GIFT CARD GIVER

Get rid of that extra weight in your wallet.

Donate that ever accumulating pile of gift cards from the store you will never visit to Gift Card Giver, an organization which redistributes gift cards to help non-profit organizations and individuals in need. (Giving away your leftover change would probably ease the weight as well.)

Jeff Shinabarger, one of the four founders of Gift Card Giver, explains “that $8 BILLION goes unused in gift cards every year. People don't generally view gift cards as money, so they're much more willing to part with them. I had a theory that with a statistic like that, people must have unused gift cards in their wallets. I tested out my idea at a wedding, and walked away with $50 to help someone in need. It's grown from there.”

Grown to say the least.

Shinabarger and his friends continued collecting gift cards and have since created an extensive network to connect the unused $8 billion in gift cards to non-profits in need of supplies and materials through Gift Card Giver.

Once $100-$500 has accumulated in gift cards for any given company, the cards are then distributed towards a project, person, or organization as a big stack of cards or as direct gifts purchased from the money on the gift cards.

Cards of any amount are welcomed (even the 68 cents from the store which wouldn’t give back your change).

Every cent helps. One of Jeff’s favorite stories illustrates the direct impact of these seemingly “useless” gift cards. A little girl with a terminal illness drove with her parents “from Alabama to Boston…to get treatment. It meant her mom had to quit her job. So they were now living on a single income, with more expenses and a very ill daughter. A friend of theirs contacted us and let us know about their situation. We were able to send them gift cards for restaurants and for gas to help with their expenses. The family wrote us the nicest notes assuring us that as soon as they were able, they'd pay it forward for someone else in need.”

Paying it forward is as easy as 123:

1- Use as much of your card as you want (or send a full card).

2- Write how much is left on your card using a permanent marker.

3- Place the card in an envelope and send it to:
Gift Card Giver
PO Box 17628
Atlanta, GA 30316

To kick off the summer gift card donation style, Gift Card Giver is “taking a huge summer tour! We're throwing 30 parties in 30 days at different locations in the US to collect gift cards! The people hosting the parties can choose charities they would like their parties to benefit, then we will send that charity back gift cards that they can use. We're expecting our summer tour to help us exceed our goal of giving away $50,000 in gift cards this year!”

Imagine a world of bouncers collecting gift cards.

Thanks Jeff, for teaching us the true meaning of “getting carded!”

Please visit giftcardgiver.com for more information.

(Gift Card Giver is a grassroots organization that redistributes used and full gift cards to individuals and organizations in need.)

3 comments:

  1. Thanks a ton for telling the story!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like the idea and all the info...I think the best way to give a gift card is to put it in the Gift Card envelopes and hand over to the recepient.

    ReplyDelete