Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Innovative ideas - a success story

Last week, we told you about Kelley Wheeler, who offered the kind of idea Charlotte will need to begin compensating for the money shortfall afflicting nonprofits here.

Wheeler is co-chair of CMG Children's Consignment Sale at St. Gabriel's Church, which last year gave more than $12,000 in unsold children's clothing, sports equipment, maternity clothing, baby gear and toys to organizations such as the WISH Foundation, Room At The Inn and the Alexander Youth Network.

Wheeler, however, lamented that there was far too much more clothing that didn't land in the hands of the needy. She wanted that to change.

"This year, we would like to partner with more organizations in our community to make sure that all of our unsold merchandise gets distributed within our community," she said.

By the end of the week, she received calls from eight nonprofits - including Carolina Family Connections and HIAS NC, a refugee resettlement agency - that wanted to partner with CMG. She also received emails from individuals wanting to donate to agencies through CMG. "I am extremely excited to work with the foster care agencies and the refugee resettlement agency," she said in an email.

It's the type of small, grassroots effort that will help ease the fallout from United Way cuts and a harsh economy. Have an idea of your own? Let us know.