GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — If you still have a bunch of boxes lying around from Christmas or all that online shopping you’ve been doing this year, there’s a better way to recycle them and give back.
The program is called Give Back Box; a free way to donate your gently-used clothes, shoes, and household items to non-profits all across the country using any box you have lying around.
The company’s CEO/Founder, Monica Wiela, tells FOX 17 that she hopes using their service to give to those in need, becomes a habit whenever they buy something new.
Wiela said, “I like fashion, I like shopping, I like things, but I also want to help others.”
It’s the love of those things, that helped Wiela start Give Back Box in 2012.
She said, “Now you can take any box you have in your home, put inside of the box your clothes, shoes, items you don’t need anymore, go on our website and print the shipping label to a charity and ship it from the comfort of your home.”
It’s really that simple.
You can view the “Do’s and Don'ts” for items to ship here.
The label is free and you can choose your charity and shipping method via UPS, FedEx, or USPS.
Wiela is originally from Poland and her company is now based in Los Angeles. She said the idea started while she was living in Chicago, running her online shoe business.
“I was walking on the street and I saw a homeless guy who was sitting on the street with a sign that said “I need shoes,” she explained, “Then it was kind of like a message for me, ‘Wait a minute, I have so many pair of shoes, I could help this person, but I am only selling women’s shoes.”
Wiela immediately started reaching out to her customers.
She said, “I had this idea that every time I sent shoes to my customers, I would put inside the box a little message and I asked them to put inside the box their old clothes, shoes, whatever they didn’t need, and they can use the shipping label I gave them inside and mail it back to a charity.”
Eight years later, Give Back Box has partnered with more than 40 big name brands like Amazon, Nordstrom, and JC Penny, as well as 45 different non-profits; helping smaller operations expand their reach.
“We are the only platform where people in New York can send something and ship something to a charity in Florida, which they would never even hear about, but they like the mission and like what they do,” Wiela said.
Wiela said that they’ve seen a big uptick in donations as more people shop online during the pandemic.
“Tthis year was super super busy for us, which is really really great,” she said.
But she knows there’s so much more to be done and hopes Give Back Box will become an automatic part of the online shopping experience.
“Every time when you buy something, you give something to someone in need. So I would like to have every single box shipped in America, and in the world really, to become a Give Back Box and have the ability to help others,” Wiela said.
Any non-profit can partner with Give Back Box. Inquiries and questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.