Community Spotlight: Charles River Apparel
Giving back builds team morale, helps the community and creates a positive impact. Promo Marketing wanted to showcase some of these selfless acts in our industry with a new monthly column. We spoke to Deb Lipsett, manager of strategic partnerships for Sharon, Massachusetts-based Charles River Apparel to learn more about how to get involved.
Promo Marketing: What kind of charitable campaigns does Charles River Apparel participate in?
Deb Lipsett: Charles River Apparel’s Be Pink Proud program has been nationally recognized for its philanthropic efforts supporting cancer-related organizations, through monetary donations, charitable partnerships and sponsorships. The company donates a portion of sales from its “pink” styles to a variety of nonprofit cancer research and support organizations. Charles River is the official outfitter of a dragon boat paddling group, the Wellness Warriors—Massachusetts’ only dragon boat team for cancer survivors and caregivers. Charles River has a charitable partnership with Community Rowing Inc. (CRI), one of the largest nonprofit rowing organizations in the U.S. Charles River provides gear for CRI’s Row Boston program, which includes more than 2,000 high-tech T-shirts for Boston Public School middle and high school students.
Another branch of Charles River’s charitable efforts, the Charles River Cares program, focuses on providing apparel donations to organizations that fight homelessness. Over the past 30 years, Charles River has donated thousands of clothing items to various charities. Charles River employees also participate annually in helping to collect and sort apparel donations for such charities, including Friends of Boston’s Homeless, a nonprofit organization that supports solution-oriented programs to end homelessness, and Circle of Hope, a nonprofit organization that collects, sorts and distributes donated clothing to Massachusetts families in need.
Charles River also supports Christmas in the City, a 100 percent volunteer nonprofit organization that supports and mentors Boston’s homeless population, and Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides children living in low-income and homeless situations with essential items.
PM: Why do you think it’s so important for people in the promotional products industry to give back to the community?
DL: The promotional products industry caters to all types of business segments and all types of people—from suppliers to distributors to consumers—therefore it is particularly important for the promotional products industry to give back to the community. Today’s consumers are more conscious than ever about social issues and may purchase from one company over another in favor of the company that gives back.
PM: What are ways others can get involved with philanthropic endeavors in the industry?
DL: People can volunteer for social services organizations, serve on the board of directors for a charity or nonprofit organization, and partner with a supplier or distributor to volunteer or donate products or services to an event or fundraiser within the industry. Charles River supports its customers who also give back, by providing them with apparel donations they can utilize for local causes, charities, etc.
PM: What’s your favorite story about Charles River giving back?
DL: Being able to react quickly to help the Friends of Boston’s Homeless by donating $25,000 worth of clothing for 700 displaced residents of a homeless shelter on Long Island in Boston.
For inquiries and interest in Charles River Apparel’s community work, please contact Deb Lipsett at email@example.com.
Want to be considered for a future edition of Community Spotlight? Contact Production Editor Ashley Chiaradio at (215) 238-5288 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.