In 2015, the first year of Make It Merry, etailz collected, wrapped, and donated over 300 toys to C.O.P.S. who distributed these gifts to children in need throughout the Spokane community.
We sat down with our Marketing Director, Keri Rhodes, and Event Specialist, Laura Sawyer, who are coordinating this very merry event, to gain some insight into what makes this program unique and how it’s specifically impacting etailz’s hometown.
In your words, what is Make It Merry?
Keri Rhodes: Make It Merry is etailz’s annual event catered towards helping kids in need during the holidays. It is a fun way for etailz employees to connect with our community, and go above and beyond to help those in need so we can ensure they have a special holiday season. The idea started just as a toy drive for our employees and partners to give back over the holidays and has become so much more!
Why did you decide to partner with C.O.P.S.?
Laura Sawyer: Spokane C.O.P.S. is a volunteer organization that works directly with the Spokane Police Department to make our neighborhoods safer. The children that Make It Merry supports may only see police work in a negative light. Hopefully, this program shows them one of the positive things that police are doing in our community.
Why is Make It Merry so important to etailz?
KR: We are always working to discover solutions not only on a business level, but also within the Spokane community. We feel lucky to be headquartered in such a fantastic and supportive city, and love that we can be a part of making Spokane even better.
LS: etailz employs over 200 young professionals, mostly millennials, who want to make the Spokane community a better place to live. One of our core values is “serving with purpose”, so we are always looking for ways to help, and the children that this program helps, are the future of Spokane.
How is Make It Merry impacting Spokane?
LS: Unfortunately, there will always be needy children in our community. Make It Merry provides some holiday cheer to these kids, who otherwise may not receive a gift this holiday season. Hopefully, these kids remember who it was that gave them the gifts, the Spokane C.O.P.S., which, in turn, helps them understand their mission and value in our community.
What makes this program different from others?
KR: Make It Merry is unique because through partnering with C.O.P.S., we are accomplishing two important things. First, we are improving the holiday season for hundreds of families within the Spokane community. Secondly, we are enabling C.O.P.S. to improve their position as a supportive group available for those in need, and facilitate new relationships between C.O.P.S. and the families within the communities we are helping.
LS: The biggest difference for Make It Merry is the way we collect the toys we distribute. As a retailer, etailz works with thousands of partners who are always dealing with overstock issues and end of life inventory. These issues are costing our partners money and therefore driving up prices. By donating to Make It Merry, our partners are putting their cost-draining inventory to good use by helping children in need, while also helping their business continue to succeed.
What are the 2016 goals?
KR: In 2016, Make It Merry’s primary goal is to help make the holidays as special as possible for more families in need.
LS: Our goal is actively live our core value, “Serve with Purpose” through providing enough wrapped and ready donations for the C.O.P.S. team to distribute to 2,000 children in Spokane.
Where do you see this program going in 2017 and beyond?
KR: In the future, we hope to continue to better Make It Merry better by increasing the number of families that we are able to support, and overall instilling the holiday spirit of hope and happiness throughout Spokane.
LS: This program can only get bigger and more impactful. We hope to continue to grow our support within our community and increase the number of families we affect.
Want to help etailz Make It Merry? Visit our website to see how you can participate.