ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Give Back Box CEO and founder Monika Wiela was named as an honoree on the 2017 National Retail Foundation (NRF) List of People Shaping Retail's Future. The list honors the top 25 retail industry members across five categories Disruptors, Dreamers, Givers, Influencers and Power Players — who were recognized recently at the NRF Foundation Gala during Retail's BIG Show in New York City.
Wiela was selected as a Giver. NRF describes Givers as "inspirational change-makers and big-hearted optimists who make retail shine as a force for good. They see a need and use their skills and resources to fill it to the brim, bringing joy and new opportunities to their companies, communities and the whole wide world."
In 2012, Wiela developed the idea of Give Back Box based on the homeless population in Chicago, where she was living at the time. She thought she could leverage her online women's shoe store to inspire shoppers to donate shoes to help people in need. The Give Back Box platform allows consumers to re-use the cardboard boxes from their e-commerce purchases to donate clothing, accessories and household goods to participating Goodwill® locations for free.
"I developed Give Back Box as an effortless way for people to donate items from their home to help their communities by creating social change and becoming job creators," said Wiela.
As with all items donated to Goodwill, donations made through Give Back Box are sold to create jobs and transform lives by supporting Goodwill's mission of providing employment placement, job training, skills building and other support services in local communities. In addition, donating through Give Back Box helps extend the life of cardboard boxes, the largest contributors to landfills. Since Give Back Box launched, more than 37,000 boxes have been given a second life (boxes shipped), and more than 445,000 pounds of items have been diverted from landfills.
"Monika Wiela is truly an innovator, and it is fitting that she is being recognized as someone shaping retail's future. Give Back Box transforms the act of donating goods for the digital age," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "With Give Back Box, donating becomes a normal part of a consumer's shopping experience. In addition, by reusing boxes and giving to Goodwill, a consumer is protecting the environment and empowering people to build and strengthen their careers in local communities."
The NRF Foundation Gala, in its third year, celebrates and honors The List of People Shaping Retail's Future and awards scholarships to talented students striving to become the next generation of retail leaders.
"Retail is driven by millions of talented and passionate individuals who are constantly changing the industry, and The List 2017 captures the very best of people making an impact," said Ellen Davis, executive director of the NRF Foundation. "Each in their own way, this year's honorees are shaping retail's future and emulate the very best of what retail represents."
For more information about Give Back Box, please visit Givebackbox.com. To view The List of People Shaping Retail's Future 2017, visit here.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 163 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization's highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes' 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill organizations also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 312,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
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SOURCE Goodwill Industries International