The Giving Tree Donates $10,000 to Local Schools

April 2016

By Lisa Brown
lisa.brown@rolesvillebuzz.com

The Giving Tree has but one mission: to donate to area schools the proceeds of selling used home goods. The money is used for support of educational, enrichment and extracurricular programs of 13 Wake Forest schools, including public, private and charter.

The schools will be sharing $10,000 this year, the proceeds from sales in 2015. Since opening in August 2013, The Giving Tree has donated $23,000 for schools to use as they see fit.

The Giving Tree 2016

Leigh Greico, The Giving Tree founder and executive board member, was active in fundraising with her daughter’s school’s PTA, and that effort inspired her to create the nonprofit business.

“I remember how hard it could be and wanted to find a way to raise money while making it fun and easy for people,” said Greico.

The process is simple and designed that way to make it easy for people to donate to the schools of their choice.

“People may give in three ways,” Greico said. “They can donate gently used household items, they can shop the retail resale store in Wake Forest, and/or they can volunteer time, which earns credits for a participating school.”

The schools use the funds at their discretion, and uses include tech improvements, book purchases, physical education improvements and, in some cases, additions to existing scholarship funds.

The success of a PTA Thrift Shop in Carrboro helped inspire Greico and her board.

“They’ve donated more than $200,000 and have two storefronts. They’ve been very successful in Orange County,” she said.

Plans for growth are not in the forefront but rather something Greico hopes to see in the future.

“I would like to expand our donation schools reach outside the 27587 zip code and into Rolesville and Wakefield,” she said.

Other ways of growing the business and increasing donations include selling some higher-priced items on eBay, which has proven to be effective. The Giving Tree will also pick up items that may be too large for customers to move themselves. The website offers an online shopping option that Greico hopes to expand.

Wake Forest has proven to be a good starting point, and Greico attributes much to success of the town.

“Giving $10,000 back to the community schools for 2015, in the midst of growing our nonprofit business,” Greico said, “is a true testament to the overwhelming community support in choosing our store for their donating, shopping and volunteer needs.”

For more information about The Giving Tree go to www.givingtreefoundation.org.

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Click on the image above for a larger view. Left to right:

A donation of $1,500 was made by The Giving Tree to Saint Catherine of Siena School. Carl Bilotta (left) and Jamie Waller (right) accepted the donation from Leigh Grieco (center) on behalf of the school.

Julia Smith of Wake Forest Elementary School (left) accepted at $1,300 donation from Leigh Grieco.

A donation of $1,500 was made by The Giving Tree to Saint Catherine of Siena School. Carl Bilotta (left) and Jamie Waller (right) accepted the donation from Leigh Grieco (center) on behalf of the school.

A donation of $600 was made by The Giving Tree to Heritage High School. Lorise Rodriguez (left) and Joanie Arteta (right) accepted the donation from Leigh Grieco (center) on behalf of the school.

Photos by Anthony Grieco