Each year, the Women’s Gift Exchange raises money and presents the earnings from the small, nonprofit shop in the back of Kelly Square in Sherman to area charities. On Wednesday, the group shared those resources with 18 local nonprofit groups.
Steadily increasing the amount of money donated for each of the last nine years, the Women’s Gift Exchange donated $13,000 at the awards ceremony Wednesday.
“We are really beginning to be known for what we are doing and what we are about,” Women’s Gift Exchange board member Carolyn Nicholson said. “We are getting more applications from area organizations and people are learning what we are doing for the community. We have really been successful so far.”
Nicholson also said that a lot of the organizations that they donate to only survive on donations and local support.
“They depend on the people of Grayson County,” she said.
This year, the organization reached the most organizations it has ever made contributions to — adding to the all-time high it presented to last year by four.
The organizations who received assistance this year were Child and Family Guidance Center of Texoma, Children’s Express, Children’s Chorus of Greater North Texas, Divine Equine Therapeutic Riding Center, Family Promise of Grayson County, Grand Central Station Dining Car, Grayson County Child Welfare Board, The Green House, Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County, Home Hospice of Grayson County, House of Eli, Kid’s Pantry, MasterKey Ministries, North Texas Youth Connection, Share-Taking it to the Streets, Sherman Community Players and Theatricks, Visions of Sugarplums, and Women Rock.
The Women’s Gift Exchange is a member of the National Federation of Women’s Exchanges, which began in 1932 in Philadelphia with the mission of helping women sell their items and help generate funds for women to support themselves.
From humble beginnings in 2010, the nonprofit has grown into a large shop containing everything from handmade bath accessories, candles and jewelry to collectible kitchen and serving ware, home decor, gifts of all types and even food items. All profits are donated to local noprofit groups and scholarships.
The Sherman chapter of the organization sells high-end collectible items to raise money to put back into the community. The shop is run by volunteers and a board of directors.
“The Mission of Women’s Gift Exchange, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is to inspire personal growth among women, contribute to the philanthropic good of the community, and provide Grayson County charities with proceeds from the sale of fine quality gifts and special events,” Nicholson said in an email.
The National Federation of Women’s Exchanges, a consortium of gift shops initially established to provide an outlet for women to sell their handcrafted goods, is the oldest continuously operating women’s movement in the country according to Nicholson.