Happier Holidays: Matthew’s Jewelers Raises Funds and Gifts for Kids in Distress

Floridian children in need have been able to count on
Matthew’s Jewelers for help for the past 10 years, but 2010 may mark the start
of an even more robust relationship. 

Store owners Mark and Andrea Silverman of 15-year-old
Matthew’s Jewelers in Plantation, Fla., hosted their first-ever three-day
holiday sales event to benefit the Broward County chapter of the Wilton Manors,
Fla.–based Kids In Distress Auxiliary. Held from Dec. 2–4., some 10
percent of net proceeds were given to the charity.

“We’ve donated auction items for raffles to raise money for
the group, but we’ve never done an event to benefit them,” Andrea Silverman
told JCK.

The Silvermans learned of Kids in Distress, a
community-supported agency dedicated to the care and treatment of abused
children and to the prevention of child abuse, through a client. “What we like
is that everything stays local,” adds Andrea. “Because Kids in Distress has
a huge volunteer board, the money we give really gets to those who need it
most.” According to Mark, the store hosted a 20-percent-off nearly storewide
sale, raising $3,000 for the group.

Additionally, Andrea trimmed an artificial
Christmas tree dubbed the Giving Tree, whereby shoppers who placed a new,
unwrapped toy for a child age 6 months to 12 years underneath, could select one
of a 100 gifts on the tree. Using the Kids in Distress logo, the Silvermans
made ornaments—each given a number that corresponded to a gift bag containing a
small present, from an extra 5 percent to 10 percent off purchases during the event to a
free Chamilia bracelet or tickets to the circus. “It was a dual giving
tree,” says Andrea. “Customers gave and we gave.”

Resulting gifts filled a minivan—floor to ceiling—with
items like books, Barbie dolls, and Legos. Plus, more clients came in the
following week to drop off toys, these donations subsequently filling three
garbage bags, according to Andrea.

The Giving Tree in Matthew’s Jewelers in Plantation, Fla.,
encouraged shoppers to donate a new toy to a child in need in exchange for
receiving one of 100 gift bags prepared specially for a three-day sales event
hosted by the store.

A Kids in Distress Auxiliary (center) employee receives a $3,000 check from Mark and Andrea Silverman.

Toy donations from shoppers at Matthew’s Jewelers filled a
minivan.