While it is hard to imagine, even countries as developed as the US have domestic poverty. The current economic slowdown doesn’t help matters at all, but thankfully social entrepreneurs like Elizabeth Brown and Mesh Gelman of Blanket America are pioneering ways to let Americans help each other. Their buy-one-give-one (BOGO) solution provides much-needed bedding for low-income families in America.
How Blanket America is Solving Domestic Poverty
Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the US is not immune to poverty. Millions of American families are struggling to survive day-to-day without basic necessities such as food, health care, and standard living requirements. Blanket America believes Americans are eager to help one another, with the capability to donate as much as it can consume, and so they’ve found a way to allow consumers to directly be part of a positive change.
Blanket America specializes in quality sheets, pillows, bath items, blankets, and bedding, and their Buy 1, Give 1 program allows Americans to buy what they need while providing for others at the same time. The BOGO program is an opportunity for consumers to provide a matching donation for every item purchased through Blanket America. The gifts created through the BOGO program are managed through Good360, the world’s largest online product donation marketplace.
The founders of Blanket America don’t want their good will to stop there. They are also working to solve poverty issues in developing countries like Haiti. Their Choose Haiti bracelet, made from 100% recycled newspaper and bottles collected from Port-au-Prince by residents living in tent camps in Haiti create 3,000 jobs and provide a way for some of the waste materials from the earthquake and consumer trash to go to good use.
About these Entrepreneurs for a Change: Elizabeth Brown and Mesh Gelman
Blanket America is an off-shoot of Extreme Linen which supplies mostly to retail outlets like Target, Kmart, Sears, and JC Penney. But the founders, Elizabeth Brown and Mesh Gelman, wanted to pioneer a business such as Blanket America that would be focused on giving. Elizabeth Brown hails from Columbia University and her studies revolved around art and anthropology. Haiti holds a very special place in her heart, having spent time on a spring break program there. Mesh Gelman took up Talmudic Studies in Jerusalem. Mesh believes that discipline is important when handling a task of any size, a philosophy he practices in all things, including his work with Blanket America’s.
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