Giving thanks for everything we are grateful for takes on a special meaning this year as we continue to navigate the many challenges of 2020 together. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Fully Promoted locations throughout the nation are preparing to celebrate their commitment and contributions to their local communities during November’s “Shop Local” month and on Small Business Saturday, which is November 28th this year.
This is a time when the efforts of small businesses to help their communities take center stage as locals choose to support them rather than ordering what they need online. For the communities where Fully Promoted teams are located, this often means partnering together to create promotional products and apparel that deliver top-of-mind awareness for the brands and messages they represent. Below are just a few of the contributions local Fully Promoted store owners have made over the past several months to help their communities weather the storm of challenges 2020 has presented.
Michelle Bottino, the owner of Fully Promoted Schaumburg, IL and Fully Promoted St. Charles, IL, has been recognized by local media as having made “extraordinary efforts to protect her fellow man during the time of Covid.” In March, as the pandemic was accelerating and the need for medical and law enforcement personnel to have personal protective equipment (PPE), she sprang into action by offering to obtain as much of it as possible – often paying for the items or fronting the money for the government and other locals to receive it rapidly at cost. Working with mayors of the cities where she lives and owns her business, Illinois state representatives, and other government officials, Michelle arranged to obtain the PPE from locations as far away as Mexico, China, and Vietnam.
“We had some of our suppliers convert their entire production facilities so that they could make things in the US locally. We worked with a local distillery. We got PPE coming from every possible place, trying to meet a need. We talked to police departments, fire departments, ambulatory companies, nursing homes. We called everyone that was in need of PPE products all across Northern Illinois,” explained Michelle. “We literally just sat on the phone and called every single person, and said, ‘What do you need? Let us get it for you.’ And we got it,” Michelle said. “I took out multiple personal loans because suppliers require that we pay for everything upfront. And these were very large orders: 15,000 face masks, or in the case of the state, 50,000 face masks, or half a million of this, or whatever it was. I had to put out the money upfront for a lot of this stuff. It was a whole nightmare in trying to meet the need.” But we know her efforts were appreciated.
Already a supporter of Lazarus House, a local homeless center, Michelle was there to provide them with hundreds of masks and hand sanitizer bottles. “My greatest fear was that I couldn’t get the stuff fast enough, and someone was going to die because I couldn’t get it to them fast enough. I felt this overwhelming responsibility because we had this access, and I didn’t have enough money, and they didn’t have enough resources, and I didn’t have enough time to get it to them fast enough,” Michelle said. “I was literally, night and day, trying to resource this stuff, and get it to all of the people that needed it. And as the supply went down, the prices went up, and it was absolute chaos. It was like the Wild West, trying to get things. We had suppliers selling fakes, and we had other partners that we saw that had placed orders, deposited money, and then the suppliers just disappeared. They took their money, and never produced anything. So, I had to diligently resource, and supply, and verify that the products that we were sourcing were validated companies that were getting this stuff from truly FDA-approved manufacturers. And I demanded that they provide me with the FDA paperwork.” Her diligence quite literally made the difference between life and death for so many in her area.
Mike Besaw, owner of Fully Promoted Wausau, WI, partnered with his local chamber of commerce to create a community morale-building campaign called “Wausau Strong.” Mike explained, “We made hats and t-shirts that say Wausau Strong on them and sold them for $20 each – with all the proceeds going to business grants that are forgiven so businesses receiving them do not have to pay them back.” Mike explained, “Any business that wants to be eligible must submit a little bio about themselves, their business, and what the money will be used for. Every time we get to $1,000 we pay out a grant to the selected business. The winners are chosen by us and the Wausau Regional Chamber of Commerce.” We are so thankful for people like Mike who stepped up to help their communities – that’s what it’s about.
Jessica Joyce, co-owner of the Fully Promoted in Towson, MD, came to the rescue of children in her community by donating school supplies as part of the Baltimore Hunger Project’s Annual School Supplies Drive. “In typical years we would have donated backpacks for children, however since schooling is all virtual at the moment, supplies were more of a need,” Jessica said. “We donated 250 boxes of crayons, 250 boxes of colored pencils, and 250 pencils.” Helping students succeed during these difficult days and especially with the challenges brought on by virtual school, we know those supplies are being put to good use.
Maude and Dan Swearingen, owners of Fully Promoted Arbutus, MD, are actively involved in several area community projects. “For Community Clean Up, which is organized by several community leaders, we pick up litter in public areas. To help promote personal safety, our Fully Promoted store provides reflective safety bracelets,” Dan said. “Each bracelet has Community Clean Up and our business name, as well as fun Halloween images. These bracelets can be worn on an arm, leg, or bicycle and reflect light so they help keep us visible to each other and passing vehicles.”
The couple also aims to boost local businesses. They donate bags filled with information and promotional items on behalf of their local business association. The bags are given to prospective members during the association’s spring and fall membership drives. In addition, Maude and Dan are continuing with a community give-back program that they have sponsored for more than 10 years. “Dan helps print the t-shirts for the Celebrations committee in Catonsville, our original store location. These t-shirts are sold to raise money for the event’s fireworks and are worn by local volunteers during the parade and fireworks on July 4th,” Maude said. “We truly enjoy giving back to the communities who help support our family business.” And, at Fully Promoted, we know their local community values their contributions and support.
The community of Morristown, NJ looked for ways to support local businesses as well as the residents of their community who are facing food insecurity through Table of Hope, a Morristown-based food pantry. George Zacieracha of Fully Promoted Morristown, NJ has been selling Morristown Strong blankets and stemless wine tumbler sets printed with the campaign’s logo. A part of each sale is being donated directly to the Table of Hope. As of October 20th, George and his team had sold 584 blankets and 28 stemless wine tumbler sets which means they have donated $3,869 to the Table of Hope. When a community comes together, amazing things can happen.
Shop local and celebrate the contributions of Fully Promoted store owners by working with them to create the most impactful promotional products
You will find the best promotional products at your local Fully Promoted location, no matter where you are in the country. Our local experts will provide personal, one-on-one attention to ensure your questions are answered and your campaign is as successful as possible. If you want a logo on it, our local teams can make it happen. Contact your local promotional product experts at Fully Promoted today to learn how we can help you create exceptionally effective promotional products.