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I’m the founder of Give Back Box. Growing up in Poland, I didn’t have much: no toys, no shoes, and very few clothes. Even if I had money, there were no goods in stores anyway. When my uncle sent me a toy from the U.S., my eyes were opened in a powerful way—not only to joy but also to possibility. That day, I realized that there was a world out there where these amazing things existed. And I couldn’t help but want to provide those things for others. Skip ahead to a decade ago when I immigrated to America. Soon I sold my first pair of shoes on the internet and eventually founded a successful internet fashion business.

 But in 2012, a chance encounter with a homeless man sparked an idea in me. The man held a sign saying he needed shoes. I understood his lack. I returned the next day with footwear for the man, but he was nowhere to be found. Compelled to do more, Give Back Box® was born. The platform allows consumers to re-use the cardboard boxes from their e-commerce purchases to forward used clothing, accessories, and household goods to charities. Give Back Box® encourages environmentally friendly practices, in addition to providing an easy way for consumers to donate items to nonprofits. I know, the gift of a single item could very well change a life.

As I researched further, I learned that, an estimated 11 million tons of clothing, footwear, towels, bedding, drapery, and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills every year. In addition, online shopping is now the preferred method for much of the buying public. Corrugated boxes are the dominant packaging method for e-commerce. With this knowledge, my biggest mission crystalized. If online retailers would use Give Back Box, shipping boxes and other items could be used a second time prior to being recycled. The impact on this world is remarkable and I will continue my mission with the greatest enthusiasm ever known in the philanthropy community.