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How an Idea Turned Into a National Fund-raiser

How an Idea Turned Into a National Fund-raiser


The It Gets Better campaign served as the inspiration for a "weekend of charitable shopping" being held in CB2 stores across the country, showing that some dividends of the viral video phenomenon are still coming to fruition even a year after its launch.

All day long today and on Sunday, the modern furniture chain will donate 5 percent of its sales to The Trevor Project, which helps combat teen suicide and has worked closely with project. Anything bought across its website, catalogs or in stores will factor. But the idea started much smaller than that, with the staff of just one store in New York City.

Jen Cutler manages the CB2 store in Soho, and during last year's Pride festival, she and her team wanted to do something to show their support for gay rights. But what to do? They could run a float in the parade. Or maybe volunteer with a local organization. And they considered a range of ideas, including those.

"We really felt that we wanted to publicly support the gay community and started brainstorming different ways that we could do that," Cutler said. They decided on donating a portion of their sales to a charity because "we really wanted to do something that was a little bit more impactful."

One of the store's associates suggested giving the money to the Trevor Project, which Cutler hadn't heard of, and then explained its connection to It Gets Better, which she had. And a partnership was born.

The Soho store hosted a kickoff party for the "weekend of charitable giving" June 16 and more than 350 people attended, which is a good turnout, but now it's going national. Cutler's corporate bosses heard about the idea when she pressed it in cooperation with the Trevor Project, and they quickly picked up on it.

Marta Calle, product director for CB2, praised the store associates for thinking of the idea, which helped their marketing "have a purpose."

"Several associates from the Soho store knew someone at the Trevor Project and put CB2 corporate in touch," Calle said in a statement. "With bullying and suicides of gay and lesbian teenagers in the headlines, CB2 was inspired by the Trevor Project mission to prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth."

CB2 is now an official "corporate partner" of the Trevor Project, in no small part because of the group of coworkers in Soho.

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